Michael Rosenbach Dominates Fourth Gold Ring Event at Lake Tahoe

San Francisco Poker Pro Makes His Second Final Table Appearance at this Series – Wins First WSOP Circuit Gold Ring

Remmel Brothers Both Make the Final Table – Ian Takes Second, Vincent Takes Third

WSOP Circuit at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe Runs through November 21st

Stateline, NV (November 13, 2011) – Michael Rosenbach is enjoying a monster run so far at the latest World Series of Poker Circuit stop, currently being held at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe.

Just two days after making an impressive final table appearance in the opener (Event #1), where he finished in fifth place in a 260-player field, Rosenbach returned to the spotlight again and this time closed the deal in dominant fashion.  The 29-year-old poker pro from San Francisco won his first WSOP Circuit gold ring, and collected $14,291 in prize money. 

With first-place and fifth-place finishes in the only two tournaments he’s entered at Harvey’s, Rosenbach rocketed into the points lead in the “Best All Around Player” race for the Lake Tahoe series and now appears to be the player to catch.  This was the third overall time he’s cashed in a WSOP Circuit event.  His first in-the-money finish took place last year.

Rosenbach graduated from UCLA with a degree in astrophysics.  He started playing poker a few years ago, but has concentrated much of his time and attention on cash games.  He plays regularly at the local cardroom in Petaluma, CA in addition to some of the Bay Area poker rooms.  Rosenbach says he has just started playing in more tournaments – which means he is likely to improve his skills and be a player to watch in the months and perhaps years ahead.

This was the fourth of 12 gold ring tournaments to be played at Lake Tahoe.  The two-day $500 (+55) No-Limit Hold’em event attracted 101 entries.  The total prize pool came to $48,985.  The top 12 players were paid.  All players who cashed received WSOP Circuit National Championship ranking points.

A full list of all players that cashed in Event #4 can be seen at WSOP.COM

The first of two playing sessions began on November 12th.  Day One included the elimination of 70 players.  There were 31 survivors who resumed the tournament on Day Two and played down to the final table. 

The Sunday afternoon finale included a rare sight – the inclusion of two brothers among the final nine players.  Ian Remmel and Vincent Remmel both took their seats, with healthy chip counts.  In fact, they did much better than just making it to the final table.  The Remmels ended up taking second and third place in what was one of the most entertaining final tables played at Lake Tahoe in some time.

The nine finalists were as follows:

SEAT 1:  Josh “Big Daddy” Pender (Rock Thrill, SC) – 129,500 in chips
SEAT 2:  Darren Williams (Davenport, CA) – 123,000 in chips
SEAT 3:  Anthony Winters (Discovery Bay, CA) – 60,000 in chips
SEAT 4:  Vincent Remmel (Whitefish, MT) – 250,000 in chips
SEAT 5:  Donald McCormack (Perris, CA) – 33,500 in chips
SEAT 6:  Michael Rosenbach (San Francisco, CA) – 273,500 in chips
SEAT 7:  Ian Remmel (Truckee, CA) – 139,000 in chips
SEAT 8:  Steve Johnson (Redwood Valley, CA) – 172,000 in chips
SEAT 9:  Julius O. Estrada (Alameda, CA) – 32,500 in chips

Final table play began at 4:45 pm.  Play ended at 8:30 pm local time.

9th Place – Donald McCormack arrived at the final table as one of the shortest stacks.  He survived about 20 minutes but ended up losing to the pair of kings.  McCormack is a 24-year-old engineer from Perris, CA.  This was the first WSOP Circuit event he has played.  To his credit, not too many players can claim they cashed in their first WSOP-related tournament.

8th Place – Josh “Big Daddy” Pender, a self-described “professional partier” from Rock Thrill, SC, ended up in eighth place.  “Big Daddy” got his nickname because he likes to say “Give it to Daddy” when he wins a pot.  Unfortunately, the party animal wasn’t doing much screaming at this final table.  He did manage to collect $1,565.  Pender also have five cashes at the WSOP in Las Vegas, including two final table appearances.

7th Place – Julius O. Estrada, from Alameda, CA came in seventh place.  He is 39-years-old and works in retail.  This marked his first time to cash in a WSOP Circuit event.  It was also the first WSOP Circuit event he has entered.

6th Place – Anthony Winters froze at the final table in sixth place.  He is a 32-year-old business owner from Discovery Bay, CA.  His business is called Growers Choice Hydro.  Earlier this year, Winters finished third in a World Poker Tour regional event, played in Reno.  This was his highest WSOP-related finish, to date.

5th Place – Steve Johnson, from Redwood Valley, CA finished in fifth place.  He is a 62-year-old engineer.  Johnson is a Vietnam Veteran and also enjoys scuba diving.  But there was no treasure in store for the part-time poker player, other than the fifth-place payout amounting to $3,395.

4th Place – Darren Williams, who says he is a hypnotist, wasn’t able to put his opponents in a trance.  He was eliminated during the third hour of play.  He is 47-years-old and lives in Davenport, CA.  When asked about his background, Williams added he has no tournament accomplishments and has “gone broke online several times.”  Nevertheless, Williams could be proud of his first WSOP-related final table appearance here at Lake Tahoe.

3rd Place – Vincent Remmel, from Whitefish, MT was in an unusual spot sitting at a three-handed final table playing against his brother for a gold ring.  But what could have been a riveting Remmel-Remmel showdown never materialized due to the dominance of Michael Rosenbach, who would go on to victory.  Vincent went out and collected $6,188 for a fine effort.  This was his best WSOP-related cash.  However, Remmel did win an event here at Harvey’s during the Sierra Poker Classic, a few years ago.  Like his brother, one of his favorite pastimes is snowboarding.

2nd Place – Ian Remmel finished as the runner up.  He is a 28-year-old student from Truckee, CA.  He enjoys snowboarding, when he’s not playing poker.  Remmel’s previous poker accomplishments include two cashes earlier this year at the Pot of Gold poker series in Reno.  Second place paid $8,570.

When heads-up play began, Rosenbach enjoyed a seemingly insurmountable 10 to 1 chip advantage.  It only took about ten minutes for him to eliminate his final opponent.

The final hand was dealt as follows:


Rosenbach was ahead the entire way.  Remmel was forced to play a marginal hand because he was so low on chips and the blinds were high.  He got his money in with a live hand, but failed to connect in any way with the board.  Meanwhile, the hand just got better and better for Rosenbach, who made a pair on the turn, and ended up with a full house – eights full of nines -- to take down first place.

1st Place – Michael Rosenbach, a 29-year-old poker pro from San Francisco won his first WSOP Circuit gold ring.  He collected $13,874 in prize money.  Rosenbach is originally from New Jersey.  Prior to playing poker for a living, he worked in management.

Rosenbach’s victory was even more impressive given that was in total command during the entire duration of the four-hour finale.  He was never in jeopardy of busting and maintained a healthy chip lead from start to finish.  In short, his victory never seemed in doubt given his degree of focus and chip advantage during the final stages of the tournament.

With his victory, Rosenbach is now ahead of two previous winners David Clark (Event #1) and Mark Bonsack (Event #3) as the early leader in this WSOP Circuit’s “Best All-Around Player” standings (Event #2 is still pending at the time this report was posted).  The player who accumulates the most overall points in Lake Tahoe’s twelve combined gold ring tournaments receives a pre-paid entry into the $1 million 2011-2012 WSOP Circuit National Championship, to be held in Las Vegas, next May.  At least two players from this tournament series will qualify for the WSOP Circuit National Championship, which is classified as a WSOP gold bracelet event.  The other automatic qualifier will be the winner of Lake Tahoe’s Main Event championship.

With the first four tournaments now wrapped up, there are still eight more gold ring events remaining in what is being billed as a “12 rings in 12 days” poker series.  The WSOP Circuit at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe continues through November 21st.  This year’s schedule includes not only all the gold ring events, but multiple second-chance tournaments (at 5 pm and 7 pm most days), single table and mega satellites, plus cash games going around the clock inside the Harvey’s Poker Room.