Keith Binder Wins WSOP Circuit Gold Ring at Caesars Atlantic City

Atlantic City, NJ (March 8, 2012) – Keith Binder has experienced a fair number of challenges in his life.  Most of them have taken place, not at the poker table, but rather in the halls of justice.

But Binder had every motion go his way in the most recent World Series of Poker Circuit event, held at Caesars Atlantic City.  His motion to become the tournament winner was sustained by the deck.  His cash settlement amounted to $23,523.  He was also awarded damages, in the form of a WSOP Circuit gold ring.

Binder is a 27-year-old attorney, from New York City.  He specializes in civil litigation.  He is a graduate of both St. Johns and Boston College.

Binder has taken some time off from the law over the past year, choosing to focus on playing poker.  He’s enjoyed some success.  But this was his first major tournament victory.  Binder now says he wants to pursue careers in poker the legal field and poker, believing that having multiple interests allows him to keep a fresh sense of perspective and enthusiasm – both about litigation and the game.

No doubt, his victory will not be life changing.  However, as is the case in both law and poker – progress is often measured incrementally, one step at a time.

Tonight, Binder took a big step forward as a player capable of playing in front of a high court, and winning his case.

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Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em began as an online poker game.  It first debuted (as a live tournament) at the 2005 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.  The variant came about due to growing popularity amongst online players.  In fact, Six-Handed Hold’em games became so popular that by 2008, the variant rivaled full-ring games in overall number at the most biggest online sites. 

Nevertheless, Six-Handed live tournaments remain rare in live casinos.  This is due to more dealers and tables being required to run them, which in turn accommodate less tournament players.  The WSOP and WSOP Circuit remains as a few of the places where Six-Handed poker tournaments remain as part of the regular schedule.

Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em is also markedly different from the conventional full table game.  Since blinds race around the table much faster (players are posting blinds 2/6 rather than 2/9 of the time), the action tends to be more aggressive.  In fact, good short-handed players enjoy clear advantages over players who are more accustomed to full-table games with nine players.

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This was the sixth of 12 gold ring events on the WSOP Circuit schedule at Caesars Atlantic City.  Officially listed as Event #6 -- the $345 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 369 entries – a strong field size given the short-handed nature of the tournament.  The total prize pool came to $107,379.  The top 45 players were paid.  All players who cashed received WSOP Circuit National Championship ranking points.

A full list of all players who cashed in Event #6 can be seen here.

The tournament was played over two consecutive days, starting on a Wednesday.  Only 22 survivors took seats on the second day of action, played on Thursday.

Following the first two hours of play on Day Two, the final table was set.  The seven finalists (six handed final tables actually begin with seven players) and their starting chip counts were as follows:  

SEAT 1:  Keith Binder (New York, NY) – 429,000 in chips 
SEAT 2:  David Fox (Coram, NY) – 335,000 in chips
SEAT 3:  Tony Pesce (St. James, NY) – 936,000 in chips
SEAT 4:  James Bonfanti (Dix Hills, NY) – 185,000 in chips
SEAT 5:  Arkadiy Tsinis (Las Vegas, NV) – 1,216,000 in chips 
SEAT 6:  DeJuante Alexander (Houston, TX) – 167,000 in chips
SEAT 7:  Russ “Gingy” Dykshteyn (Brooklyn, NY) – 428,000 in chips


The final table featured no former WSOP Circuit gold ring winners, which guaranteed a first-time champion.  However, there was one former WSOP gold bracelet winner – Arkadiy Tsinis.

The two early chip leaders were Arkadiy Tsinis and Tony Pesce, who had more than half the total chips in play.  Yet, it was one of the shorter stacks (Keith Binder) who ended up outlasting the field.

The final playing session began at 5:30 pm local time.  Play finished at 12:30 making the total duration about seven hours, minus a one-hour dinner break.  The official order of finish was as follows: 

7th Place – James Bonfanti, a 31-year-old equities trader from Dix Hills, NY was the seventh-place finisher.

6th Place – Anthony Pesce, a 48-year-old physician from St. James, NY ended up in sixth place.  This was his first WSOP Circuit tournament.
   
5th Place – Ruslan Dykshteyn, a 31-year-old photographer from Brooklyn, NY finished in fifth place.
 
4th Place – Former WSOP Gold bracelet winner Arkadiy Tsinis ended up in fourth place.  He is a 35-year-old poker pro from Las Vegas, NV.  Tsinis, who was born in the Ukraine, formally worked as a financial analyst.  Tisinis has 14 cashes at the WSOP in Las Vegas – worth nearly $700,000 in earnings.  He won an event ($1500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em) last year.  This was his first time to cash in the Circuit.

3rd Place – DeJuante Alexander finished in third place.  He is a 27-year-old semi-pro from Houston, TX.  This was Alexander’s second time to cash at the this WSOP Circuit stop.  He also made the final table of the Main Event at Choctaw (Oklahoma) last month.

2nd Place – David Fox finished at the runner up.  He is a regular on the tournament circuit, who concentrates mostly on East Coast games.  Fox is a graduate of American University, who is also an aspiring television and video producer.  He also writes scripts and is working on a number of projects.  Fox now resides in Coram, NY.  He has 15 WSOP Circuit cashes and 10 WSOP (Las Vegas) in-the-money finishes.  Second place paid $14,598.

1st Place – Keith Binder became the sixth WSOP Circuit champion crowned this year at Caesars Atlantic City.  He won $23,623 for the victory.  Binder was also presented with his first gold ring.

With his two victories (Event #3 and Event #5), Brandon Croft remains the leader (and overwhelming favorite) to win 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 $30,969
EVENT #5:  Brandon Croft defeated 263 players ($555 NLHE) and won $31,250
EVENT #6:  Keith Binder defeated 369 players ($345 6-Handed NLHE) and won $23,623


With the sixth tournament now wrapped up, there are exactly six 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

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MORE ABOUT THE WSOP CIRCUIT AT CAESARS ATLANTIC CITY

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 visit here.

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