Elizabeth, IN (October 3, 2011) - In 2010, Garry Simms’ father was diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer.
The doctors said it was terminal and gave him only a few months to live.
More than a year after the prognosis, Simms found himself heads-up at the World Series of Poker Circuit in Southern Indiana playing the game his father taught him. Simms said winning a ring while his father was still living would mean the world to him. His father has defied the odds and continues his battle with cancer today. After a final table that stretched until 7:30 a.m. EST, Simms can finally take a ring home to dad.
Simms bested a field of 650 players and can show dad almost $40,000 in prize money. The sizable field in the $345 No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry tournament generated a prizepool of $187,800 and Simms recorded the largest score of his poker career.
At 2 p.m. EST, 109 players returned for Day Two of the two-day re-entry tournament. The final table of nine wasn’t decided until 1:45 a.m. local time when Todd Sladek went all-in with Ace King versus the Ace Jack of James Camp. The Jack on the flop crushed any hope Sladek had of winning a gold ring. Camp, on the other hand, moved to the final table second in chips, but all players were chasing the two million chip stack of John Sullivan.
This is the second of 12 WSOP Circuit ring events to be played at Horseshoe Southern Indiana. The WSOPC will also award two seats to the $1 million National Championship. One seat will be given to the individual who receives the most WSOP Circuit points at this stop, and thereby wins the Casino Championship. Another seat will be awarded to the champion of the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Main Event to be held October 8.
With the victory, Simms earned 50 points toward the Casino Championship. He is in a tie for first with Event 1 winner and all-time ring leader, Mark Smith. It will be a tough battle for Simms as Smith has followed up his victory with a deep run in Event 3.
Seat 1 Bobby Deppe 304,000
Seat 2 Ki Y. Kim 535,000
Seat 3 Charles Beggs 600,000
Seat 4 Jose Serratos 208,000
Seat 5 Erick Wingfield 186,000
Seat 6 James Camp 1,235,000
Seat 7 Sean Pramuk 443,000
Seat 8 John L. Sullivan 2,300,000
Seat 9 Garry Simms Jr. 846,000
Sullivan came to the final as the chip leader, but his aggressive style got the best of him early. He had lost nearly half his stack when Jose Serratos moved all-in pre-flop with a pair of Kings. Sullivan called with Ace Four. The support Serratos received from his friends along the rail couldn’t help him as an Ace came on the flop. Serratos’ Kings never improved and he was eliminated in eight place, earning $4,537.25, and Sullivan moved back toward the chip lead.
Ki Y. Kim moved all-in on a board of 10 6 7. Sullivan called instantly with 9 8 for the flopped straight and Kim showed Jack 10. The 10 on fourth street gave Kim a few outs to a full house, but he never improved. He was eliminated in fifth place and earned $9,793.73.
A few hours into three-handed play, Simms three bet Sullivan to 640,000 pre-flop and Sullivan called. On a board of , Simms checked and Sullivan moved all-in. Simms instantly called with and Sullivan tabled for a pair and a straight draw. The turn came the and the river brought a fourth heart, the . Neither player had a heart and Simms’ overpair won a pot worth more than five million. A few hands later, Sullivan moved all-in for his remaining 690,000 and Simms’ Ace Two outdrew his Ace King.
John Sullivan is a 49-year-old semi-professional poker player from Brunswick, Ohio. He is happily married and has ten children. He finished in third place and earned $17,473.
Simms began the heads-up battle against Sean Pramuk as a ten-to-one chip leader. After doubling Pramuk once, Simms finished the match off when his Ace Queen held up against Pramuk’s Ace Nine all-in pre-flop. This is Pramuk’s second runner-up finish on the WSOP Circuit. He earned $23,822 for his performance in Event 2.
Gary Simms, Jr. is a 27-year-old from Shelbyville, Kentucky. This was his first major poker accomplishment and he dedicates the victory to his father. Simms earned $38,499 for his first place finish.
You said you’re primarily a cash game player, why did you decide to play this tournament? – “Really no reason. I just really wanted a ring and it was in town. I figured I’d try to win one. It feels great.”
What does the $40,000 first prize mean to you? – “It means a lot, especially off $345. It means a whole lot.”
You mentioned the influence your father has on you. What does it mean to be able to bring this ring home to him? – “I don’t know what it means to him, but I know it means a lot to me. I’m sure it means a lot to him because he taught me the game. It feels really good to show him what he taught me paid off and it’s finally starting to show itself a little bit.”
Still to come are 10 ring events. The WSOP Circuit Events at Horseshoe Southern Indiana continue through October 10.
Each final table will be streamed live at WSOP.com
Follow us on Twitter @WSOP or “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/worldseriesofpoker