New Orleans (May 11, 2015) – After four days of poker at Harrah’s New Orleans, Damjan Radanov became the latest winner on the World Series of Poker Circuit. He bested a field of 554 players to earn $174,514, and he defeated four-time ring winner David Nicholson in the process.
David Nicholson just barely missed out on his fifth career WSOP Circuit ring. Nicholson finished runner up behind Radanov, earning $107,939. Nicholson is in the midst of a successful year on the Circuit so far. This is his third cash here in New Orleans, and he cashed in the Main Event at the Circuit at Harrah’s Cherokee a few weeks ago.
Another final tablist performing well lately is Joey Alesna. Alesna made his second top-ten finish in a Circuit Main Event so far this year. He finished in tenth place at Palm Beach Kennel Club in February, and he finished in eighth place today.
The 33-year old Radanov resides in Memphis, Tenn., but he was born in Serbia. He moved to the US eleven years ago. He recalled of his journey, “My best friend came to the States in 2004 and he said he had the best time of his life. Back then you couldn’t get a student visa in your first or last year of school. I finished my third year of law school, so that was my very last shot. I just came to the States and I stayed. I followed my intuition all the way." He never practiced law in the US, and has been making his living as a poker player for the past six years.
The final day of the tournament seemed like it was divided into two distinct halves. The first two levels of the day were action-packed. Within the first 10 hands of the day, there were three called all-in bets, and all three times, the all-in player doubled up. There were six more called all-ins before the first break, and they led to six bustouts.
After that, the tone of the table changed dramatically. During the next two levels, there was only one elimination, and very little chip movement. This slow pace of play continued until the tournament ended, and Radanov collected the last of the chips.
In addition to his first WSOP Circuit ring and almost $175,000, Radanov earns a free entry into the 2015 WSOP National Championship, to be held at Harrah’s Cherokee from July 29-31.
Nicholson was the top finisher among several multiple winners who performed well in this tournament.Three-time ring winner John Holley made a deep run in this event, eventually bowing out in ninth place for $16,188. Two-time ring winner Chris Conrad just barely missed out on the final table. He was eliminated on the last hand of Day 2 in 11th place, earning $13,030. Four-time ring winners Caufman Talley and Cory Waaland finished in 30th place ($4,612), and 46th place ($2,950), respectively. And five-time ring winners Val Vornicu and Kyle Cartwright finished back-to-back in 52nd and 51st place, both earning $2,950.
Two bracelet winners cashed as well, Loni Harwood (32nd place - $4,055) and Larry Wright (42nd place - $3,241).
The tournament also showcased a family rivalry. Bob Beck and his father Robbie Beck both cashed in this event. Bob actually knocked Robbie out near the end of Day 1A, but Robbie re-entered on Day 1B and advanced to Day 2. Robbie got a bit of revenge by outlasting his father and securing bragging rights. Robbie finished in 38th place ($3,241), and Bob was eliminated in 57th ($2,717).
The tournament started on Friday, May 8, as 266 players entered Day 1A. The chip leader after the first day was Dustin Denzik, who bagged 305,000 in chips. He was well ahead of his closest competitor, Viet Vo (223,500). Denzik has had an extraordinarily successful series here at Harrah’s New Orleans. He cashed in four events, including a second-place finish and a seventh-place finish. He was eventually eliminated from the Main Event in 21st place ($7,329).
On Saturday, 288 players turned out for Day 1B. The 544 combined entries generated a prize pool of $831,000. Steve Moore ended Day 1B atop the leaderboard, bagging up 313,000, just a bit more than Denzik the day before. A total of 110 players advanced to Day 2—52 from Friday, and 58 from Saturday.
Here are the final results. Full results are available here, and live updates from the event are posted here.
1st – Damjan Radanov - $174,514
2nd – David Nicholson - $107,939
3rd – Jared Ingles - $78,928
4th – Hugo Perez - $58,569
5th – John Lauve - $44,068
6th – Tony Sanchez - $33,614
7th – Tai Cao - $25,994
8th – Joseph Alesna - $20,376
9th – John Holley - $16,188