Epic heads-up match ends with Russ Head earning his second career WSOP Circuit gold ring.

Elizabeth, Ind. (October 12, 2015) – Russ Head would not be denied the Horseshoe S. Indiana Circuit Main Event championship this year. One year ago Head finished runner-up in this very same event and it stung. Head wanted the win. He wanted the gold ring, but missed out on it by just one spot. This year he willed his way to the gold ring by coming back from being the final table short stack to the final table champion.

Shortly after the money was reached, Head was involved in a pot where he held pocket aces and went on to knock his opponent out. Head could feel the momentum swinging in his favor and he called it right then and there that he was going to win the tournament.

“I am going to win it,” said Head. “Last year I got second and this year I am going to win it.”

Win it is exactly what Head went on to do. It was no easy task though. Head survived a heads-up battle with runner-up finisher, Abhishek Yerra that lasted more than six hours and involved several lead changes. Head was able to use the experience he gained from last year’s heads up battle against Greg Johnson to his advantage.

“Last year when I played Greg heads-up I played very fast, very aggressive. This year I wanted to play small ball as much as I could, see the flops and not get my money in until I knew I had him,” said Head.

Head entered the final table tied for the shortest stack. He had a lot of ground to make up if he wanted to catch up to the chip leader, Richard Bai. Head doubled through Bai in the first level play on Day 3 when he made hero call for all of his chips against the chip leader. Head called on the river for all of his chips with on a board. Bai ended up only having ace high. That pot rocketed Head near the top of the chip counts and he never looked back from there.

Head plays for the rings. He already has a full time job that pays the bills and he comes to these WSOP stops with one intention, and that is to win gold rings. Head now has reached seven WSOP Circuit final tables in his career. He has two wins, two second places, a third place, a fifth place and a ninth place. Head has experienced the frustration of coming within just a few spots of the gold ring, just to fall short.

“It’s bittersweet because you get a decent payday, but for guys like me that work full time and do this as a dream, well, you put your heart and soul into this and want first so bad,” said Head about his multiple close finishes in the past. “Second money is great, but there is no ring involved.”

Head earned $123,420 for his first place finish. It is the largest poker score of his career. Head donates 10% of all of his winnings to “We the Church”, a new church in his hometown of Rome, Georgia. Head plans to use some of the money to remodel the kitchen for his wife.

Along with the $123,420 cash prize, Head earns his second career WSOP Circuit gold ring and an automatic bid into the 2016 Global Casino Championship. Head qualified for the 2015 National Championship as one of the 50 at-large bids. He finished short of the money.

Head wanted to thank Shala, his wife, for supporting him chasing his dreams. He also wanted to thank Adam Dyer, Blake and Jaxson for watching his store, so that he could make this event.

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This year’s Horseshoe S. Indiana Main Event drew 374 entries. It was the largest Main Event this property has ever hosted. Several notable names made the money, including five-time gold ring winner, Kurt Jewell (17th), ring winners Michael Hahn (24th) and Raymond Walton (38th), Dean Schultz (39th), and three-time gold ring winner, Robert Hankins (44th).

The Main Event was the 10th of 12 gold ring events on the WSOP Circuit schedule at Horseshoe S. Indiana. The $1,675 no-limit hold’em event attracted 374 entries. The total prize pool came to $561,000 and the top 45 players were paid.

Final table results:

1st: Russ Head - $123,420 + WSOP Circuit gold ring
2nd: Abhishek Yerra - $76,268
3rd: William Watson -$55,730
4th: Richard Bai - $41,379
5th: George Woody II - $31,203
6th: Chad Eveslage - $23,882
7th: John Mahler - $18,546
8th: Lytle Allen - $14,608
9th: Kim Schinco - $11,669

Complete results can be found on WSOP.com.