Valentin Vornicu Wins Bike Casino Champion Crown on Final Day With Eighth Ring 

Bell Gardens, CA (April 1, 2016) - Valentin Vornicu is a big fan of playing Circuit stops in the Southern California area.

The San Diego native won his eighth career World Series of Poker Circuit ring in the last event of the WSOP Circuit stop at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles. Vornicu topped a field of 115 players in the $580 no-limit hold’em turbo re-entry event on Wednesday evening to take home yet another ring and $17,255.

The win moves him into a three-way tie with Ari Engel and Chris Reslock for second on the all-time rings list. The trio of poker pros all sit one behind Alex Masek, who has nine career rings.

“Obviously it feels good,” said Vornicu. “It’s really hard to get to that, you know?”

Vornicu wants more than nine, though.

“I want to be the guy with the most rings,” said Vornicu. “That’s my goal. It’s up there on my priority list.”

Aside from moving up the leaderboard, the win also secures Vornicu the title of Casino Champion for the stop. The winner of this title at each stop gets an automatic entry into the Global Casino Championship later this year, but Vornicu has already qualified for the Global Casino Championship by winning the main event last December during the WSOP Circuit’s first of two stops at the Bike.

Qualifying twice for the Global Casino Championship puts Vornicu in a small, elite group of players which includes current WSOP Main Event Champion Joe McKeehen and Bracelet Winners Jonathan Taylor and Matthew Waxman. McKeehen was the most recent to do it after winning the main event in Atlantic City and the Casino Champion title at Harrah’s New Orleans in 2013.

“I mean it’s great, obviously,” said Vornicu. “I was Casino Champion down in San Diego the first time I qualified for the [former] National Championship. It’s like my home turf down here. I get to sleep in my own bed every night.”

Vornicu won three of his eight rings at the Bicycle Casino and another one at the now Harrah’s Southern Califonrnia. Vornicu credits the comfort of his own home as a major factor in winning half of his rings in Southern California.

“That’s why I was doing the whole driving back-and-forth. I mean, I have a dog and I want to sleep there and I want to be there with him at night and stuff, but it’s just different when you get to sleep in your own bed. It’s just better.

“I’ve had a lot of success at [Harrah’s] Rincon [now known as Harrah’s Southern California] and had a lot of success here in L.A. and I think most of it is because of that. I’ve played all around, but I think the west coast are my most successful stops and mostly I think it’s because I sleep nights at home.”

The title for Casino Champion was up for grabs throughout the entire series. On the final day of play, David Malka led the pack with just 55 points after a cash in the main event and a win in the high roller the day before. Vornicu came into the day with 35 points after finishing 17th in the $365 no-limit hold'em re-entry event and a fifth place finish in the $365 no-limit hold'em turbo. 

Vornicu not only found a sixth place finish, but found another piece of Circuit hardware to put in the trophy case. He finishes the series with 85 points and $23,205 in cashes. 

Here's a look at all of Vornicu's cashes at the Bicycle Casino:

Event #1: $365 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry - 17th for $2,945
Event #5: $365 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo - 5th for $3,005
Event #12: $580 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo Re-Entry - 1st for $17,255