Valentin Vornicu's Second Gold Ring
Romanian-Born Math Tutor Wins WSOP Circuit Victory in San Diego After First Victory Last Year in Chicago
Valley Center, CA (December 12, 2012) – The player pool of Romanian-born part-time poker players that live in San Diego must be exceeding small. Nevertheless, at least two such players have won gold rings at the last WSOP Circuit series, taking place at Harrah's Rincon.
Valentin Vornicu, a 29-year-old part-time poker player from San Diego, just won Event 7, the Six-Handed No-Limit Hold'em tournamen,t which drew a strong lineup that included many of Southern California's best short-handed specialists. Vornicu collected first-place prize money totaling $10,858. He was also presented with his second career gold ring, following an initial victory last year at Horseshoe Hammond.
Vornicu's victory comes four days after another Romanian-American won the opener. Alexandru Masek, also born in Bucharest, earned his fifth gold ring in Event 1. For those who are counting, that's seven combined gold rings won by ex-pat Romanians living in San Diego. What are the odds?
“Actually, Alex is a good friend of mine,” Vornicu said moments after the victory. “He was texting me all day saying I could do it. When he busted off my table yesterday, I knew I was going to win it.”
Vornicu's confidence served him well. He arrived at the final table as chip leader, but things went poorly once he got heads-up against eventual runner-up Eddy Asdy. Asady put on a remarkable showing, rocketing from just two big blinds and the shortest stack at the table to the chip lead once he got heads-up. However, just when it appeared the headline would trumpet a remarkable comeback by Asady, it was Vornicu who sole the thunder.
In fact, Vornicu himself fought back valiantly, overcoming an 11 to 1 chip disadvantage at one point. Things were going so well for Asady, that Vornicu had to feel nearly helpless to stop what was a roaring freight train headed for the finish line, but the Asady express derailed, and Vornicu was there to pick up the pieces.
Vornicu has an interesting background for someone with so many poker accolades. Even though he plays part time and has only been playing for about two years, Vornicu already has ten cashes on the WSOP Circuit (plus two gold rings). Like his contemporary Alexandru Masek, one must wonder what these two prodigies might do if they played full time.
Vornicu's aptitude for the game clearly stems from his passion for mathematics. He works as a math tutor and has developed an academic-based website – www.mathlinks.us Vornicu also hosts a math summer camp for students each year. It's a subject he finds both fascinating and fun.
“I love math. It's really my passion,” Vornicu said. “I only play poker part time. What I am most interested in is doing math problems and puzzles. Check out my site – you'll see what I mean. Math can be fun for everyone.”
The key numbers from Harrah's Rincon that we are likely to remember are 10,858 and two. That's the money he collected and the number of rings currently wrapped around the fingers of Valentin Vornicu.
Here are the final table results from Event 7:
1st: Valentin Vornicu - $10,858
2nd: Eddie Asady - $6,712
3rd: Casey Stewart - $4,838
4th: Jason Tang - $3,501
5th: Dwight Englekirk - $2,543
6th: Brian Coan - $1,854