Atlantic City, NJ (December 8, 2012) — Three-time WSOP gold bracelet champion “Miami” John Cernuto outlasted a field of 164 in Event 8, a $365 Limit Omaha Eight or Better event to earn his second Circuit gold ring at Harrah’s Resort Saturday morning. The victory added to his illustrious WSOP resume and he now boasts two Circuit wins.

“It feels pretty good, it’s been a long time waiting. The last (ring came at) Lake Tahoe, and that was like 66 years ago, I think,” Cernuto said with a laugh. “The competition was tough. We played three hours heads up. The structure was really, really good. I’d like to tip my hate to (the WSOP) for coming up with that structure.”

Cernuto’s previous WSOP Circuit ring came in 2005 at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event. He won bracelets in 1996, 1997 and 2002 and amassed more than $1.6 million in career earnings at the WSOP in the process. The $13,461 first place prize in Event 8 pales in comparison to the riches he accumulated over the years, but Cernuto admits it’s about more than dollars.

“It’s not about the money as much as it’s about the competition for me because I always try hard,” Cernuto said. “I never really give up. I have a very competitive nature. It has just kind of stuck with me for the last 20 years. I enjoy playing tournaments. I’m a sucker for them.”

Cernuto’s heads-up opponent, Ron Fast, proved to be worthy of his competitive nature. On more than one occasion Fast bounced back from extreme chip deficits to give Cernuto a run for his money. Alas, Fast succumbed, but the victory proved bittersweet to Cernuto.

“(Fast) really, really wanted to win the ring for his mom,” Cernuto said. “His mom is ill and I almost wished he won it, but the cards have it that I just got lucky. It would have been nice to see him win, too -- either one of us.”

Fast’s mother has all the reason in the world to be proud of her son as he gave it everything he could and could not have been more gracious in the process.

Cernuto’s latest victory came on the eve of the Main Event, which begins Saturday at 11 p.m. He intended to play the Main Event all along, but says his gold ring victory gives him a lot more confidence and he expects good things to happen in the Harrah’s Resort finale.

Event 8 was the eighth of 12 gold ring events on the WSOP Circuit schedule at Harrah’s Resort. The $365 Limit Omaha Eight or Better tournament attracted 164 entries. The total prize pool came to $49,856 and the top 18 players were paid.

Final table results:

1st: John Cernuto - $13,461
2nd: Ron Fast - $8,319
3rd: Steven Toll - $5,988
4th: Michael Brottman - $4,389
5th: Eric Rivkin - $3,274
6th: Robert Klein - $2,484
7th: Edward Kay - $1,917
8th: Robert Reardon - $1,504
9th: David Carvara - $1,200