Three-time WSOP Circuit champion Justin Gardenhire finishes third.

Black Hawk, Colo. (March 18, 2013) — Mitch Schock bested a 516-player field in this weekend’s $365 No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry event at The Lodge Casino adding a WSOP Circuit gold ring to the gold bracelet he already owns. Schock, a professional poker player from North Dakota, earned $33,284 and 50 points toward the Casino Championship.

“Monetarily [this victory] isn’t nearly as big, but the win on the World Series of Poker Circuit is just huge,” Schock said comparing his ring to his bracelet. “The dollar amount isn’t the biggest thing. It’s the title; the ring. I really wanted to have a World Series bracelet and a World Series ring.”

Schock’s gold bracelet championship came in 2011 in a $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em/Omaha event. He bested a similar-sized field of 606 entrants to take home $310,225. Much like during his run at a gold bracelet, Schock had his work cut out for him in Colorado Monday night.

Due to immense turnout, the event extended an extra day, bringing Schock, who held a sizable chip lead, as well as three-time WSOP Circuit champion Justin Gardenhire and Aaron Gardner back for a third day.

“It was kind of nerve-racking because I was supposed to win,” Schock said of holding the overnight chip lead. “Everybody had kind of booked (the win) for me. We still had a lot of poker to play. One double up and either of them was right back in the game.”

Gardenhire hit the rail almost as soon as he took his seat Monday night and Schock then enjoyed an almost eight-to-one chip lead over Gardner -- but nobody was going anywhere without a fight. Gardner doubled up when his nines-up bested Schock’s eights-up and it was off to the races.

“Gardner had (1.8 million chips) at one point. He was right back in it,” Schock said.

Schock's worries were warranted, but never came to fruition as he eventually got the best of his 21-year-old adversary, who walked with $20,578.

“I play for my family,” Schock said. “(Poker) is very much a job, but a job that I enjoy. It’s all about family.”

Schock, a single father of five, is 42 years old and resides in Bismarck, ND.

The 516-player field came in what was the premiere event of the opening weekend at The Lodge Casino, a first-time WSOP host. The tournament was a mega success, drawing gold bracelet champions Schock and Chris Tryba as well many of the WSOP Circuit regulars.

Notables to cash include La Sengphet (42nd), Christopher Conrad (30th), Robert Castoire (28th), James Henson (20th), Allan Farber (seventh) and Gardenhire (third).

Final table results:

1st: Mitch Schock – $33,284
2nd: Aaron Gardner – $20,578
3rd: Justin Gardenhire – $15,033
4th: Thomas Beckstread – $11,144
5th: Richard Marti – $8,381
6th: Travis Northrope – $6,393
7th: Allan Farber – $4,946
8th: Charles Swansfeger – $3,881
9th: Christopher Allyn – $3,088
Full results available on