The first event of the 2009/2010 World Series of Poker Circuit at Harrahs Tunica drew to a close Thursday evening with Michael Crump emerging as the victor.

Crump is a 47-year old insurance broker from Morrison, IL. His win not only marked his first WSOP Circuit Event ring but also his first cash in a major poker tournament.

Crump survived a field of 304 entrants to make it to the final table. Among the remaining nine players was four-time Circuit Event champion, Mark "Pegasus" Smith, who had his sights set on a record fifth gold ring.

Smiths chip stack was critically low early in the first day, however his short-stack management not only saw him through Day One, but also the end of day chip leader with 367,000 in chips.

Day Two of the $340 buy-in no limit holdem event began with 21 players. The first final table of the Harrahs Tunica Circuit was decided shortly before 3:30 pm after the tenth place finisher, Mike Bowling, was eliminated a few hands after running his     into the pocket aces of William Ryan Enis.




Chip Count

James Rogers

Russellville, AL



Joe Pace

Chicago, IL



David Couch

Chattanooga, TN



James Whittinghill

Russellville, KY



J. Austin Hijar

St. Louis, MO



Michael Crump

Morrison, IL



William Ryan Enis

Corinth, MS



Mark "Pegasus" Smith

Georgetown, KY



Gerard Thorpe

Nashville, TN




Ninth Place

With blinds and antes at 5,000/10,000/2,000, Smith drew first blood, eliminating fellow Kentuckian, James Whittinghill, after isolating the all-in short stack with pocket 8s. Whittinghills     got no help after a board of          . The 47-year old restaurant owner finished in ninth for $1,719.

Eighth Place

David Couch, a 49-year old manager from Chattanooga, TN took home $2,027 for eighth after moving all-in with kings only to see them trumped by J. Austin Hijars    . The board was no help to Couch, sending him to the payoutline

Seventh Place

Joseph Pace was the next out after all-in pre-flop, his     failed to improve on Gerard Thorpes A-J suited. Pace earned $2,500 for seventh.

Sixth Place

After four players saw a flop of      , Michael Crump fired out 65k. Two players folded while Hijar moved all-in. Crump made the call. Hijar showed top pair jack kicker but Crumps     gave him two pair. No jack or queen on the turn or river meant the end of Hijars run. Sixth place paid $3,746.

Fifth Place

Having come into the final table second in chips, Mark "Pegasus" Smith took a huge hit to his stack while doubling Gerard Thorpe 175k after Thorpe completed a flush draw on the turn.

A few hands later, Smith was all-in with     against Jerold Rogers    . A jack-high board ended his Circuit Event record bid.

Though a bit disappointed, Smith was only minimally deterred. "I lost today, but Ill win tomorrow."

Fourth Place

Having built up his pot to over 380k, Gerard Thorpe turned up the aggression taking a few sizable post-flop pots after raising his opponents all-in. The maneuvers of the 35-year old contractor from Nashville, TN saw him climb even further up the leader board until he took a few hits to his stack.

Down to 132k, Thorpe put Jerold James Rogers to a decision, moving all-in on the turn after a board of        . After tanking a bit, Rogers made the hero call with    . Thorpe turned over     for a gutshot straight draw. Thorpe missed his 10 outs after a 3 came on the river. Thorpe took home $8,738.for fourth.

Third Place

Third place went to William Enis after he called Michael Crump all-in on the river after a board of          . Enis showed     for flopped top pair, but Crump turned over Ad-6c for the straight. Third paid $8,738.

Second Place

Heads-up play began at 6:46 pm with blinds and antes at 10,000/20,000/3,000 with Crump holding a considerable chip lead over Rogers.

Only a few hands into play, Rogers was all-in after the turn on a board of        .

Crump made the call with    . Rogers showed    .

A   on the river sealed the victory for Clump, earning him $20,185 and a gold ring. Second place paid $12,277. First and second places were impressive results for both players, who have been playing poker for only about two years.

"I was able to double up early after getting some good cards and afterwards picked my spots, "said Crump about his play.

"To be honest with you, Ive had very little sleep the last couple days and got a bit aggressive later which ended up working out for me," he said.

When asked about how he felt to be the owner of his first Circuit Event Ring, Crump said, "Im not sure, it hasnt sunk in yet. I have to absorb this all for a minute."

Still to come are 18 more events and 23 nightly (single-day) non-ring $230 and $340 buy-in events which begin at 4 pm and 7pm. The WSOP Circuit at Harrahs Tunica runs through February 10th.