With the Main Event kicking off tomorrow morning, today was supposed to be a relatively calm day at the Foxwoods Circuit series. Little did anyone know, that statement could not have been further from the truth, as Ari Engel captured his sixth Circuit Ring in the $580 No-Limit Hold ‘em event in an evnt stacked with poker talent.
The starting field of 225 players in the $580 No-Limit Hold ‘em event was whittled down to just ten by the end of the first night. Ari Engel and two-time Circuit Ring winner Aaron Massey came into Day 2 second and third in chips. Chris Rizzo, who finished second in the $365 No-Limit Hold ‘em Event 4, came in as the chip leader.
Rizzo needed to secure a win or runner-up finish to take over the Foxwoods Casino Championship point lead from Ryan Methia. However, Methia’s lead would stay intact as Rizzo would end up being knocked out in fifth place for $7,408. Engel and Massey would cut through the rest of the final table and set up a heads-up match that everyone was anticipating.
The two players, who are also good friends, were the two most accomplished Circuit grinders at the final table. In addition to Engel’s five rings, Massey holds two rings himself. Massey also had two prior Circuit runner-up finishes.
The two battled it out for just under an hour before Engel was able to grind Massey down. In the end, Engel finished Massey off to earn the title, while Massey had to settle for his third Circuit runner-up finish. Engel took home $29,634 for his victory.
With six Circuit Rings, Engel is now tied with Alex Masek and both players trail Chris Reslock, who holds the most Circuit Rings won with a total of seven. When asked if he thinks he can tie Reslock this season, Engel was confident. “I won two events last year and this is a great start. I definitely think I have a shot.”
Engel also had kind words to say about his heads-up opponent. “Aaron is an incredible player and I have an incredible amount of respect for his game. Also, I want to thank my parents for their continued support.”
Last year, Engel booked two victories and 14 cashes on the Circuit, which helped him secure the top at-large spot in last season’s National Championship field. It looks as if he has no intention of slowing down this season.
Congratulations on Circuit Ring six, Ari Engel! We are sure it won’t be long until you make a run at number seven. Here are the full final table results from the $580 No Limit Hold'em Event 9 at Foxwoods:
1st: Ari Engel - $29,634
2nd: Aaron Massey - $18,313
3rd: Bedda Nakhoul - $13,336
4th: Victor Usatii - $9,850
5th: Chris Rizzo - $7,408
6th: Deon Nossel - $5,654
7th: Steven Brackesy - $4,374
8th: Fred Alesi - $3,438
9th: Spyro Mitrokostas - $2,743