During his years playing D1 basketball at Brown University, Ben Logan was well-served by his nearly seven foot stature. The 2002-2003 Lindys Sports pre-season rookie of the year, Logan made his presence known in the paint, grabbing rebounds and putting up points.

Nowadays, the 26-year-old from Tiverton, RI continues to keep the competitive juices flowing, not on the hardwood, but on the soft felt. And while height has about as much use in poker as an ashtray on a motorcycle, the Ivy Leaguer relies on critical thinking and good card sense to give him a head up on all comers.

Logan’s instincts saw him through a tough field in the $345 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. tournament to take first place, worth $10,755 and his first WSOP Circuit gold ring.

Although he has multiple cashes in past years at the annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, this was Logan’s first time playing at a WSOP Circuit Event. Having just come back from business overseas, he says that he regrets only now being able to join the chase for a seat into the WSOP Circuit National Championship and that the event is a huge opportunity undervalued by many players.

138 players ponied up the $345 buy-in for Ring Event #4, generating a total prize pool of $38,406. By the end of day one, it was down to the final table. Joining Logan at there was this year’s Harrah’s Tunica Main Event Champion, Sam Barnhart and Kristopher Tong, who incredibly made the final table in the previous night’s Omaha 8 Ring Event. Ryan Tepen was the chip leader heading into the final stretch with Logan second in chips.

Name

Hometown

Seat

Chip Count

Martin Warren

Rolla, MO

1

166,000

Sam Barnhart

Little Rock, AR

2

153,000

Ryan Tepen

Bowling Green, MO

3

368,000

Shaun Burnett

Lacona, IA

4

125,000

Andrew Barber

Sacramento, CA

5

45,000

Michael Mann

Westerly, RI

6

82,000

Benjamin Logan

Tiverton, RI

7

286,000

Kristopher Tong

St. Louis, MO

8

155,000

Eighth Place   

After the final eight players were announced, play resumed shortly after 2:00 pm. The first elimination came during the hold’em round when the short stack, Andrew Barber’s K-10 was beat on the river by Benjamin Logan’s A-Q after a river king made Logan’s straight. Barber is a 27-year-old engineer from Sacramento, CA, Barber took the WSOPC Harvey’s Lake Tahoe Casino Championship back in May, securing an early seat to the WSOPC National Championship. Eighth place paid $1,217.

Seventh Place

A second elimination came during the hold’em round when Michael Mann got in all his chips in a three-way pot with Ryan Tepen and Shaun Burnett. Burnett took the pot with two pair, sending Mann to the rail. Mann is a 30-year-old former treasurer turned poker pro from Westerly, RI. He pocketed $1,549 for seventh.

Sixth Place

Burnett was the next player to make his exit after he was outdrawn in a hand of razz all-in vs. Martin Warren. The 37-year-old from Lacona, IA took home $2,004 for his two-day effort.

Fifth Place

After a bad run of cards, Barnhart was eliminated in fifth place. Barnhart is a systems analyst for the Little Rock school district. In February, Barnhart took down the WSOPC Main Event at Harrah’s Tunica, earning $148,612 and a seat to the WSOPC National Championship. His fifth place finish in today’s event paid $2,635.

Fourth Place

The two short stacks, Warren and Kristopher Tong experienced a bit of a roller coaster ride during the final stretch. Tong, down to just a couple of bring ins, scooped a four-way pot during a hand of stud, leaving Warren on the verge of elimination. Warren however, was able to double twice through Ryan Tepen to stay alive. A few hands later, Tong survived a second all-in, but finally saw his luck run out after missing on a flush draw to Tepen. Tong’s second consecutive final table finish in two days earned him $3,525.

 

Third Place

Warren succumbed to the felt a short while after Tong in the Stud 8 round when his pair of sixes were trumped by Tepen’s pair of nines. Warren is 54 years old from Rolla, MO. The self-employed married father of four learned the game of poker in “Uncle Hershel’s basement” back in 1978. He collected $4,798 for third.

 

Second place

It was down to Logan and Tepen heads up. Tepen had a marginal lead over his opponent but after a back and forth matchup, fell to a sizable deficit. The final hand of the night saw Tepen lead the betting in a hand of hold’em through a       board. Tepen was all-in on the river and Logan made the call tabling jacks full   . Tepen mucked his hand and it was all over.

 

Tepen is a 25-year-old poker pro from Bowling Green, MO. A former convenience store assistant manager, Tepen is enjoying marginal success on the poker circuit with numerous major tournament wins. His second place finish today was worth $6,647.


For his victory, Logan was awarded $10,755, the coveted WSOP Circuit gold ring and fifty points toward the WSOP Circuit National Championship race.


In addition to skill, Logan attributes his win to good timing which helped him get into a rhythm and build confidence during the final table.

 

Two players from Harrah’s St. Louis will earn an entry into the $1 million 2010-2011 WSOP Circuit National Championship, to be held in May at Caesars Palace Las Vegas – the winner of the $1,600 buy-in Main Event along with the overall points leader through the ten ring events here at Harrah’s St. Louis.

 

With four official ring events in the books, Logan sits in a five-way tie in the Harrah’s St. Louis points race at fifty each with previous ring winners Mark Pearse, Dan Sztenderowicz, and Kurt Jewell along with Kristopher Tong whose back-to-back final table finishes also put him at fifty.

 

Jewell, who already earned his seat from his win at the Horseshoe Hammond Main Event, is not eligible for a second entry but can still be the overall point earner through the series. If he were to accomplish this feat, the player with the second most overall points would be awarded the National Championship seat.

 

Still to come are 22 events and 6 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.