Here at Harrah’s St. Louis, players came from all over to take home the spoils of a WSOPC Championship win. They came from Illinois, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Alabama. Even players from as far away as Rhode Island and Canada have walked away with Gold Ring victories.

But curiously, no one from Missouri had been able to ensure that a piece of the 2010/2011 World Series of Poker Circuit Events at Harrah’s St. Louis remains here in the Show-Me-State.

That was, until Rob Ellerman of Lee’s Summit, MO came away with a hard fought win late Saturday night in Ring Event #8, walking away with $34,722 and the coveted WSOP Circuit Gold Ring.

574 players each put up the $345 buy-in to compete in the two-day, No Limit Hold’em tournament, generating a total prize pool of $165,364 from which 64 spots were paid.

Shortly after the money bubble burst late Friday night, day one play ended with 44 players remaining. Day two play resumed promptly at 2:00 pm and continued until the official final table was set. The chip leader heading into the final stretch with Ellerman was fellow Missourian, Askia Ingram.





Chip Count

Jerry Paskert

Fairview Heights, IL



Eddie Smurzynski

Midlothian, IL



Rob Ellerman

Lee’s Summit, MO



Robert Oxford

Rosedale, IN



Askia Ingram

Florissant, MO



Doug Campbell

Highland, IL



Nicholas Immekus

Pittsburgh, PA



Tim Palmer

Springfield, IL



Steve Goff

Eureka, IL



Ninth Place

The final nine resumed play just after 5 pm with blinds at 6,000/12,000.The short stack, Eddie Smurzynski was the first player to exit the final table stage after moving all-in with A-Q and getting called by Doug Campbell with pocket jacks. Jacks held through the river to end Smurzynski’s tournament run. Ninth place paid $3,221.

Eighth Place

The next level of blinds, 8,000/16,000, brought another elimination from the final table stage when Nicholas Immekus got it all in preflop with    vs. Ingram’s   . Immekus was unable to catch up to his larger-stacked opponent on an ace-high board and made his way to the payout table to collect eighth place prize money.

Immekus is a 24-year-old former bartender turned online poker pro from Pittsburgh, PA. He states that he has amassed nearly half a million dollars in online poker earnings since he began playing in 2003. His eighth place live cash in Ring Event #8 at Harrah’s St. Louis earned him $4,055.

Seventh Place

After a flop of    , Doug Campbell made it 100,000 to go before Ingram check-raised for 500,000 total. Campbell moved all-in over the top and Ingram made the quick call.

Campbell tabled top pair, top kicker A-K, but Ingram turned over Q-10 for the flopped straight. The turn and river were no help to Campbell and he was eliminated. Campbell is a 47-year-old business owner from Highland, IL and has a World Series of Poker cash under his belt. For seventh, Campbell picked up $5,173.

Sixth Place

After busting Campbell, Ingram now sat at over 2 million in chips. But unfortunately for the 34-year-old photography salesman from Florissant, MO, it would be all downhill from there. In the key hand of the night, he, Robert Oxford and Rob Ellerman saw a three-way flop of    . Oxford moved all-in for about half a million with Ellerman making the call for all his chips along with Ingram.

It was an incredible three-way showdown with Oxford revealing pocket deuces for bottom set, Ellerman tabling pocket sevens for middle set and Ingram showing    for the nut flush draw. The   on the turn didn’t bring the spade Ingram needed. A spade did fall on the river, but unfortunately it was the queen of spades, tripling Elllerman up and doubling Oxford while leaving dropping Ingram down to around the chip average.

While the hand was a devastating one for Ingram, Steve Goff was also not too pleased with its outcome which denied him a guaranteed $5k jump up the pay ladder. Unable to get much going with his short stack, he finally found a spot and moved all-in with    and got a call from Oxford with pocket sixes. Sixes held through an ace-high board, sending Goff to the rail in sixth place. Goff is a 25-year-old amateur poker player from Eureka, IL, (and perhaps the first poker player in history to ever claim that status.) He collected $6,689 for sixth.

Fifth Place

Ingram’s night continued to go south after doubling Jerry Paskert when his pocket fours failed to hold against Paksert’s A-K. Shortly after, he doubled Oxford after calling with pocket sixes and seeing another small pocket pair get cracked by big slick, this time on the river.

Ingram eventually got his remaining stack in from the big blind with    and was called by Tim Palmer with   . Ingram was unable to improve on his opponent and was forced to settle for a disappointing fifth place finish. Ingram has booked numerous local tournament wins since he began playing in 2008. For his valiant effort in ring event #8, he collected $8,769.

Fourth Place

Jerry Paskert was the fourth place finisher. After moving all-in over the top for about 700k with    Goff called with    and was able to make queens full on the board. Paskert is a 43-year-old biotech sales representative from Fairview Heights, IL. He’s played in two WSOP Main Events and has $35,000 in total cashes. He added another $11,655 to that total for finishing in fourth.

Third Place

Blinds moved up to the 25,000/50,000 level just before Oxford was all-in preflop with with K-Q and getting called by Goff with pocket tens. The tens held firm through the river, ending Oxford’s tournament run. Oxford is a 39-year-old registered nurse from Rosedale, IN. Third place paid $15,706.

Second Place

Heads up, it was down to Palmer and Ellerman. Palmer had about a 2.5-1 chip lead over his opponent when play resumed at about 12:20 am. As they did throughout the final table, the two played a thoughtful heads up matchup, not willing to just leave it all to the board pre-flop.

After over an hour heads up, Ellerman was able to chip up to a slight lead over Palmer and after a flop of    , re-raised Palmer all-in with   . Palmer called, turning over top two pair kings and 8’s. The   turn missed Ellerman’s flush draw, but a   fell on the river, giving Ellerman the victory. Palmer is a 45-year-old project manager from Springfield, IL. His runner up finished earned him $21,479.

For his victory, Ellerman took home $34,722 and the coveted WSOPC gold ring. It was a hard fought final table for Ellerman that lasted over seven hours. The 37-year-old father of two also picks up fifty points toward the WSOPC National Championship race.

Still to come are 10 events and 2 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.