TUNICA, MS. – It was the 24th to be admitted to Union back in 1821 and is popularly known by its ambiguous nickname, “The Show-Me State.”

However after the conclusion of WSOP Circuit Event #7 at Harrah’s Tunica saw a third-consecutive player from Missouri lay claim to WSOPC gold, perhaps the name should be changed to “The Show Me the Money State.”

Okay, it’s probably not the best idea, but at least everyone will be able to agree on the name’s origins right?

After claiming victory in WSOP Circuit Event #7, Andrew Smith of St. Louis, joined fellow Missourians, Kasey Stanford of Ozark, MO and Michael Urbaniak of O’Fallon, MO as the latest champions at the WSOP Circuit Events at Harrah’s Tunica.

Although originally from Austin, TX, Smith calls Missouri his home. For his win, he’ll bring back there a handsome $27,426 payout and the coveted WSOP Circuit Gold Ring.

It’s not unfathomable that three players from a neighboring state could come away with consecutive wins at the WSOP Circuit, but curiously enough, it wasn’t until the closing events of last year’s WSOP Circuit series at Harrah’s St. Louis that someone from the host state finally won a gold ring.  

So what gives? Did Missouri recently pass a state law making poker training mandatory for those 21 years or older? Are Missouri poker players still riding the high of their beloved St. Louis Cardinals’ 2011 World Series Championship win?

Or could it be, daresay that Missouri poker players are just that damn good?

Whatever the case may be, one thing is for certain, Missourians are cashing big here in Tunica.

Turnout remained heavy midweek at the Circuit Events at Harrah’s Tunica. 433 players turned out for the Wednesday-start event, generating a total prize pool of $124,653.

25 players returned for a second day of play Thursday and after four hours of play, it was down to the official final table.




Chip Count

Omar Zazay

Dallas, TX



Drew Dumanski

Richardson, TX



Andrew Smith

St. Louis, MO



Tom Luce

Sharpsville, IN



Joseph Tyson

Dallas, GA



Floyd Arnold

Marietta, GA



Steve Melton

Noble, OK



Chris Ashley

Augusta, GA



David Clark

Dallas, TX



9th Place

After nearly an hour into play without an elimination, the final table saw a barrage of all-ins, the first coming down after the river when David Clark led out on the river, prompting Joseph Tyson to commit the remainder of his short stack. Tyson’s hand was trumped by Clark’s pair of flopped queens, making him the first casualty of the evening. Tyson, a 47-year-old retiree and married father of four from Dallas, TX cashed out in 9th place, worth $2,593.

8th Place

Right after Tyson’s elimination, Omar Zazay and Drew Dumanski were able to double-up one right after the other in all-ins, with Dumanski taking a substantial portion of Tom Luce’s stack. A fourth consecutive all-in, this time by Luce left him needing help with    vs. Dumanski’s   , but after filling a boat on the turn, Dumanski hauled in the rest of Luce’s chips, sending him to the rail in 8th place, worth $3,246.

7th Place

Action died down a bit, but picked right back up after Zazay got it in for a flip with    vs. Dumanski’s pocket fives. Dumanski was able to fade Zazay’s outs on a ten-high board and Zazay’s tournament day was finished. “Cool Rob” as Zazay is known in Dallas poker circles, took home $4,121 in his second-ever WSOP Circuit final table. 

6th Place

The sixth place finisher was 64-year-old Floyd Arnold of Marietta, GA. He was unable to improve through the river after calling Melton all-in post flop with    vs. Melton’s pocket kings. 6th place paid $5,306.

4th and 5th places

The hand of the night developed when, David Clark bet out enough with pocket kings to put Smith all-in for just over 500,000 with pocket sixes. It was a kind enough flop for Clark after     was laid out on the felt. Clark looked as if he would be hauling in a monster stack, after a queen on the turn, but the river came down a merciless  , which was met by a chorus of groans by the crowd playing in the tournament area as the hand was announced.

It was a disappointing hand for Clark, after which he was unable to regain much traction. Soon after Dumanski’s elimination in 5th place ($6,933), Clark was next to follow after getting it all-in post flop with bottom pair to Smith’s top. Blanks hit the turn and river, leaving Clark to settle for a fourth place, worth $9,194. Clark has had a phenomenal 2011/2012 WSOP Circuit season. Already atop the National Championship leader board, his finish tonight at Harrah’s Tunica puts him even further ahead of the pack with 165 points.

Clark is a travelling circuit pro from Dallas, TX with two previous WSOPC gold rings. His poker ambition is to one day catch up with his girlfriend and traveling partner La Sengphet, who is the first woman to win three Circuit gold rings. 4th place paid $9,194.

3th Place

Augusta, GA poker pro Chris Ashley’s elimination in 3rd place (($12,383) by the hands of Steve Melton gave Melton a bit of ammunition going into heads up play, he still faced a 3-1 deficit against Smith. Heads up play began shortly before 12:30 AM.  The final hand of the night came down after Melton finally got it all in with A-Q vs. Smith's A-J. Smith was able to flop a jack on the flush and remained ahead through the river to seal the win. Melton is a true poker veteran with numerous WSOP Cashes since he first made the money back in the 1992 World Series of Poker. Second place paid $27,426.

Still to come are 5 events. See the complete Harrah’s Tunica Circuit schedule and previous results here. The WSOP Circuit Events at Harrah’s Tunica runs through February 13th. You can find the complete 2010/2011 WSOP CIRCUIT SCHEDULE here.

Media Contacts:

Patrick Collins – Regional Public Relations Manager

Harrah’s Tunica – Horseshoe Tunica – Tunica Roadhouse


Alan Fowler – Digital Media Manager

WSOP/Caesars Interactive Entertainment


About the WSOP

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world awarding millions of dollars in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet, globally recognized as the sport's top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker's longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970. In 2010, the event attracted 72,966 entrants from 117 different countries to the Rio in Las Vegas and awarded over $187 million in prize money. In addition, the WSOP has formed groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent in 2007 of the World Series of Poker Europe.  The WSOP Circuit Tour is entering its seventh season in 2010-11, and will feature 12 stops throughout the U.S., plus for the first ever, a stop in South Africa. For more information on the World Series of Poker, please visit

About Harrah’s Tunica

Harrah’s Tunica is located 20 minutes south of Memphis, Tennessee and was originally opened in 1996 as Grand Casino. On May, 23, 2008 Paula Deen cut the official grand opening ribbon at Harrah’s Tunica featuring the first of its kind Paula Deen Buffet and an interactive gaming floor that is the largest in the region. Spanning over 2,000 acres Harrah’s Tunica features the Links at Cottonwoods championship golf course designed by Hale Irwin, Willows Sporting Clays and Hunting Center, the Mid-South Convention Center offering over 65,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, three elegant hotels totaling 1356 hotel rooms, the 200-space Mid-South RV Resort, Bellissimo Spa and Salon, and a 2,400 seat event center that features headline entertainment

About Caesars Entertainment:

Caesars Entertainment Corporation is the world's largest casino entertainment company. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, more than 70 years ago, Caesars has grown through development of new resorts, expansions and acquisitions, and now operates casinos on four continents. The company's resorts operate primarily under the Harrah's®, Caesars® and Horseshoe® brand names. Caesars also owns the World Series of Poker® and the London Clubs International family of casinos. Caesars Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its guests through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. Caesars is committed to environmental sustainability and energy conservation and recognizes the importance of being a responsible steward of the environment. For more information, please visit