TUNICA, MS – David Johnson is the winner of Event # 4 of the World Series of Poker Circuit Events at Harrah’s Tunica. A 17-year member of the U.S. Armed Forces and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Johnson emerged victorious in the 800-player tournament.

The $340 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Saturday event drew the largest turnout so far in the Tunica Circuit, concluding in the early morning hours of Monday, January 25th.

Johnson fought an uphill battle to make his way through the massive field to the final table.




Chip Count

Adam Stein

Nashville, TN



Kenny "Badhat" Piel

Tunica, MS



David Brown

Wichita, KS



Pete Sullivan

Roscoe, IL



Radwan Khuri

Memphis, TN



Dustin Gardner

Sikeston, MO



David Johnson

Bonaire, GA



Brian Roberts

Ridgeville, IN



Dan Gordon

Marietta, GA



Ninth Place

The final nine players began play at 9:18 pm with blinds and antes at 12,000/24,000/4,000. After a few rounds of play, Dustin Gardner raised 200k pre-flop from middle position and Brown moved all-in from the button. Gardner made the call with     while Brown showed    .

Brown picked up an inside straight draw after a flop of   [T]   which was completed by a 4 on the turn, ending Gardner’s tournament run. Gardner, a 32-year-old machine operator from Sikeston, MO, collected $3,729 .

Eighth Place

Former Bluff Magazine managing editor Dan Gordon, was the next player to be escorted to the payout table after re-raising Brian Roberts all-in from middle position for his remaining 250,000. Roberts was behind, having made the call with     vs. Gordon’s pocket queens. However, nines on the flop and turn resulted in quads for Roberts and an eighth place finish for Gordon. Eighth paid $4,321.

Seventh Place

Adam Stein moved all-in from the cutoff for 445,000 with A-4 suited and Kenny "Badhat" Piel made the call from the small blind with pockets 8’s. A four on the board was not enough for Stein to catch up and he was eliminated in seventh. The 43-year old MRI Technician earned $5,458.

Sixth Place

After taking a few hits to his stack, Brown moved his remaining chips all-in with    . Sullivan called with pocket tens. No help on the board for Brown meant the end of his tournament run. The 33-year old pediatric dentist from Wichita was paid $8,255 for sixth.

Fifth Place

A little while after the final five players negotiated a deal that flattened out the remaining prize pool, Radwan "Doc" Khuri and Roberts were involved in a hand that saw both players all-in on a board of 4-Q-9. Roberts flopped the set with    , but allowed Khuri to complete his straight on the turn with pocket K-J.

"10!" demanded Roberts as the river was dealt. And there it was…

A ten on the river filled the boat for Roberts, sending Khuri to the rail. Khuri, a psychiatrist from Memphis, was left probably needing a bit of therapy of his own after taking the beat. He earned $10,892 for his efforts.

Fourth Place

Down to four players, Piel was the next to be escorted to the payout table. All-in pre-flop with K-6 suited against Pete Sullivan’s pocket nines, Piel was unable to improve on the board, ending his ring bid. Piel, a professional poker player and former golf pro whose stylish trademark hats and card protectors are available on his website,, collected $13,508 for fourth.

Third Place

Roberts held nearly half the chips in play at one point during the final table, but after losing a few costly pots was all-in for about one million with    . David Johnson, who was down at one point to a mere 125,000, made the call with pocket jacks. It was set over set as a 9 and jack hit the flop. Blanks on the turn and river were all she wrote for Roberts.

Roberts, a 2007/2008 Circuit Event winner at Horseshoe Southern Indiana picked up his sixth Circuit Event cash of $16,678.

Second Place

Heads up play began at about 2:45 am with blinds and antes at 50,000/100,000/20,000. Johnson had a decisive chip lead over his opponent after a few rounds of doubling through one another. The final hand of the tournament saw Sullivan all-in with     and Johnson in with    . A nine high flop with a 5 and a 4 on the turn and river gave Johnson the win.

"I started playing online and a little bit on the base," said Johnson, whose Circuit Event win also marked his first ever major tournament cash.

"This is unbelievable, it was marathon, but it was a lot of fun," said the military vet.

There are over 180,000 troops currently deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Johnson had this to say to his fellow servicemen overseas.

"Be safe, be smart, listen to your leaders and come home."

Still to come are 15 more events and single-day non-ring $230 and $340 buy-in events which begin at 4 pm and 7pm. The WSOP Circuit at Harrah’s Tunica runs through February 10th.