CHESTER, PA – Since its inception last year, the WSOP Circuit at Harrah’s Philadelphia has largely been an east coast affair with the overwhelming majority of participants being locals or those traveling from up and down the Atlantic Coast. However, Ryan Gentry, a 34-year-old poker pro from San Diego, CA decided to crash the party, travelling 2,700 miles to stake his claim on a Ring Event here at Harrah’s Philadelphia.

It was well worth the trip. With 80 points toward the $1 million freeroll WSOP National Championship, far short of the qualifying threshold, Gentry came away with the win that he travelled across the country for. With the 50 additional points earned from a win in Ring Event #4, Gentry is now a virtual lock for a seat in the Championship bracelet event to be held this July at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas which will be nationally televised on ESPN.

With the win, Gentry also was awarded his second WSOP Circuit Gold Ring and not to mention $14,908 in prize money. Gentry, who has been competing in the WSOP Circuit Events since 2005, earned his first WSOPC victory that same year at a Ring Event at Paris/Bally’s Las Vegas.

After a 2011 WSOPC Event here at Harrah’s Philadelphia which resulted in that year’s WSOP National Championship leader board remaining static with the majority of cashes and final table finishes going to first-time amateurs, pros have really shaken things up here in Philly so far this year.

With only 1/3 of the events completed so far at Harrah’s Philadelphia, at least five players have moved into the upper echelon of the points leader board. As a result, five other players will unfortunately see their hopes of playing for their share of over $1 million dollars* and the opportunity to play in front of millions of ESPN viewers crushed.

C’est la vie.

197 players competed in the Monday-start event, generating a total prize pool of $57,327.

After a day of tournament play, 14 survivors returned on day two to play down to the winner and after just over an hour, it was down to the final table.  

Name

Hometown

Seat

Chip Count

Michael Wolf

New York, NY

1

437,000

Ricardo Franco

Philadelphia, PA

2

59,000

Ryan Gentry

San Diego, CA

3

390,000

Stephen Bredfeldt

Elizabethtown, PA

4

69,000

Will Stone

Auburndale, WI

5

171,000

Robert Parker

Staten Island, NY

6

105,000

Andre Brodeur

Philadelphia, PA

7

98,000

Jesse Moses

New Castle, PA

8

268,000

Mike Vallone

Hillard, OH

9

200,000

Lorne Kanover

Long Island, NY

10

178,000

Ricardo Franco was the short stack 10-handed and was left to pick the best spot he could, but unfortunately it was not good enough to keep him in contention. This was 32-year-old married father of five from Philadelphia’s 10th WSOP Circuit cash.

9th PlaceWilliam Stone picked up his second WSOPC Ring Event ninth place finish in twelve days with his finish here at Harrah’s Chester. Stone a 31-year-old self employed amateur from Auburndale, WI finished ninth earlier this month in Event #8 at Harrah’s St. Louis. Ninth place paid $1,341.

8th PlaceJesse Moses, a 23-year-old student from New Castle, PA was eliminated in eighth place. This was his first time to cash in a WSOP Circuit Event. He pocketed $1,681

7th PlaceAnother first-time WSOPC casher from Pennsylvania, Andre Brodeur Jr. of Philadelphia, finished in 7th place. The 72-year-old father of four collected $2,141 for his finish.
           
6th PlaceOut in sixth place was Robert Parker, an owner of a Staten Island, NY music venue called Full Cup. (http://fullcupsi.com/) The 38-year-old father of two is also a singer who performs with his band, “The Barnyard Boys.” With his sixth place finish, Parker is knocking at the door to a seat to the WSOP National championship with 102.5 total points as a result of his finish today. He also collected $2,772 in prize money.
    
5th Place Stephen Bredfeldt was the fifth place finisher. A recreational player from Elizabethown, PA, he picked up his first-ever WSOP Circuit cash, worth $3,648.
 
4th PlaceMichael Vallone once played on the Ohio State University Hockey team and currently works as a screenwriter. The amateur poker player from Hillard, OH aspires to be among the WSOP’s ranked players and made a stride toward that goal with his fourth place finish here today at Harrah’s Philadelphia. Fourth paid $4,883.

3rd Place – The third place finisher was Lorne Kanover, a detective with the NYPD. Kanover plays poker recreationally and now has five WSOP Circuit cashes. His third place finish today earned him $6,648.

It was down to Gentry and Michael Wolf heads up. Gentry had a slight lead over his opponent, which he would retain throughout the short heads up matchup.

The final hand of the evening saw both players all-in with Gentry’ s pocket jacks holding through the river vs. Wolf’s overcards on a ten-high board.

Wolf, who would have been in prime position for a WSOP National Championship seat with an outright win in Event #4, was forced to settle for second place and a spot below the qualifying points threshold with 92.5. For his runner-up finish, Wolf a 23-year-old poker pro from New York City, earned $9,207 for second.

With the win, Gentry is a virtual lock to play under the national spotlight this summer at the Rio in the WSOP National Championship with 145 points. In addition to the points, he was awarded $14,908 and his second career WSOP Circuit gold ring.

Although likely inconsequential to him, Gentry takes sole possession of the points lead in the Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino Champion points race. With previous 18th place finish in Event #2, he edges out previous ring winners, Kurt Magalski, Douglas McGlothlin and Peter Ippolito.

The Casino Champion is the player who earns the most points through the 12 events at Harrah’s Philadelphia. This player will earn an automatic seat to the $1 million WSOP Circuit National Championship to be held in late May. More information about the WSOPC National Championship can be found here. An explanation of the points system can be found here.

Still to come are 8 events. See the complete Harrah’s Philadelphia Circuit schedule and event results here. The WSOP Circuit Events at Harrah’s Philadelphia runs through May 7th. You can find the complete 2011/2012 WSOP CIRCUIT SCHEDULE here.

*100 top WSOP and WSOP Europe qualifiers have been invited to buy into the WSOP National championship, resulting in a potential prize pool of upwards of $2,000,000. More info at: http://bit.ly/y2YwU8

MORE ABOUT THE WSOP CIRCUIT AT HARRAH’S PHILADELPHIA

Harrah’s Philadelphia is a casino and racetrack located in Philadelphia, PA -- about 15 minutes south of Philadelphia International Airport. It is the 16th (of 17) WSOP Circuit host properties. Harrah’s New Orleans is the last remaining stop of the 2011-2012 WSOPC season.

This marks the second season that the WSOP Circuit has visited Harrah’s Philadelphia.

Harrah’s Philadelphia first opened in 2007, offering slot games and horse racing. Table games were introduced to the casino in 2010 after they were legalized by the state of Pennsylvania.

Harrah’s Philadelphia originally opened as Harrah’s Chester, but is currently in the process of rebranding itself as Harrah’s Philadelphia, which is expected to be complete on May 1st.

Harrah’s Philadelphia’s “12 Rings in 12 Days” series is taking place April 25-May 7.  Tournaments are held in the ballroom located on the second floor of the casino. Cash games can be found in the poker room next to the race book also located on the second floor.

Each Ring Event Final Table will be streamed live from the final table stage area in the ballroom. The live stream can be accessed at: http://www.wsop.com/2011/circuit/live-video/. Because final table start times are tentative, viewers should follow the WSOP on Twitter @wsop to be notified when live streams begin. 

Media Contact:

Alan Fowler

WSOP/Caesars Interactive Entertainment

afowler@caesars.com