ST. LOUIS, MO. – WSOP Circuit Event action continued through the weekend at Harrah’s St. Louis as the second of ten scheduled official ring events came to an end Sunday. The winner of Ring Event #2 was Dan Sztenderowicz, a 23-year-old poker pro from Philadelphia, PA.

Large numbers continued to pour into Harrah’s St. Louis. Event #2 drew 709 players, generating a total prize pool of $202,906.

A couple of notables made an appearance on the tournament floor over the weekend, including one of poker’s living legends, Amarillo Slim Preston, who made the trip up to St. Louis from his ranch in New Mexico to try his hand at the WSOP Circuit.

The 82-year-old, four-time WSOP bracelet winner mixed it up with the crowd over the weekend- sharing stories, signing autographs and playing poker.

“I got a call from one of my cowboys to come up and play last week,” said Preston, donning one of his trademark cowboy hats and a pair of ostrich skin boots. 

“I wasn’t doing anything so I decided to come on up.”

Also making his presence at the poker tables over the weekend was Grammy award winning hip-hop artist and avid poker player, Nelly. 




Chip Count

Daniel Swentik

Vernon, TX



Chris Feiner

Denver, CO



Mark Koeln

St. Louis, MO



Paul Jespen

Rolla, MO



Donald Swentik

Burleson, TX



Dan Sztenderowicz

Philadelphia, PA



Ryan Hill

Atlanta, GA



Mark Koeln

St. Louis, MO



Brett Balber

St. Louis, MO




Final table play began with blinds and antes at 3,000/10,000/20,000. Jared Speckmeyer of O’Fallon, MO suffered the first elimination of the night after running his pocket sevens all in against Mark Koeln’s pocket queens. The queens held and Speckmeyer made his early exit to collect $3,892 for ninth. Just a couple of hands later, 41-year-old Brett Balber of St. Louis, MO was eliminated after losing a race with    vs. Ryan Hill’s pocket nines. Balber pocketed $4,902 for eighth.


A few orbits into the 15,000/30,000 level, the first of the Swentik twins, Daniel saw his tournament run end after moving all-in from the big blind with    vs. Paul Jepsen’s pocket Jacks. Daniel was unable to improve on a king-high board and his tournament day was over. Daniel Swentik is a 51-year old former table games dealer from Vernon, TX. Seventh place paid $6,254.


The chip leader heading into the final table, Chris Feiner, was unable to get things going and prematurely found himself near the opposite end of the leader board. He was eliminated in brutal fashion all-in with pocket three’s vs. Koeln’s    after Koeln completed a straight on the river. Feiner’s first-ever major tournament cash earned him $8,082.


Ryan Hill started the final table second in chips and like Feiner, was also poised to make his first major tournament cash. Whether it was inexperience or bad timing, Hill also saw his chip stack erode and ultimately made an all-in stand. Hill was left needing help from the board with pocket fives vs. Koeln’s pocket nines but neither player’s hand improved through the river leaving Hill forced to settle for a fifth place finish. Fifth place paid $10,582.


The other brother Swentik , Donald, was eliminated after moving all-in with    on an     flop. Koeln made the call with    and hit his flush after the   came on the turn. Swentik is a construction contractor from Burleson, TX. For fourth place, he pocketed $14,039.


Dan Sztenderowicz got all of his chips in the middle with pocket tens and got a call from Paul Jespen, who tabled   . The board came down       to end Jespen’s run. Jespen took $18,878 third place prize money to his hometown of Rolla, MO.


Heads up play began shortly after midnight with blinds at 25,000/50,000. with Koeln and Sztenderowicz at 3 million and 3.9 million chips, respectively. The two went heads up for fifteen minutes before the final hand of the night when on a board of      , Koeln had all of his chips in the pot with two pair, aces and eights, but was trumped by Sztenderowicz’s trip sixes.


Koeln is a 26-year-old real estate agent from St. Louis. This was his second-ever major tournament cash. His first came in an event at last year’s WSOP Circuit here at Harrah’s St. Louis. His two-day effort in this year’s event #2 earned him $25,739.


The winner of the tournament was Dan Sztenderowicz of Philadelphia, PA. For his win, he earned $41,589 and the coveted WSOP Circuit gold ring.


As the night progressed, it became clear that Sztenderowicz was the player to beat. A few players commented about how ‘the kid in the black hoodie’ ended up with their chips earlier in the day while many others voiced their prediction that Sztenderowicz would be the winner even before play got down to the final table.


This was by far the biggest live tournament cash in Sztenderowicz’s young career. His previous largest cash was at the Borgata Summer Open in 2010 where he placed third in an event for over $18,000.


Still to come are 28 events and 8 ring events. See the complete Harrah’s St. Louis Circuit schedule and previous results here.  The WSOP Circuit at St. Louis runs through April 12th. You can find the complete 2010/2011 WSOP CIRCUIT SCHEDULE here.