World Series of Poker Circuit Event action continued at Harrah’s Chester with the conclusion of event #3, the $355 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event.

The third of ten official ring events scheduled for the Circuit Event Series at Chester, located just 23 miles southwest of Philadelphia, attracted 194 players, generating a total prize pool of $54,522.

Victories through the first two events here at Harrah’s Chester have gone to area locals,  but it was Burak Temel, a 21-year-old online poker pro from Arlington, VA  who stole the spotlight in event #3 to claim $14,176 in first place prize money along with the coveted WSOP Circuit Event Gold Ring.

Well, make that former online poker pro. With the recent events that have reshaped the online poker landscape, Temel was forced to adapt to change and now grinds full-time at area card rooms and on the tournament circuit.

Over the last few weeks, many US online grinders have come to a crossroads and have been forced to make tough decisions about their futures. While some have decided to wait things out in hopes of a return to what once was, others have decided to table their dreams of online success and pursue educational and other occupational endeavors.

And then there are those like Temel, who unfazed by logistical or other determents, have taken their game offline and to area and regional brick and mortars.

Temel, who immigrated to the US from Turkey as a child, says that while the current legislative climate has been a setback for him, he also looks at it as an opportunity.

“I wouldn’t have won this tournament here today if I could still play online, I’d likely would have been at home playing in the Sunday tournaments,” he said after his win.

Despite playing mostly online, this wasn’t Temel’s first live rodeo. The young pro has dabbled in a couple of WSOP Circuit Events, resulting in deep runs at Harrah’s AC and Caesars AC. With a win in event #3 at Harrah’s Chester, it can be said that he is now fully acclimated to playing with old fashioned cards.

“Besides not being able to mutli-table, I really enjoy playing live poker. It’s a lot of fun and there’s a huge sense of excitement to it.”

14 players remained after 21 levels of day one play. Day two began promptly at 2:00 pm and after a couple of levels, it was down to the official final table. Joseph Liberta held a commanding chip lead over the rest of the pack.     




Chip Count

Christopher Wolfe

St. Peters, MO



Joseph Liberta

Berlin, NJ



Rob Gallagher

Philadelphia, PA



Trevor Deeter

Philadelphia, PA



Oliver Entine

Philadelphia, PA




RB Lin

Flushing, NY



Jarrod Fulton

Washington, PA



Izzet Burak Temel

Arlington, VA



Tony Vitale

Pensacola, FL



Ninth Place

Final table play began at 3:30 pm with the blinds at 4,000/8,000. One of the short stacks, Oliver Entine, made a critical double up through Temel, which ultimately helped move him seven places up the pay ladder. Tony Vitale, however was not so lucky after moving all-in in a hand preflop with A-X vs. Temel’s pocket nines. The nines held through the river, sending Vitale off early from the final table stage.

Eighth Place

Since his first WSOP-related cash back in October at the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Circuit, Trevor Deeter has been on a hustle this Circuit season with a total of nine cashes and five final tables, spanning six stops across the country.

Dexter was eliminated in 8th place in Event #3, marking his second final table appearance so far at Harrah’s Chester. Along with the $1,599 prize money he collected, he picked up 17.5 valuable points in his bid for a seat to the WSOPC National Championship, for a total of 102.5.

Seventh Place

After Dexter’s elimination, blinds crept up to 5,000/10,000. Rob Gallagher and Entine both got it all-in in a decisive pot with Gallagher holding    and Entine tabling pocket jacks. The jacks held through a king-high board, leaving Gallagher with only a few thousand chips. Gallagher was eliminated a couple of hands later after moving all-in on the small blind. The 27-year-old Philadelphian was sent to the payout table to collect $2,036 for seventh.

Sixth Place

Action slowed a bit until the next level of blinds, when Jarrod Fulton made an all-in stand with    and was called by Temel who showed pocket sixes. The 8-4-J flop helped neither player, but a king on the turn put Fulton in the lead. Relief quickly turned into despair for Fulton however, after a six fell on the river, putting Fulton’s run to a screeching halt. Fulton is a 23-year-old former marketer turned poker player from Washington, PA. His sixth place finish earned him $2,636.

Fifth Place

Entine continued to move up the chip ladder after getting it all-in good with A-Q vs. Temel’s Q-T for a double up. Lin was able to double a few hands later through Wolfe, leaving Wolfe on the ropes. 

Wolfe moved all-in shortly after from the small blind with Q-5 suited and Liberta came along from the big with A-T off. The board improved neither player’s hand, eliminating Wolfe in fifth place. Wolfe is 23 years old from St. Peters, MO. He has multiple WSOPC cashes this season, to which he added a fifth place cash, worth $3,469 for his performance in this event.

Fourth Place

Lin was the fourth place finisher. The 30-year-old from Flushing, NY got it all-in on a 9-T-A flop with J-A vs. Temel who called with Q-J. Temel’s made his straight with the 8 on the turn, which needlessly improved to a broadway straight after the king was dealt on the river. For his two-day effort, Lin pocketed $4,644. Blinds were now at 10k/20k.

Third Place

Liberta was nearly tied with Temel for the chip lead with Entine down to about ten BB’s. In a decisive hand, Entine was able to double through Liberta with A-4 vs. Liberta’s pocket jacks.

The decisiveness of the hand was not because of the chips that changed hands, but because of how Liberta took the beat. Through the rest of the level, Entine did not hear the end of it from Liberta about his decision to shove with A-4. Clearly on tilt, Liberta turned up the aggression and steamed off a sizable portion of chips to Temel.

It all came to a head when, after a flop of T-7-K, Temel check-raised Liberta’s 75k bet to 200k. Liberta moved all-in and Temel made the instant call. Liberta tabled K-J for top pair, but saw that he was behind when Temel showed A-K. Blanks hit the turn and river and like that, Liberta was out.

Liberta walked off the final table stage to collect $6,323 for third while the rest of the table and spectators were left to process the recent turn of events, including Entine who practically was given a gift in the form of a $2,400 prize pool jump.

Second Place

Heads up play began at 7:30 pm with blinds still at 10,000/20,000 and Temel holding more than a 6-1 chip lead over Entine. With just 15 BB’s, Entine decided to wait for a good hand, which finally came in the form of pocket aces. Entine moved all-in for about 200k and with Q-T in the hole, Temel made the call. The flop came down Q-K-2 before a third queen fell on the turn, giving Temel the lead. The river was a benign 3 and the tournament was over.


Entine is a 27-year-old PhD student in statistics at the University of Pennsylvania who placed second in Event #5 last March in at WSOP Circuit at Caesars AC. For his incredible second place run, he pocketed $8,757.


For the win, Temel was awarded $14,176 in prize money and his first WSOP Circuit Gold Ring. In addition, he picked up 50 points in the all-around casino points race here at Harrah’s Chester, tying him with previous event winners, Rocco Luciano and Matthew Lope.


Still to come are seven ring events. See the complete Harrah’s Chester schedule and previous results here. The WSOP Circuit at Harrah’s Chester runs through May 10th. You can find the complete 2010/2011 WSOP CIRCUIT SCHEDULE here.