Durant, Okla. (January 14, 2013) — It took four starting flights, the addition of an extra day and 30 some odd hours of poker, but Ross Bybee did it.

The 37-year-old poker professional from McKinney, Tex. etched his name in the history books by besting 2,209 entrants in Event 2, a $580 No-Limit Hold’em Re-entry tournament, at Choctaw Resort Monday night. Bybee pocketed $168,433 and took home the ultimate token of achievement on the WSOP Circuit – a gold ring.

“[It feels] amazing; spectacular; wonderful. Everything you can think of and then some,” Bybee said. “I have no trophies. I’ve won a lot of events and I’ve gotten little tokens, but this is my first real trophy. For it to be a ring means a lot.”

The 2,209-player field marks the fourth largest turnout in WSOP Circuit history behind only two events at Horseshoe Hammond and last year’s $1 million guarantee at Palm Beach Kennel Club.

Turnout was so tremendous, in fact, the event required the addition of an extra day to play out in its entirety. Bybee wasn’t one to complain. He bagged Day 2 as the chip leader and rode his pace-setting stack all the way to the winner’s circle.

Event 2 began Friday with the first of four starting flights, 1A. The opening flight drew an impressive 576 entrants and from then on it was anybody’s guess as to just how big it would get. Flight 1B began at 5 p.m. the same day and drew 354, bringing the day’s total to 930 entrants with two more starting flights and the day tournament staff anticipated to draw the largest turnout – Saturday – still to go.

Saturday lived up to the hype.

Flight 1C began at 12 p.m. and a staggering 745 players registered for the event. Pair that number with flight 1D’s turnout, 534, and you have a 1,279-person day and a tournament with 2,209 total entrants.

The prize pool smashed the original $500,000 guarantee, topping out at $1,104,500 and paying the top 225 finishers. The first prize of $168,433 was almost 300 times Bybee’s original buy in.

“Poker is what I’ve wanted to do for a long time and anything to get my name out there makes it all the better,” Bybee said of going down in the record books.

Rest assured, Bybee. You’ve made it and the poker world will remember your name for a long, long time.
Final table results:
1st: Ross Bybee - $168,433
2nd: Michael Downing - $104,419
3rd: Matthew Bray - $78,685
4th: Pradeep Buddharaju - $60,085
5th: Jonathan Hilton - $46,345
6th: Nicolas Vaca-Rondon - $36,095
7th: Chris Rauscher - $28,386
8th: Abraham Montenegro - $22,543
9th: Jay Diaz - $18,081
Full results are available on