Biloxi, MS (September 16, 2013) — Martin Zentner outlasted a headline-riddled final table Monday night in the IP Biloxi Main Event to earn $106,455, a WSOP Circuit gold ring and an automatic berth in the season-ending WSOP National Championship.

“It feels wonderful,” Zentner said. “This is by far the biggest score I’ve ever had. It feels unbelievable. I’m really excited about the [National Championship].”

The finale began at 12 p.m. and played into the late night hours, wrapping shortly before midnight. Zentner outlasted opponents like Survivor’s “Boston” Rob Mariano, Casino Championship contender Nolan Burton, four-time WSOP Circuit Main Event final tablist Dan Lowery and a heads-up opponent that just wouldn’t give up in Hank Sitton.

Zentner watched player after player hit the rail until it was down to him and Sitton and it wasn’t long before he was all-in holding tens against Sitton's ace-king for what he thought was a title. The board ran out dry for Sitton, and Zentner crippled him. After a countdown it was revealed Sitton still claimed 80,000 of the almost 6,000,000 chips in play.

But Sitton wasn’t about to throw in the towel.

He hit double-up after double-up until he approached the 1 million-chip mark. Finally, after his sixth all-in bet, Zentner eliminated Sitton with ace-six versus his ace-two.

Many of the early headlines at the final table belonged to Lowery and Mariano. Lowery is now a four-time WSOP Circuit Main Event final tablist and until today, had never finished worse than fourth. He lays claim to two runner-up finishes and began the final table in Biloxi second in chips. The fourth time was not a charm though, and he carded his worst Main Event final table finish, exiting fifth.

Mariano, on the other hand, did what he does best and survived. He grinded along and even held the chip lead during much of short-handed play.

“It was great having [Mariano at the final table],” Zentner said. “He shocked me how good he was. He was definitely a lot better than I thought.”

While much of the early hoopla centered on his opponents, the final headline belonged to Zentner. At just 27 years old, he earned a title in one of the largest WSOP Circuit Main Events ever to take place on the Gulf Coast. He survived a field that boasted gold bracelet winners Ylon Schwartz and Tom Franklin, past IP Biloxi Main Event champions Jerry Monroe and Kyle Cartwright and countless other talents.

“It hasn’t really kicked in yet,” Zentner said. “[The first prize] pretty much doubles my salary in three nights. Aside from the money it’s a great feeling to know I can go out there and [play poker] as a side income.”

Zentner resides in New Orleans, LA where he works in sales. He says he’s been playing poker part time for eight years and considers himself semi-professional. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi.

The Main Event was the 10th of 12 gold ring events on the WSOP Circuit schedule at IP Biloxi. The $1,675 No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 302 entries. The total prize pool came to $453,000 and the top 33 players were paid.

Final table results:

1st: Martin Zentner - $106,455
2nd: Hank Sitton - $65,821
3rd: "Boston" Rob Mariano - $47,805
4th: Raymond Weaver - $35,311
5th: Daniel Lowery - $26,510
6th: Gil George - $20,217
7th: Nolan Burton - $15,660
8th: Michael Putaansuu - $12,313
9th: Jonathan Thomas - $9,826

Full results available on WSOP.com.