Nancy Birnbaum Wins Second Gold Ring
Las Vegas Poker Pro and Tournament Grinder Joins Elite Club as a Multiple WSOP Circuit Title Winner
After Nine-Season Wait, Harrah's Rincon Crowns its First and Second Female Champions this Week
Valley Center, CA (December 13, 2012) – Harrah's Rincon may not be the biggest tour stop on the WSOP Circuit schedule, but it certainly has produced plenty of memorable moments in just a week's time than what's transpired here north of San Diego.
Nancy Birnbaum, a 47-year-old professional poker player and tournament regular from Las Vegas, triumphed in the latest gold ring event. She topped the $365 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em tourney, which began with 162 players. Moreover, she defeated a formidable final table lineup that included the likes of two-time gold bracelet and two-time gold ring winner Brent Carter, amongst others.
Birnbaum collected $13,122 in prize money, but the cash was the last thing on the mind of Birnbaum. She wanted the ring more than anything.
“This means so much to me,” Birnbaum said afterward. “The money is nice, but I am playing for the prestige and the satisfaction. I like putting my mind to something and then accomplishing it. There's a satisfaction in that which has no price.”
Indeed, Birnbaum had good reason to be proud not just for who she beat or what she won, but for how she did it. At one point when play was four-handed, Birnbaum was down to just 20,000 in chips, which was a little more than one round of blinds. She seemed to have no shot to win, but Birnbaum won the hands she needed to at the right moments, and eventually crushed all three of her final adversaries en route to what may have been the most satisfying win of her career.
“You always remember you first win as the best one,” Birnbaum said, “but this one was just as special. I was running bad up to this point. In fact, a few days ago I was about to go home. It just wasn't going well, but I decided to stick it out for a few more events, and here I am.”
Birnbaum credited her own self-confidence as a key factor in the victory.
“I believe in myself,” she said. “You have to believe in yourself and trust what you are doing. Of course, you need help. But you have to play this game with confidence. That means everything.”
Birnbaum won her first gold ring three years ago at Harrah's New Orleans. She also has two second-place finishes on her resume. This marked her tenth time to cash on the WSOP Circuit. Considering that 4 of her 10 cashes have resulted in second-place showings or better, that's quite impressive.
Oddly enough, Brinbaum becomes the second female player to win a gold ring this week at Harrah's Rincon. It took nine long seasons for San Diego to witness its first WSOP Circuit female victor. But after Donna Delfni broke the gender curse three nights ago, Birnbaum arrived with the reinforcements and solidified her position as one of the WSOP Circuit's most consistent female performers. She joins a few other female multiple gold ring winners, including Loni Harwood who is also playing this series at Rincon. La Sengphet remains as the all-time wins leader among females with three victories (she's also playing here in San Diego).
Birnbaum becomes the fourth multiple going ring winner here at Harrah's Rincon through the first eight events. Alexandru Masek opened up this series by winning his record-tying fifth gold ring. Then, Michael Soua won is fourth career gold ring just a day later. That was followed by Valentin Vornicu's second gold ring victory on Wednesday. Then just a day later, Birnbaum has also joined this elite poker club.
Here are the final table results from Harrah's Rincon Event 8:
1st: Nancy Birnbaum - $13,122
2nd: David Anderson - $8,109
3rd: Brent Carter - $5,837
4th: Chad Wassmuth - $4,278
5th: Jonathan Chehanske - $3,191
6th: Misato Black - $2,422
7th: Daniel Rincones - $1,869
8th: John Kral - $1,465
9th: Glen Castens - $1,169