Georgian Starts Final Table Ranked Ninth in Chips and Storms to Victory

Los Angeles, CA (January 9, 20112) – The World Series of Poker Circuit continued today at The Bicycle Casino, located in the Bell Gardens section of Los Angeles.

The latest tournament champion is Jamey Johnson.  He traveled quite a distance to win his first WSOP gold ring.  Johnson -- all the way from the small town of Tifton, Georgia -- traveled more than 3,000 miles to earn the biggest victory of his poker career.  He is a 29-year-old copy machine salesman.

No doubt, Johnson would like a photocopy of this finale, which included the indisputable comeback performance so far of this year’s debut series at The Bike.  Johnson roared back from a ninth-place ranking when the final table began all the way to a gold ring victory.  This was also his first time ever to cash in a WSOP-related tournament.

Johnson officially collected $42,975 in prize money for his win. 


Event #7 was a two-day $1,000 (+80) No-Limit Hold’em tournament, which attracted 164 entrants.  Play began on Sunday at noon and concluded on Monday night.  The total prize pool came to $159,080.  The top 18 finishers were paid.  All players who cashed received WSOP Circuit National Championship ranking points – used to potentially qualify for a seat in the season-ending championship, to be played in Las Vegas.

Among those who cashed was two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Thor Hansen, from El Segundo, CA.  He finished 12th.  Another familiar face that made the money was Bruce Buffer, best known as the booming voice of the UFC.  Buffer has also provided WSOP Main Event “November Nine” introductions during the last four years in Las Vegas, which were broadcast on ESPN.

A full list of all players who cashed in Event #7 can be seen here.

The first day resulted in the elimination of 151 players.  There were 13 survivors who resumed action on Day Two and then played down to the final table, which commenced play on inside The Bicycle Casino’s tournament room.  The finale was broadcast over the Internet via “Live at the Bike.”  The nine finalists and their chips counts were as follows:

SEAT 1:  Mark Ellefson (Valley Village, CA) – 235,000 in chips
SEAT 2:  Bruce Kramer (Westminster, CA) – 139,000 in chips
SEAT 3:  Jose Luis Franco (Santa Ana, CA) – 563,000 in chips
SEAT 4:  R. James Connor (Huntington Beach, CA) – 179,000 in chips
SEAT 5:  Jamey Johnson (Tifton, GA) – 95,000 in chips
SEAT 6:  David Miscikowski (San Diego, CA) – 459,000 in chips
SEAT 7:  Huy Quach (Los Angeles, CA) – 163,000 in chips
SEAT 8:  Everett Carlton (St. Paul, MN) – 183,000 in chips
SEAT 9:  Mari Lou Morelli (Long Beach, CA) – 444,000 in chips

The final table featured two former WSOP gold bracelet winners – Everett Carlton (Caesars Palace Las Vegas – 2010) and Huy Quach (Bicycle Casino Los Angeles – 2012), winner of the opener at this tournament series.  But neither player was a factor in the final outcome.  

When cards flew in the air, the chip lead belonged to Jose Luis Franco – who ended up finishing in third place.  However, two players – David Miscikowski and Mari Lou Morelli -- were both in close pursuit.  Once again, none of the early chip leaders played much of a role in the course of events.

Final table play began at 1:20 pm local time.  Play finished at 8:30 pm making the total duration about seven hours.  The official order of finish was as follows: 

9th Place – R. James Connor was the first player eliminated.  He went out about 30 minutes into play.  Connor works in sales and resides in Huntington Beach, CA.  He is mostly a cash game player, but has also cashed in a few major tournaments, including the LA Poker Open.  This marked his first time to cash in a WSOP-related tournament.

8th Place – Huy Quach, winner of Event #1, finished in eighth place.  Nonetheless, even though he departed early from this final table, Quach still jumped into the lead in the “Best All Around Player” race.  He currently has 67.5 points, which is slightly ahead of the pack of previous gold ring winners here at The Bike (who all have around 50 points).

7th Place – Bruce Kramer, from Westminster, CA came in seventh place.  He is the owner of a commercial construction company.  Kramer is a man of many talents.  Not only does he have about $400,000 in career tournament earnings, he is also a black belt in karate and once bowled on the pro bowlers’ tour.  Kramer has now cashed twice at this series – finishing 7th (Event #7) and 15th (Event #2).

6th Place – David Miscikowski, from San Diego, ended up in sixth place.  He is a 25-year-old handyman.  Miscikowski crossed the $100,000 mark in overall tournament earnings with this finish.  His most impressive accomplishment took place at the 2010 WSOP in Las Vegas, where he cashed five times that year alone.  Sixth place paid $7,925.
5th Place – Everett Carlson, from St. Paul, MN, hoped to win his second gold ring with a victory in this tournament.  But he took two late wicked beats and went out instead in fifth place.  Carlson now has ten WSOP cashes and more than a quarter-million in WSOP-related earnings.  Fifth place paid $10,445.

4th Place – Fourth place went to Mark Ellefson, from Valley Village, CA.  This was his second time to cash at The Bike’s WSOP Circuit series, following a 16th-place finish in the opening event.  Ellefson collected $14,000 in prize money.

3rd Place – Jose Luis Franco, who is originally from Mexico and now resides in Santa Ana, CA, came in third.  He had a shot to go deeper, and was locked in a virtual tie with his two rivals when play was three-handed.  The trio battled for more than two hours before Franco was finally knocked out.  He collected $19,110 in prize money.  Franco previously made it to a WSOP final table in Las Vegas, where he finished in eighth place.

2nd Place – Mari Lou Morelli played a fabulous tournament, as well.  She seized the chip lead at one point when play was heads-up.  She might have won her first gold ring with a break or two.  But nothing could stop Jamey Johnson from making his comeback.  As the runner up, Morelli officially collected $26,545 in prize money.  She previously has a number of major cashes, including a victory at the Venetian Deep Stack series.  She also made it to the final table of the 2009 Ladies World Championship, at the WSOP.

1st Place – Jamey Johnson, from Tifton, GA finished in first place and won his first career WSOP Circuit gold ring.  He collected $42,975 in prize money.

With his victory, Johnson joins the previous tournament winners near the top of the leader board in this WSOP Circuit’s “Best All-Around Player” standings.  The player who accumulates the most overall points in The Bike’s twelve combined gold ring tournaments receives a pre-paid entry into the $1 million 2011-2012 WSOP Circuit National Championship -- to be held in Las Vegas at the end of this season.  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 The Bicycle Casino’s Main Event championship.

Here are the five winners from The Bike’s WSOP Circuit gold ring events, so far:

Event #1 – Huy Quach defeated 748 players ($345 NLHE) and won $44,663
Event #2 – Stephen Graner defeated 191 players ($550 NLHE) and won $25,020
Event #3 – Adam Bishop defeated 313 players ($345 NLHE) and won $20,958
Event #4 – Michael Rosenbach defeated 171 players ($345 Six-NLHE) and won $22,035
Event #5 – La Sengphet defeated 377 players ($345 NLHE) and won $25,242
Event #6 – John Coon defeated 289 players ($555 NLHE) and won $34,340
Event #7 – Jamey Johnson defeated 164 players ($1,000 NLHE) and won $42,975

With seven tournaments now wrapped up, there are still five more gold ring events remaining in what is being billed as a “12 rings in 12 days” poker series.  The WSOP Circuit at The Bicycle Casino continues through December 12th.  This year’s schedule includes not only a dozen gold ring events, but multiple second-chance tournaments (at 5 pm and 8 pm most days), single table and mega satellites, plus cash games going around the clock inside the massive poker room.