REMINDER:  All WSOP Circuit final tables at West Palm Beach are shown via a live stream at  Broadcast is on a five-minute delay and usually begins during the afternoon (EST).

WSOP Circuit Action at Palm Beach Kennel Club Continues through Feb. 28th

West Palm Beach, FL (February 21 2012) – There are breakthrough moments in every aspiring poker pro’s life which represent monumental steps forward.

Adam Cook took that giant step tonight at the Palm Beach Kennel Club, site of the most recent World Series of Poker Circuit stop.

Cook came out on top for the first time ever in a WSOP-related tournament and in the process collected $26,142 in prize money.  For his victory, Reep was presented with the coveted gold ring, which is the ultimate token of achievement for winning a WSOP Circuit tournament.

No doubt, Cook has made steady progress since he made the decision to play poker full time, about three years ago.  The 28-year-old from Baltimore, MD earned a degree in finance from the University of Maryland.  He later worked as a project manager.  But Cook had the urge to pursue something a bit more risky and has since been a regular player on the local poker scene in Atlantic City, which he frequents when not playing tournament poker around the country.

Previous accomplishments include wins at the Venetian (Las Vegas), a runner-up finish in a big tournament at the Borgata (Atlantic City), as well other final table appearances and high finishes.  But this victory was undoubtedly his biggest profile win yet.

When asked to explain how he managed to overcome 418 players and defeat a tough final table lineup, Cook matter-of-factly stated, “I played well and ran good.”

If poker was only so simple -- all the time.


This tournament was the fourth of 12 gold ring events on the WSOP Circuit schedule at West Palm Beach.  Officially listed as Event #4 -- the $345 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 418 – an impressive number given the tourney ran on a Monday-Tuesday time slot.   The total prize pool came to $118,833.  The top 45 players were paid.  All players who cashed received WSOP Circuit National Championship ranking points.

A full list of all players that cashed in Event #4 can be seen here.

The first day’s action resulted in the elimination of ninety percent of the starting players.  There were only 27 survivors who resumed action on Day Two.  After another few hours of play, the field was trimmed down to the final table.  The nine finalists and their starting chip counts were as follows:

SEAT 1:  Alberto Fonseca (San Jose, CR) – 545,000 in chips
SEAT 2:  Adam Cook (Baltimore, MD) – 1,100,000 in chips
SEAT 3:  Ralph Robinson (Stone Mountain, GA) – 745,000 in chips
SEAT 4:  Drazen Ilich (Lincoln, NE) – 365,000 in chips
SEAT 5:  Mstr Lynch (Lewisville, TX) – 234,000 in chips
SEAT 6:  Chris Cristillo (Nantucket, CT) – 570,000 in chips
SEAT 7:  Michael Smith (Magnolia, MS) – 131,000 in chips
SEAT 8:  Steven Costa (Coconut Creek,, FL) – 50,000 in chips
SEAT 9:  Eddie Uehara (Boynton Beach, FL) – 280,000 in chips

The final table included two duel gold ring winners – including Mstr Lynch and Grazen Ilich.  However, both former champs failed in their attempt for a trifecta.

The finalists were eliminated as follows:

9th Place – Michael Smith went out quickly and became the final table’s first casualty.  He is an auto-body technician from Magnolia, MS.  This marked his third major tournament final table appearance.

8th Place – Steven Costa, from Coconut Creek, FL ended up in eighth place.  He arrived at the final table as the lowest stack.  Costa is a community leader who works for Walgreens.  He was formally ranked in the top one-percent of all online poker players as the player named “SteveMatador.”  He’s since become an online poker coach, although he now plays much more live poker since the occurrence of “Black Friday,” last year.

7th Place – Drazen Ilich, winner of two WSOP Circuit gold rings (both at Horseshoe Council Bluffs) went out in seventh place.  The poker pro from Lincoln, NE now has 15 WSOP Circuit cashes on his resume.

6th Place – Mstr Lynch, winner of two WSOP Circuit gold rings (Choctaw and Rincon), finished in sixth place.  He burst upon the poker scene last year and became one of the WSOP Circuit’s biggest success stories of 2010-2011.  However, things have not gone as well this season.  The former bus mechanic from the Dallas suburb of Lewisville, TX had his first cash on the Circuit this season with this performance.

5th Place – Eddie Uehara came in fifth.  He is a former UPS driver who now resides in Boynton Beach, FL.  This was Uehara’s second time to cash on the WSOP Circuit.  He also finished in the money in an event here last year.

4th Place – Alberto Fonseca, a business owner from San Jose, Costa Rica finished in fourth place.  He’s won several previous tournaments, including some majors in Las Vegas.  This was his best finish ever in a WSOP-related tournament.  

3rd Place – Chris Cristillo, from Nantucket, MA came in third place.  He busted out after a long three-way battle between the final trio of finalists.  This marked Cristillo’s second time to cash at the WSOP Circuit in West Palm Beach.  He took 12th place in a previous event.

2nd Place – Ralph Robinson, from Stone Mountain, GA was the runner up.  He is a management officer for the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  Robinson finished 171st in last year’s WSOP Main Event Championship, which was the second time he had cashed in the world’s most prestigious tournament.  Robinson is a graduate of Howard University (Washington, DC) and was in the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.  Second place paid $16,155.

When heads-up play began, Adam Cook enjoyed about a 3 to 1 chip advantage over Robinson.  The duo battled for only about 20 minutes before the final hand was dealt out as follows:


Robinson was all-in after the flop.  Both players flopped top pair – nines.  But Cook’s kicker proved to be decisive.  The ace-kicker held up, giving Cook the victory.

1st Place – Adam Cook, a professional poker player from Baltimore, MD was the winner.  He received $26,142 in prize money, plus the WSOP Circuit gold ring.

With his victory, Cook moves into the top spot alongside three previous winners as the early leaders in this WSOP Circuit’s “Best All-Around Player” standings.  Here are all the gold ring winners, so far: 

EVENT #1 – Anh Lu defeated 2,607 players in NLHE and won $183,750
EVENT #2 – Loni Harwood defeated 500 players in NLHE and won $30,994
EVENT #3 – Jason Reep (defeated 247 players in HORSE and won $17,270
EVENT #4 – Adam Cook defeated 413 players in NLHE and won $26,142

The player who accumulates the most overall points in the PBKC’s twelve combined gold ring tournaments receives a pre-paid entry into the $1 million 2011-2012 WSOP Circuit National Championship.  At least two players from this tournament series will qualify for the WSOP Circuit National Championship, which is classified as a WSOP gold bracelet event.  The other automatic qualifier will be the winner of Main Event championship (to be held Jan. Feb. 25-27).

With the first four tournaments wrapped up, there are still eight more gold ring events remaining in what is being billed as a “12 rings in 12 days” poker series.  The WSOP Circuit at the Palm Beach Kennel Club continues through February 27th.  This year’s schedule includes not only all the gold ring events, but multiple second-chance tournaments, single table and mega satellites, plus cash games going around the clock inside the action-packed poker room



This marks the second consecutive season that the Palm Beach Kennel Club (PBKC) has hosted a WSOP Circuit stop.  Last year’s attendance and prize pool figures were so strong, that the decision to return once again to sunny South Florida once again was inevitable.

Indeed, PBKC continues to distance itself from the other dogs in Florida’s highly-competitive poker race.  This year, PBKC will be hosting 12 WSOP Circuit gold ring poker tournaments over a two-week period.  Tournaments officially began on Thursday, February 16th with Event #1 – which included a one-million dollar guarantee.  This marked the first time in history that any tournament of that size ($500 buy-in) offered a guaranteed million-dollar payout.

The following 12 days are sure to be packed with multiple tournaments and around-the-clock cash-game action.  The poker festival concludes on February 28th with the final table of the $1,600 buy-in Main Event Championship.
“Florida poker has officially arrived and partnering with the World Series of Poker is as special as it gets," said Noah Carbonne, Director of Poker Operations for the Palm Beach Kennel Club.  "We're thrilled to be involved with the Rolls Royce of poker – which is the WSOP.  For all of us here at the Palm Beach Kennel Club, the State of Florida, and most importantly the thousands of poker players here in the southeast as well as those attending from around the country, we are ready to make history – especially with our million-dollar guarantee, which has never been offered before for an event of its size.”

Gold ring tournaments are only a fraction of what’s on the poker menu at the Palm Beach Kennel Club.  Second-chance No-Limit Hold’em tournaments will be running from day one.  The deep-stack tournaments will cost $235 to enter and begin nightly at 7 pm.  Satellites for all gold ring tournaments will also be going regularly inside the poker room.  Several mega-satellites for the Main Event Championship will also be offered.

The PBKC initially opened in 1932, making it one of the oldest pari-mutual racetracks in the country.  Owned and operated by the famous Rooney Family (which also owns the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers), the track has been a popular attraction and a leisurely way to spend an afternoon for locals and visitors alike.  Known for its live greyhound racing and simulcasts from numerous racetracks all over the country, PBKC jettisoned into a new era last year when it expanded its poker facility, which is now one of the largest poker rooms in Florida.

About a year ago, PBKC expanded its poker operations to include 64 tournament tables.  PBKC is the first dog track to ever host a WSOP-related tournament.  Each final table takes place in a premium location near the main grandstand, which enables everyone close to the poker action to cheer on the greyhounds, as well.  Naturally, betting windows will be close by for those who want to mix in some racing action with poker playing.  Dog races take place most days starting at 1 pm.  There are also dog races nightly on weekends.
PBKC is conveniently located just steps away from the West Palm Beach international Airport, which offers direct flights from all over the country.  Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is also close by.  Several hotels are situated near the dog track and poker facility, to accommodate all budgets.  The cardroom offers regular shuttle service to and from at least three nearby hotels.  Special hotel rate packages for poker players are available.
It’s not too late to be part of the biggest poker event in Florida history.  West Palm Beach is well-known for its sandy white beaches, luxury hotels, fine restaurants, great shopping, and plenty of sunshine.  And now, there will be great poker action around the clock at the PBKC.  The complete schedule and structure sheets for all events can be viewed at WSOP.COM
PBKC is the 11th of 17 WSOP Circuit stops this season.  All players over age 21 are eligible to compete for a seat in the $1 million freeroll event which crowns the WSOP Circuit National Championship point race.  This season's top 100 players who qualify will compete in the first-ever nationally-televised championship, which will take place in Las Vegas, in May 2012.  The winner of that extraordinary event will receive the most coveted prize in all of poker, a WSOP gold bracelet.