The Coker, Ala. amateur's first two Circuit cashes came in the form of gold ring victories.
Biloxi, Miss. (September 17, 2015) — Anthony Gray earned Casino Champion honors at IP Casino Resort and Spa following two gold ring victories totaling 100 points. The season’s third Circuit event, action kicked off at the IP Thursday, September 4 and it took Gray just a day to find his place in the winner’s circle in Event 2, a $365 turbo tournament. At that time, Gray was tied with ring winner and 2013/2014 National Championship qualifier Mark Fink at 50 points. Fink would separate himself with a runner-up finish in Event 7, though, and hold the lead all the way until Event 11.

Gray entered his final ring event with the hopes of making the money. He earned a Day 2 berth and sat toward the middle of the pack with 17 remaining and the top 12 earning a payday. He navigated his way through the field and eventually found himself short stacked but at the nine-handed final table.

As player after player hit the rail, Gray’s eyes began to widen. At this point, a second gold ring was within reach for the Coker Ala. amateur. He crunched the numbers. A runner-up finish would tie him with Fink at 87.5 points, but Fink stood to take the money-earned tie breaker if that were the case. Thus, it was a win and a win only that would do it for Gray.

He remembered his mindset heading to the late stages of Event 11:

“I just wanted to get in the money, really. Then finally I said you know, it would be really nice to make two final tables. Then when I made the final table I was still short stacked. I played some of the best poker I’ve probably ever played. Of course, you have to win a couple races to get this far. I’m just excited. I can’t believe it.”

As you guessed, he battled back and transformed his short stack into a commanding chip lead. He eliminated Will Souther third, ring winner Kip Jones second and ousted Fink atop the points leaderboard with a 100-point pace out of reach of by all other players.

Impressively, Gray’s two gold ring wins at the IP mark his first two WSOP-related cashes. Now, an amateur who began the IP Circuit series green as could be is set to test his chops in one of the year’s most prestigious events.

Gray joins the IP Biloxi Main Event champion, Mohammad Moeini, in the season-ending National Championship. There, they’ll join 98 Circuit standouts and up to 100 other of the WSOP’s top performers to compete for an up-to $2 million prize pool and a gold bracelet. The action, set to take place in the spring of 2015, will be filmed and broadcast on ESPN at a yet-to-determined date.

More information on the season-ending tournament is available on

Here’s a look at Gray’s IP Biloxi cashes:
  • EVENT #2: Gray defeated 153 players ($365 NLH Turbo) for $12,391
  • EVENT #11: Gray defeated 93 players ($365 NLH) for $8,370