Ari Engel Wins Fourth Career WSOP Circuit Gold Ring
Phone Call From Sister Re-Energized Online Poker Pro – Who Takes $55K Top Prize in Chicago
Did the phone call really make a difference? Only Ari Engel knows, for sure.
The highly-respected veteran online and tournament pro currently living in Canada (while also resides part-time in Las Vegas) just won his fourth World Series of Poker gold ring victory. The moment of glory came in the $1,125 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em tournament, which was held at Horseshoe Hammond, outside of Chicago.
Engel's victory came just a day after a disappointing run appearance in Event 7, when he finished in ninth place. This time, Engel was not to be denied. However, there were some tough moments, especially from the runner up, Darren Rabinowitz. In fact, Engel lost his chip lead and was on the ropes at one point, desperately needing something to happen that might change the course of events.
He got his inspiration from an odd source.
During a break in the action, Engel called his sister Naama, who lives in New York. She was celebrating her birthday. Engel came back a changed player after that phone call. Perhaps it was the mental break or just the ability to take inspiration from a beloved family member that seemed to re-energize his game and refocus his commitment to victory. Engel ended up winning the tournament within the next hour.
The victory gives Engel his fourth gold ring victory, which places him within one win of catching the all-time leaders. The high mark of five wins is jointly shared by Mark “Pegusus” Smith and Kyle Cartwright.
Engel has been playing on the WSOP Circuit for the past six seasons. He won his first victory back in 2007 (Caesars Atlantic City). He also won in 2009 (Caesars Las Vegas) and again in 2012 (Harrah's Chester).
Engel is one the best and brightest young poker minds in the game. He's been a highly-successful online player for years, but Engel's live tournament abilities appear just as strong, given his impressive record of accomplishment. Moreover, Engel appears to have higher goals and addition motivation to win.
“Winning a fifth gold ring is something I'm definitely after,” Engel said afterward. “I really respect the other players who have five rings, but I am going to try and go after the record.”
Engel didn't just win a fourth ring either. With the victory, he takes the lead in the Horseshoe Hammond Casino Champion race, passing Mike Leah and Gary Lindesmith. Engel now sits with 65 points while Leah and Lindesmith each have 57 points. There are still four rings to be awarded though, including the $1,675 Main Event where even more points are up for grabs, so Engel is in good shape, but by no means has the WSOP Ntional Championship seat locked up.
Engel was born in Canada. However, he spent some of his youth in Brooklyn, NY. He also lived all over the world, finally settling down in both Toronto and Las Vegas. But from watching Engel play and win, his real home seems to be the poker table.
Here are the final table results for Event 8 ($1,125 No Limit Hold'em):
1st: Ari Engel - $55,503
2nd: Darren Rabinowitz - $34,303
3rd: Corey Burbick: $24,966
4th: Jeffrey Winchell - $18,464
5th: Gregory Jennings - $13,868
6th: Matthew Colvin - $10,578
7th: Joel Casper - $8,192
8th: Ngoc Nguyen - $6,438
9th: Corrie Wunstel - $5,135