Council Bluffs, IA (April 4, 2012)At first glance, Duane Gerleman doesn’t fit the stereotypical mold of a poker player. He conducts himself in an innocent, reserved manner and if you aren’t looking for him, you might forget he’s there -- until he has all your chips.

Gerleman’s quiet demeanor lulled the competition to sleep in Event #6, a $350 Limit Omaha Eight or Better tournament, and he went home with $10,428 and his first ring. The win was a long time coming, having recorded seven Circuit final tables before his breakthrough victory.

“It feels great,” Gerleman said. “I’ve had several final table experiences, but this is my first ring.”

Gerleman primarily plays tournament poker because he feels he is too impulsive to play cash games. The lure of being able to re-buy causes him to play loose and get off his game. Tournament poker, on the other hand, has a one-and-done aspect that forces Gerleman to make all his decisions meticulously because his tournament life depends on them. 

His decision making in Event #6 was flawless and the tournament was Gerleman’s to lose from Day 1. He bagged at the end of the day with the chip lead and retained the lead all the way to the final table. There was a brief stint when play was eight-handed where Gerleman spewed some chips, but he righted the ship and got the job done.

He went on to make short work of the final table, sealing the deal in about three hours.

More information on Event #6, including photos and results, can be found HERE.

The final table players stacked up as follows :
 Seat 1  Eric Narnado  St. Marys, KS  282,000
 Seat 2  Duane Gerleman  Ridgeway, IL  311,000
 Seat 3  Kelly Vande Mheen  Omaha, NE  92,000
 Seat 4  Vince Nigro  Omaha, NE  43,000
 Seat 5  David Nicholson  Biloxi, MS  180,000
 Seat 6  Mike Lynch  Appleton, WI  37,000
 Seat 7  Terry Stork  Omaha, NE  94,000
 Seat 8  Joel Inderdahl  Scandinavia, WI  86,000
 Seat 9  Steve Rock  Salina, KS  76,000
 Seat 10  Paul Sokoloff  Toronoto, ON, CA   77,000

Tenth Place: The tournament’s tenth place finisher was Vincent Nigro. He is a 31-year-old physical therapist assistant from Omaha, NE. This final table marked his first WSOP cash. He earned $764.

Ninth Place: Joel Inderdahl was born on Friday the 13th and that has defined his life’s superstitions. Black cats, walking under ladders and opening umbrellas inside -- Inderdahl finds them all good luck. ‘That’s what being born on Friday the 13th will do for you,” he said. He certainly could have used some more luck in Event 6, finishing ninth. He earned $942.

Inderdahl is a 35-year-old UPS supervisor from Scandinavia, WI. He has played 200 rounds of golf each year for the past five years.

Eighth Place: Paul “Bicycle” Sokoloff rode his way to eighth place and was awarded $1,180.

Sokoloff won a ring in a No-Limit Hold’em event in Tunica earlier this year and has now recorded two more final tables since. He is a 43-year-old business owner from Toronto, ON, CA. 

Seventh Place: Eric Varnado is an accomplished tournament player but had never recorded a WSOP cash until this final table. He earned $1,502.

Varnado is a married and has nine children -- Xavier, Thomas, Emily, Julia, Jack, Jude, Quentin, Titus and Matt. In addition, he coaches soccer.

Sixth Place: While much of the table had ample poker resumes, David Nicholson seemed to stand above them all. The 26-year-old poker player from Biloxi, MS started out the 2011/2012 Circuit tour with a WSOPC final table and Main Event victory in Bossier City. In the time since he has won a second ring and recorded five more cashes including two final tables. In all, his career earnings on the Circuit are just short of $200,000. His most recent cash awarded $1,943. 

Fifth Place: In 2007 Kelly Vande Mheen final tabled a $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max event at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas where he placed fifth for $96,453. He also won a Circuit ring in 2009 right here at this very property. Kelly couldn’t follow up the performance and ring number two will have to wait. He earned $2,556 for fifth place.

Vande Mheen is a 49-year-old small business owner from Omaha, NE.

Fourth Place: Michael Lynch is a 63-year-old retiree from Appleton, WI. He says his poker ambition is to have fun. He has recorded four cashes in four different years in Council Bluffs. His most recent cash awarded $3,419.

Third Place: This was Steven Rock’s first career WSOP cash. He is a 54 and resides in Salina, KS where he works as a truck driver for UPS. He earned $4,653 for third.

Second Place: Terry Stork is 65 and lives in Omaha, NE. When he isn’t trying his luck on the tournament felt he likes to bet horses. He is retired and earned $6,446 for his second place finish.

First Place: Duane Gerleman now has 13 career WSOP cashes, including two deep runs in the Seniors Event at the WSOP in Las Vegas. In addition, he has made eight Circuit final tables, seven of which came in Council Bluffs.

This was his first Circuit win, and the final hand came when Stork found himself so short he was all-in pre-flop. Gerleman woke up with      and the rest was history. Stork never improved and Gerleman won, earning $10,428.

“The deck hit me,” Gerleman said about his short heads-up battle. “How often do you get a guy going all-in when you’re holding     ?”

Gerleman is a 56-year-old farmer from Ridgeway, IA. He previously worked as a craps dealer for 15 years. His poker ambition is to cash in the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas.

WSOP Circuit events continue at Horseshoe Council Bluffs through April 10. The Main Event will take place April 7.

About Horseshoe Council Bluffs: Horseshoe Council Bluffs, located only a few miles from Omaha, NE, is Iowa’s largest casino. It opened in March 2006 after receiving an $86 million renovation and expansion. The property now features roughly 100,000 square feet of gaming space and boasts the title of Iowa’s only land-based, full-service casino. In addition to the most popular tables and slots, Horseshoe Casino features live greyhound racing and simulcast thoroughbred racing, giving it the broadest array of wagering options in the region. This is the sixth year the property has hosted a World Series of Poker Circuit event.

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