Ali Navid Wins Latest WSOP Circuit Event at Caesars Atlantic City

Atlantic City, NJ (March 6, 2012) – Quite a few poker players have unusual nicknames.  Try this one on for size:  “The Persian Diversion.”

That’s Ali Navid’s moniker.  The 46-year-old software engineer who is originally from Tehran (Iran) diverted the dreams of nearly 500 fellow poker players gathered at Caesars Atlantic City en route to his first-ever WSOP Circuit victory.  Navid collected a cool $30,969 in prize money, plus the coveted gold ring, presented to all WSOP Circuit winners.

Navid resides in Centreville, VA, which is located in the Washington, DC area.  He plays poker part-time, spending most of his playing sessions in home games around the nation’s capital.  However, Navid has previously enjoyed some tournament success, as well.  He won a major event held at the Borgata in Atlantic City a few years ago.  This also marked his second time to cash on the WSOP Circuit, following an 11th-place finish here four years ago.

The runner up was Rex McCaffrey, from Millville, NJ.

Also of note was Chris Reslock’s eighth-place finish.  No doubt, Reslock is one of this area’s most accomplished tournament players.  He presently owns three WSOP Circuit gold rings, including a Main Event Championship (Showboat Atlantic City -- 2005).  He also won a WSOP gold bracelet in 2007.  With in excess of $1 million in earnings in WSOP-related events alone, it appeared he might add to his resume in this tournament.  Reslock arrived at the final table as chip leader.  But he took a few beats early on and made a relatively disappointing eighth-place showing.

That left Navid with the chip lead.  He went on to victory some two hours later.


This was the fourth of 12 gold ring events on the WSOP Circuit schedule at Caesars Atlantic City.  Officially listed as Event #4 -- the $345 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 495 entries – an unusually large turnout for a Monday-Tuesday competition.  The total prize pool came to $144.045.  The top 54 players were paid.  All players who cashed received WSOP Circuit National Championship ranking points.

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

The tournament was played over two consecutive days.  Only 34 survivors took seats on the second day of action.

Following four initial hours of play on Day Two, the final table was set.  The ten finalists and their starting chip counts were as follows:

SEAT 1:  Rex McCaffrey (Millville, NJ) – 878,000 in chips
SEAT 2:  Brian Grzywaczewski (Montgomery, NY) – 238,000 in chips
SEAT 3:  Robbie Cachran (Hagerstown, MD) – 117,000 in chips
SEAT 4:  Thomas Savitsky (Absecon, NJ) – 360,000 in chips
SEAT 5:  Bryan Trischetta (Scranton, PA) – 371,000 in chips
SEAT 6:  Al “Persian Diversion” (Centerville, VA) – 659,000 in chips
SEAT 7:  Rajiv Khanna (Floral Park, NY) – 556,000 in chips
SEAT 8:  Edward Joe Shade (Hurricane, WV) – 228,000 in chips
SEAT 9:  Chris Reslock (Atlantic City, NJ) – 1,080,000 in chips
SEAT 10:  Todd Brenn (Akron, OH) – 451,000 in chips

The final table featured two former WSOP Circuit gold ring winners – Chris Reslock and Edward Joe Shade.

Reslock was clearly the player to beat at this final table, given his impressive tournament resume and his status as the early chip leader.  Only one player, Rex McCaffrey, posed a serious threat to his stack size when the cards went into the air, at 7:30 pm on a Tuesday night.

Play ended at 11:30 pm, which meant the duration the final table lasted a relatively rapid four hours.  The official order of finish was as follows: 

10th Place – Bryan Trischetta was the first player to bounce off the final table.  He went out about 20 minutes into play.  Trischetta is a 29-year-old poker player from Scranton, PA.  Remarkably, he has only entered two WSOP Circuit tournaments and has final tabled both events.  He finished fifth in his previous showing. 

9th Place – Thomas Savitsky went out next and finished in ninth place.  He was dealt pocket queens on his final hand, which ran into pocket aces.  Savitsky is a local player from nearby Absecon, NJ.  This was his second time to cash in the WSOPC.  He also has five in-the-money finishes at the WSOP in Las Vegas, including a fifth-place showing in an event a few years ago.

8th Place – Chris Reslock was the eighth-place finisher.  He is a 64-year-old former taxi driver from Atlantic City.  Reslock  endured a horrific final 30 minutes, losing the chip lead and ultimately going out about an hour after final table play began.  Reslock took a bad beat on what turned out to be his final hand.  He flopped the high end of a straight and was up against a set.  The two players were close to event.  His opponent had top set and when the board paired, he made a full house.  That put Reslock out of the tournament.  Nevertheless, this became his 12th time to cash in the WSOP Circuit.  He remains one of the very few players to have a won gold ring, a WSOP Circuit main event, and a WSOP gold bracelet.

7th Place – Rajiv Kahnna ended up in seventh place.  He is a 25-year-old poker player from Floral Park, NY who made his first in-the-money in finish in a WSOP event.
6th Place – Robbie Cochran finished in sixth place.  He is a 29-year-old part-time poker player from Hagerstown, MD.  This marked Cochran’s first time to cash in a WSOP-related tournament.
5th Place – Edward Joe Shade went out in fifth place.  He is a 55-year-old retiree from Hurricane, WV.  Shade won a WSOP Circuit gold ring at Horseshoe Southern Indiana in 2009.  This was his seventh time to cash on the WSOP Circuit.
4th Place – Brian Grzywaczewski finished fourth.  He is 41-years-old and resides in Montgomery, NY.  This was his first-ever WSOP-related cash.

3rd Place – Todd Brenn came in third place.  He is a 36-year-old recreational player from Akron, OH.  He previously cashed in a WSOP event, played in Las Vegas.

2nd Place – Rex McCaffrey finished as the runner up.  He is 30-years-old and resides in Millville, NJ.  Second place was worth $19,147 in prize money.

1st Place – Ali “The Persian Diversion” Navid became the fourth WSOP Circuit champion crowned this year at Caesars Atlantic City.  He won $30,969 for the victory.  The Virginia man was also presented with his first gold ring.

With his victory, Navid moves near the top spot along with the previous three winners (Events #1, #2, and #3) as the early leaders in this WSOP Circuit’s “Best All-Around Player” standings.  The player who accumulates the most overall points in Caesar’s Atlantic City’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 March 10-12).

Here is the list of gold ring winners from Caesars Atlantic City, so far:

EVENT #1:  Michael McGuiness defeated 667 players ($345 NLHE) and won $39,790
EVENT #2:  Sarah Dygert defeated 887 players ($345 NLHE) and won $50,333
EVENT #3:  Brandon Croft defeated 253 players ($555 NLHE) and won $30,062
EVENT #4:  Ali Navid defeated 495 players ($345 NLHE) and won $30,696

With the fourth tournament now 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 Caesars Atlantic City continues through March 12th.  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



The World Series of Poker Circuit is taking place at Caesars Atlantic City, one of the East Coast’s premier gaming and entertainment destinations.

Indeed, this marks the seventh consecutive season that Caesars Atlantic City has hosted a WSOP Circuit stop.  The luxurious casino resort has been a flagship of poker action since the first WSOP tournament took place, back in 2006.

This year’s “12 Rings in 12 Days” series is taking place March 1-12.  As has been the case for all previous major poker events, all action is held inside an expansive grand ballroom located on the second floor, adjacent to the main casino.  In past years, the entire ballroom has been packed to capacity with players, as many of Caesars Atlantic City’s events have sold out.  Attendance for Atlantic City’s WSOP tournaments has consistently remained high, despite the spread of poker and tournaments to other venues in nearby states and plenty of healthy competition throughout the Northeast.

This will be the 12th of 17 stops of the 2011-2012 World Series of Poker Circuit season.  Just three months ago, Harrah's Atlantic City hosted the first of two New Jersey appearances by the WSOP Circuit and its players.  Attendance surpassed what many observers were projecting, which leads one to believe a repeat of a successful tournament series is inevitable.

Aside from great poker tournament action and live games, there’s plenty to do on the Jersey Shore during March.  The casino-resort is located adjacent to the world most famous Boardwalk on the Atlantic Ocean.  While the WSOP is in town, Atlantic City is hosting its famous “Restaurant Week,” which is a seven-day celebration of great cuisine.  Atlantic City Restaurant Week takes place March 3-10.  Many restaurants within a short distance of Caesars Atlantic City are participating in the food and wine festival.

There's a lot at stake for poker players who will make their way to the Jersey Shore.  Not only are a dozen gold rings up for grabs, lots of prize money will also be awarded to those who cash.  All players who finish in the money will also earn ranking points, which are used to determine finalists for the season-ending WSOP Circuit National Championship.
Since the season began in September, all tournament players have been in the running for 100 guaranteed pre-paid seats in the $1 million WSOP Circuit National Championship finale – which will be a WSOP gold bracelet event to be played in Las Vegas, around the time of the World Series of Poker.

To see the complete Caesars Atlantic City tournament schedule, please click HERE.

Stay tuned to for the latest reports and updates from Caesars Atlantic City. will carry a LIVE VIDEO STREAM of every final table, starting most afternoons.