OFFICIAL REPORTS -- EVENT #7 and EVENT #8 (See Below)

Atlantic City, NJ (March 10, 2012) – Saturday was a busy day on the Jersey Shore as the latest World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event Championship began with a sizable field.

The first of two “Day One” flights began with 375 entrants.  After nearly six hours of play, only about 200 players survived.  The second of two sessions began later in the day and will break at past midnight.  The combined field size will easily exceed 500 players, making Caesars Atlantic City one of the best-attended Main Events of the season.

Day Two is to be played on Sunday, starting at noon.  Players are reminded that Daylight Savings Time goes into effect at midnight Saturday.

This is the tenth gold ring event on the WSOP Circuit schedule at Caesars Atlantic City.
 
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Tournament Report:  EVENT #7

Twice as Nice

Abe Araya Wins Second WSOP Circuit Gold Ring – Becomes Leading Money Winner on WSOP Circuit, this Year

 
Atlantic City, NJ (March 9, 2012) – The marvel of crowning multi-gold ring winners continued Friday night in Atlantic City, when Abraham (Abe) Araya won his second World Series of Poker Circuit title this season.

Araya topped a tough field in the $555 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament (Event #8), held at Caesars.  One month earlier, Araya won the Main Event championship, held at the Choctaw Casino (Oklahoma).  His previous win paid $270,380.  This time, his earnings were a bit more modest – amounting to $33,290.  Nonetheless, Araya has already pocketed more than $300,000 this year on the WSOP Circuit alone, which is more than any other player.

Araya’s victory was well-earned.  The 44-year-old airplane mechanic from the Dallas area survived the longest final table of any event played so far, outlasting each of his opponents in a 10 hours marathon.  By the time he final hand was dealt at 3 am, he’d vanquished every challenger and emptied the room, as supporters of other players gradually left in disappointment.

There was nothing disappointing about Araya’s victory.  He is already guaranteed a seat in the WSOP Circuit National Championship, coming at season’s end – by virtue of his previous Main Event win.  All the remains for Araya in the months ahead are the quest for more prize money and additional gold rings.

At present, Michael Rosenbach leads all players in wins, with three victories this season.  Araya now joins five other players who have won multiple titles this season, with a shot of catching the triple winner.

Indeed, Araya’s current roll in WSOP Circuit events follows a victory last Fall, when he won the T.J. Cloutier Classic, held in Oklahoma.  That makes for three major victories within the past five months.

Araya noted that when he makes a final table, he tends to win.  He has no other final table appearances nor cashes on his record during that time, which means he’s three for three in wins when making it to the final nine.  

Based on his record and the way he’s playing, be on the lookout for Abe Araya.  He’s not finished yet.  

This was the seventh of 12 gold ring events on the WSOP Circuit schedule at Caesars Atlantic City.  Officially listed as Event #7 -- the $555 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 286 entries.  The total prize pool came to $138,710.  The top 30 players were paid.  All players who cashed received WSOP Circuit National Championship ranking points.

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

The tournament was played over two consecutive days, starting on a Thursday.  Only 21 survivors took seats on the second day of action, played on Friday.

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

SEAT 1:  Chris Alkitis (St. Louis, MO) – 204,000 in chips
SEAT 2:  Abraham Araya (Carrollton, TX) – 349,000 in chips
SEAT 3:  Joseph DeSanto (New York, NY) – 388,000 in chips
SEAT 4:  Mark Wahba (Cleveland, OH) – 170,000 in chips
SEAT 5:  Leo Whitt (New York, NY) – 152,000 in chips
SEAT 6:  Justin Turner (Manassas, VA) – 393,000 in chips
SEAT 7:  Wooyang Lin (Morristown, NJ) – 411,000 in chips
SEAT 8:  Amanda Musumeci (Philadelphia, PA) – 380,000 in chips
SEAT 9:  Mike Wolf (New York, NY) – 201,000 in chips
SEAT 10:  Austen Johnson (Greensboro, NC) – 785,000 in chips  

The final table featured only one former WSOP Circuit gold ring winner – Abe Araya.

The early chip leader was Austen Johnson.  He was up by nearly a 2 to 1 margin over his closest threat.  But Johnson would ultimately go out in a relatively disappointing sixth-place finish.

The official order of finish was as follows:  

10th Place – Mark Wahba, a 26-year-old part-time poker player from Cleveland, OH finished in tenth place.

9th Place – Leo Whitt, a 54-year-old CPA from New York City finished in ninth place.  He cashed in two events at last year’s WSOP – making the money in the Main Event as well as the final table of the record-setting Seniors World Championship.

8th Place – Chris Halkitis, a 26-year-old student from St. Louis, MO finished in eighth place.

7th Place – Justin Turner, a 24-year-old golf caddie and basketball referee from Manassas, VA finished in seventh place.

6th Place – Austen Johnson, a 29-year-old poker pro from Greensboro, NC finished in sixth place.
    
5th Place – Joseph DeSanto, a 39-year-old restaurant owner from Brooklyn, NY ended up in fifth place.  He’s previous won a major event held at the Borgata Atlantic City.  But this was his first time to cash in a WSOP-related tournament.
 
4th Place – Amanda Musumeci, a 27-year-old poker pro from Philadelphia, PA finished in fourth place.  This was her second final table appearance within the past month, and third time to cash this season.  Musumeci finished 62nd in last year’s WSOP Main Event Championship, which paid $131,000.

3rd Place – Mike Wolf, a 23-year-old poker pro from New York City, finished in third place and pocketed $14,927.

2nd Place – Wooyanf “Boxing Glove” Lin finished as the runner up.  He is a semi-pro poker player from Morristown, NJ who previously worked as an engineer.  Second place paid $20,573 in prize money.

1st Place – Abraham Araya, from Carrollton, TX became the seventh WSOP Circuit champion crowned this year at Caesars Atlantic City.  He won $33,290 for the victory.  The part-time poker player who works in the airline industry was also presented with his second gold ring.
 
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Tournament Report:  EVENT #8

The Key to Victory

After Several High Finishes, David Key Finally Earns Breakthrough Victory



Atlantic City, NJ (March 10, 2012) – Persistence paid off in the most recent World Series of Poker Circuit event, held at Caesars Atlantic City.

The latest poker champion endured the mixed blessing of making deep runs is his previous two cashes on the Circuit.  At the start of the current season, David Key finished fourth in an event played a Horseshoe Bossier City.  A few months later, Key outdid himself with a third place finish at the IP Resort.  No doubt, Key could be proud of two strong showings on the Circuit.  But anything other than a victory comes with the sting of disappointment.

Key erased those memories tonight, winning the $345 buy-in Omaha High-Low Split event.  He collected $12,571 in prize money.  Key was also presented with this first gold ring.

Perhaps just as satisfying was the manner how his victory took place.  Key bested a tough field, and a strong final table, ultimately eclipsing one of the region’s best tournament players, Chris Reslock – who finished as the runner up.

When heads up play began, the two finalists were close in chips.  With all due respect to Keys, much of the anticipation swirled around Reslock’s shot to move into a tie for the all-time WSOP Circuit wins record – with five.  Reslock, currently with four previous gold ring victories, had the rare opportunity to tie Mark “Pegasus” Smith as the king of the WSOP Circuit.  

But Key proved to be a formidable foe, not only meeting the challenge, but prevailing in a statement-making showdown en route to victory.  Alas, not many players have defeated Chris Reslock in heads-up play, and Key can now claim to have defeated one of the game’s very best.

David Key is a 26-year-old professional poker player from Baton Rouge, LA.  He is a graduate of LSU and spends much of his time playing in the poker room at Harrah’s New Orleans.  Next time he makes an appearance in his regular poker circle, he’s have some new jewelry to show off, and a bigger bankroll.

This was the eighth of 12 gold ring events on the WSOP Circuit schedule at Caesars Atlantic City.  Officially listed as Event #8 -- the $345 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 160 entries.  The total prize pool came to $46,560.  The top 18 players were paid.  All players who cashed received WSOP Circuit National Championship ranking points.

A full list of all players who cashed in Event #8 can be seen at WSOP.COM

The official order of finish among the top ten was as follows:  

10th Place – Eric Fox, a 31-year-old retailer from Staten Island, NY ended up in tenth place.  This was his first time to play in a live Omaha High-Low Split tournament.

9th Place – Larry Goldstein, a 38-year-old poker pro and former marketing director, came in ninth.  Goldstein is ranked as one of the top Fantasy Football contest players in the world.

8th Place – Charles Levinsohn, who works in sales and lives in Monmouth Beach, NJ finished in eighth place.

7th Place – Zach Kramer, a 24-year-old actuary from Syosset, NY came in seventh.  He will soon earn his graduates degree from the University of Michigan.

6th Place – Robert Gray, a 48-year-old salesman-turned-poker pro from Silver Spring, MD finished in sixth place.  He’s earned more than six-figures in live tournaments, including a win two years ago at the LA Poker Classic.
    
5th Place – James Toth, a 39-year-old poker pro from Springfield, VA finished in fifth place.  He has several major tournament cashes, plus a win at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.
 
4th Place – Greg Law, a computer and software repair specialist from Lindenwold, NJ finished in third place.

3rd Place – Dale Beaudoin, a consultant to Federal Express and UPS shipped third place prize money.  He is from Las Vegas.  Beaudoin previously won a WSOP Circuit gold ring in a Six-Handed NLHE event.

2nd Place – Chris Reslock, the highly-accomplished Atlantic City poker pro finished as the runner up.  Reslock owns four gold rings and a WSOP gold bracelet.

1st Place – David Key, a former financial advisor-turned-poker pro from Baton Rouge, LA became the eighth WSOP Circuit champion crowned this year at Caesars Atlantic City.  He won $12,571 for the victory.  Key was rewarded with this first career gold ring.
 
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At present, Brandon Croft retains the top spot on the leader board 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 $30,969
EVENT #5:  Brandon Croft defeated 263 players ($555 NLHE) and won $31,250
EVENT #6:  Keith Binder defeated 369 players ($345 6-NLHE) and won $23,623
EVENT #7:  Abe Araya defeated 286 players ($555 NLHE) and won $33,290
EVENT #8:  David Key defeated 160 players ($345 OHL) and won $12,571
EVENT #9:  TBA defeated 145 players ($1,080 NLHE) and won $39,382


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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 WSOP.com.

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.