Durant, OK (January 16, 2012) With four tables left in Event 2, Reggie Trotter verbally declared his prediction that chip leader Tyron Lee would go on to be crowned champion. His premonition appeared to be coming true as Lee kept up his winning ways and came to the final with better than a 2-to-1 lead on second place.

“The way (Lee) was running there was no way he wouldn’t win it,” Trotter said.

Fortunately for Trotter, he was wrong.

Lee overplayed a pocket pair of twos and was eliminated midway through the final table. The eventual champion, you ask? None other than Trotter himself.

Trotter began the unofficial final table of 10 with only nine big blinds. Remarkably, he was still clinging to life when only two players remained. But at worse than a 10-to-1 chip underdog, Trotter had accepted the fact he was coming up one spot short of Circuit gold.

“I obviously wasn’t going to give up, but I really thought I had no chance,” he said.

Trotter’s reluctance to throw in the towel -- and the fact he was dealt aces heads up -- paid off and he picked his spots beautifully on his way to pocketing $51,9623donning his first Circuit ring an.

“Money you can spend,” Trotter said after his victory. “But I’ll have the ring forever.”


Event 2, a two-day tournament, began on Sunday at 12 p.m. and ended shortly after 3 a.m. Tuesday morning. The $345 No-Limit Hold’em tournament drew an enormous field of 944 entrants. The prizepool exceeded $270,000 and paid the top 99 finishers.

Day 1 saw the starting field trimmed down to only 68 remaining players. Steven Schell and Lee had accumulated more than 400,000 chips apiece going into Day 2, and separated themselves from the rest of the field by way of a 70,000-chip cushion.

Day 2 play lasted 13 hours. 

Remarkably, both Schell and Lee made the final table, finishing seventh and fifth respectively.

When final table play began, players stacked up as follows:

Seat 1 Earl Merritt (Ponder, TX) 540,000 in chips

Seat 2 Tyran Lee (Humble, TX) 3,975,000 in chips

Seat 3 Stephen Schell (Dallas, TX) 1,516,000 in chips

Seat 4 Roger Franco (Austin, TX) 990,000 in chips

Seat 5 Mark Utterback (San Antonio, TX) 1,100,000 in chips

Seat 6 Robert Manley (Fort Worth, TX) 236,000 in chips

Seat 7 Reggi Trotter (Bowie, TX) 305,000 in chips

Seat 8 Oran Hayes (Shreveport, LA) 1,451,000 in chips

Seat 9 Douglas Gerda (Colleyville, TX) 573,000 in chips

9th Place: Rob Manley left the tournament in ninth place. He earned $5,008 and added a fourth Circuit cash to his resume. He is 52 years old and lives in Fort Worth, Texas with his wife.

8th Place: The eighth place finisher was Douglas Gerda. This was Gerda’s second WSOPC final table at Choctaw. His first came last year when he finished in fifth place in a $345 event for $13,174. Gerda’s eighth place finish awarded him about half that, sending him home with $6,295. He is 48 years old and lives in Colleyville, Texas.

7th Place: Stephen Schell, an accomplished online player, got his first taste of WSOP run good with his final table appearance. He came up short of gold, finishing in seventh and earning $8,007. He is a 25-year-old accountant from Dallas, Texas.

6th Place: Earl Merritt has carded an amazing 13 WSOP cashes. However, his sixth place finish in Event 2 was his first ever final table. He made it count, scoring $10,311, his largest win to date. At 61 years old, he lives in Ponder, Texas and is married with two children.

5th Place: Tyran Lee lived up to his nickname “Krazielee” with his erratic play in Event 2. He began Day 2 second in chips and carried that momentum to the final table at which time he had more than twice the chips of second place. In true Krazielee fashion, he got over aggressive with a pair of twos and his stack dispersed itself among the table.

This marked his first WSOP in-the-money finish and first final table. He earned $13,411. He is 38s year old and lives in Humble, Texas.

4th Place: Mark Utterback is a 42-year-old from San Antonio, Texas. He now has two WSOPC final tables including a third place finish in last year’s Regional Championship at Harrah’s New Orleans and six cashes.

3rd Place: Roger Franco was eliminated in third place. This was his first WSOPC cash. He is 50 years old and married with four boys. He lives in Austin, Texas.

Runner up: The runner up was Oran Haynes. Haynes has now made three WSOPC final tables and finished as the runner up twice. His $32,125 payday in Event 2 is far and away his largest cash. He lives in Shreveport, Louisiana and is 35 years old.

Winner: Our winner was 32-year-old Reggi Trotter. Not only did Trotter have to navigate through a mammoth field of 944 entrants, but he began the final table with only nine big blinds and started heads-up play at worse than a 10-to-1 chip disadvantage. He persevered and now has $51,928 to show for it. 

Trotter works as a certified public accountant in Bowie, Texas. 

WSOP Circuit events continue at Choctaw Casino Resort through January 23rd. The Main Event will take place January 21st.

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