TUNICA, MS. – On this Valentine’s Day weekend, millions of couples around the world will celebrate their devotion to one another with flowers, candy or romantic nights out. However after poker pro La Sengphet’s win at Ring Event #8 at Harrah’s Tunica, she and her boyfriend, David Clark marked the annual commemoration of love with jewelry - matching WSOP Circuit Event gold rings.

Sengphet, the first woman to win a WSOP Circuit Event ring since Daphne Turner at Harrah’s New Orleans last May, beat out 283 opponents to claim victory, worth $32,394 and a coveted piece of WSOPC hardware to call her own.

Clark, who won Ring Event #1 at the WSOP Circuit in Choctaw only weeks ago, found himself on the other side of the rail cheering his girlfriend on as the Team Pokerati pro played masterfully throughout the final table.

Sengphet, along with the starting final table chip leader, toy store owner and poker author Kelli Mix, made being a guy tough for the remaining seven players at the table with strong aggressive play throughout the night.




Chip Count

Michael Anderson

Chesapeake, VA



Daniel Gerald

Nashville, TN



La Sengphet

Dallas, TX



Michael Vardeman

Lernerville, TX



D. Hartfield




Jeff Bell

San Antonio



Kelli Mix

Carrollton, GA



William McMahon Jr.

Newport, TN



Andrew Nguyen

Dallas, TX




Ninth Place                 

The elimination of Paul DeRosa in 10th place marked the start of the official final table at about 5:15 pm. Blinds and antes were at 6,000/12,000/2,000 when play resumed.

Early action saw Michael Anderson all-in preflop UTG and getting calls from Sengphet and Mix. The two ladies checked the pot down to the river on a       board. Sengphet showed pocket nines, good enough to take the three-way pot and eliminate Anderson in ninth place.

Anderson is a 43-year-old car dealer from Chesapeake, VA. His first-ever WSOP Circuit cash was worth $2,972.

Eighth Place

Later in the round, Mix opened for 32,000 from the hijack seat and got a button call from William McMahon. Mix led out for 65,000 after a flop of     and McMahon came along. The turn brought the   after which Mix moved all-in.

McMahon called for his remaining chips, showing    but was trailing after Mix turned over   . McMahon was left drawing to one of the remaining sevens in the deck, but the river was the  . McMahon, a poker player from Newport, TN made his early exit from the table to collect $3,725 for eighth place.

Seventh Place

A key hand took place just before the first break of the night. Mix made it 32,000 to go pre-flop from early position and Sengphet made the call. After the blinds folded, the flop came down    . Mix bet 75,000 and Sengphet called.

The turn was the  . This time, Mix checked-called Sengphet 80,000. After the   on the river, Mix fired out 200,000, leaving Sengphet to a tough decision. After tanking for a few minutes, Sengphet finally obliged and showed flopped middle pair,   . It turned out to be a monster call after Mix tabled   . “Nice call,” said Mix tapping the felt.

With Sengphet the new chip leader, the players returned from the break to blinds of 8,000/16,000. Shortly after play resumed, Andrew Nguyen bet out 72,000 on a     heads-up flop and Jeff Bell moved all-in over the top. Nguyen called with A-6 but was trailing Bell’s K-J. An ace on the turn left Bell needing a six-outer on the river, which he was denied after a benign   was dealt. Bell is a 61-year-old retiree from San Antonio, TX. Seventh place paid $4,740.

Sixth Place

Action folded around to Daniel Gerald and Sengphet in the blinds. Sengphet checked the big before an     flop. Both players checked and after the   turn, Gerald made it 32,000 to go. Sengphet raised to 110,000 total and Gerald three-bet all-in for his remaining chips with   . Sengphet called and was ahead with    where she remained after a six on the river. Gerald is a 30-year-old printer from Nashville, TN. He collected $6,125 for sixth.

Fifth Place

D. Hartfield was eliminated in fifth place after losing a race all-in with    vs. Michael Vardeman pocket threes. Fifth was worth $8,037.


Fourth Place

Mix, Vardeman and Nguyen saw a three-way flop of     and Vardeman check-raised Nguyen to 300k total, prompting Mix to fold before Nguyen moved all-in. Vardeman called, showing top pair   , but was trumped by Nguyen who tabled pocket aces. Aces held through the river, leaving Vardeman crippled down to a single blind. Vardeman, who won a circuit event in 2008 at Harrah’s New Orleans, was eliminated the next hand and headed to the payout table to collect $10,717 fourth place prize money.


Third Place

Blinds were now at 10,000/20,000 with the three remaining players nearly even in chips. Sengphet continued her aggression, putting herself at nearly a 2-1 lead over her remaining opponents. The two shorter stacks went heads-up to a flop of     after which Mix made a huge shove with    Nguyen made an instant call, tabling another pair of aces.


Mix was unable to make the straight after the   and   hit the turn and river and her tournament run was over. Mix owns a toy store in her home town of Carrollton, GA. She is the author of “The Game Day Poker Almanac Official Rules of Poker.” For her two-day effort, Mix earned $20,019.


Second Place

Heads up play began at 7:15 pm with Nguyen holding a slight lead over Sengphet. Nguyen was able to distance himself to a 2-1 chip lead over his opponent which he increased to nearly 8-1 by the end of the level.


A few hands after blinds moved up to 12,000/24,000, Sengphet was able to double up with pocket sixes vs. Nguyen’s    and again with    vs. Nguyen’s pocket fives to put herself at nearly a 5-1 lead.


The final hand of the night saw Nguyen lead the betting through a board of      before moving all-in after a   on the river. Sengphet called and showed    which was good enough to eliminate Nguyen, who turned over pocket fours.


Nguyen, a poker player from Dallas, TX, took home $20,019 for his runner-up finish.


Sengphet also hails from Dallas, TX and incredibly, she and Nguyen are friends who travelled together to Mississippi.  Along with Clark, the three made their way to Harrah’s Tunica only a couple of days ago from their hometown.


“Unreal, just unreal, “said Sengphet after the win. Me and Andy were kidding around at the start of the final table that we were going to go heads up, but I didn’t think it was going to happen.”


“I had middle pair gutshot,” said Sengphet of the decisive key hand between she and Mix earlier in the night, which would have left her crippled had it gone the other way. Sengphet went on to explain that because of her opponent’s large chip stack and wide range of opening hands, she put Mix on a flush draw to the river after she checked-called the turn.


Sengphet, who final tabled the ladies event at the 2010 World Series of Poker, collected $32,394 for her win, 50 points toward the WSOPC National Championship and a Circuit Event gold ring to match her boyfriend’s.


For the couple, it could not have been a more fitting start to the Valentine’s day weekend. Sengphet said that she met Clark in a poker room and that her aggressive style balances Clark’s more conservative MO... both on and off the felt. 


As far as her poker plans for the future, Sengphet says she has her eye on the 2011 WSOP Ladies Event bracelet.


When asked if Clark had plans to put a ring on the one finger that counts, she shot a playful glance over a Clark and said, “You’re going to have to ask him. I’m 35 and he doesn’t have much time, that’s all I’m saying. Tick Tick Tick.”


Clark, who conveniently had his eyes focused on his smartphone, could only respond with a sheepish chuckle.

Still to come are 13 events and 2 ring events. See the complete Harrah’s Tunica Circuit schedule and previous results here.  The WSOP Circuit at Tunica runs through February 15th. You can find the complete 2010/2011 WSOP CIRCUIT SCHEDULE here.