Atlantic City, NJ (March 26, 2016) – Robert Kuhn is the newest champion of the WSOP Circuit, dominating a tough final table to win the Harrah's Atlantic City Main Event for $122,098, a diamond-studded gold ring, and a reserved seat in the 2016 WSOP Global Championship.

Kuhn is a 25-year-old poker pro from Barnesville, Ohio, who splits his time between Mexico (where he plays online poker) and Ohio. This is the first six-figure score for Kuhn, whose previous high was earning $72,137 for finishing sixth at the WSOP Circuit Hammond Main Event last October.

At the start of the final table, the favorite to win was Ari Engel, who won Event #7 ($580 No-Limit Hold'em) earlier this series and was playing for the ninth WSOPC ring of his career to tie the all-time record. Kuhn may have started the final table with the chip lead, but Engel was second in chips and had position on Kuhn, sitting on his left.

Engel wasn't the only tough spot, as WSOP bracelet winner Jared Jaffee and two-time WSOPC ring winner Joseph Liberta were also in the mix, though with much smaller chip stacks. But Kuhn was so focused on Engel that he sacrificed sleep to study Engel's recent victory at Aussie Millions.

“I watched about four hours of Aussie Millions footage last night. I had a really good grasp on Ari -- a really good grasp," said Kuhn. "I went to bed at 2:00 and woke up at 7:00 and just studied. I wanted to sleep in, but I just couldn’t.”

The extra preparation worked for Kuhn, who was never in danger at the final table, only giving up the lead for a single hand with six players remaining. Kuhn immediately bounced back in the next hand by five-bet shoving against Dorian Rios, who tanked for about two minutes before folding. That pot reclaimed the chip lead for Kuhn, who steamrolled the final table after that point, knocking out four of his five remaining opponents in the next 48 hands to win the title.

Poker is a game of both skill and luck, and it's sometimes difficult to tell how much of a role each one plays. While Kuhn wasn't born under a lucky star, his middle name was directly inspired by some good fortune. “The day before I was born, my dad said, ‘If I win at Keno, we’re going to name him Keno.’ And he ended up winning like fifteen grand — that’s a hard game to win at. And mom was like, ‘Yeah, I guess his middle name is Keno.’”


The Main Event was the ninth of 12 gold ring events on the WSOP Circuit schedule at Harrah's Atlantic City. The $1,675 no-limit hold’em event attracted 370 entries, generating a total prizepool of $555,000. That money was shared by the final 45 players.

The tournament featured two starting flights beginning Wednesday, March 23 and Thursday, March 24 at 12:00 p.m. Flight A drew 131 entries and advanced 23 while Flight B drew 239 and advanced 52. Both starting flights logged 15 levels of play.

Day 2 restarted Friday, March 25 at 12:00 p.m. with 75 players. The money bubble started near the end of Level 17, and finished 23 minutes after the level should have ended (~3:00 p.m.). Play wrapped for the day when the 10th-place finisher was eliminated in the first hand of Level 24 (~10:50 p.m.).

Day 3 began Saturday, March 26 at 12:00 p.m. with the nine-handed final table, and a winner was reached during Level 27 (~4:00 p.m.) in Hand #107, making the total duration of the final table about four hours.

The final table began with 10,000/20,000 blinds and a 3,000-chip ante. Here were the seating assignments and chip counts:

Seat 1: Ari Engel - 1,506,000 (75 bb)
Seat 2: Oliver Entine - 185,000 (9 bb)
Seat 3: Jared Jaffee - 326,000 (16 bb)
Seat 4: Joseph Liberta - 545,000 (27 bb)
Seat 5: David Cossio - 1,227,000 (61 bb)
Seat 6: Nenad Cvetkovic - 353,000 (18 bb)
Seat 7: Dorian Rios - 586,000 (29 bb)
Seat 8: Joseph Cappello - 356,000 (18 bb)
Seat 9: Robert Kuhn - 2,326,000 (116 bb)


Final table results:

1st: Robert Kuhn - $122,098
Hometown: Barnesville, Ohio
Occupation: Professional poker player
WSOP earnings: $49,588
WSOP Circuit earnings: $196,632 (1 ring)

2nd: Nenad Cvetkovic - $75,452
Hometown: Atlantic City, New Jersey
Occupation: Professional poker player
WSOP earnings: $0
WSOP Circuit earnings: $75,452

3rd: Dorian Rios - $55,134
Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela
Occupation: Empresary
WSOP earnings: $14,104
WSOP Circuit earnings: $55,134

4th: Ari Engel - $40,937
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Occupation: Professional poker player
WSOP earnings: $172,927
WSOP Circuit earnings: $520,012 (8 rings)

5th: David Cossio - $30,869
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Occupation: Professional poker player
WSOP earnings: $226,206
WSOP Circuit earnings: $360,623

6th: Joseph Liberta - $23,626
Hometown: Berlin, New Jersey
Occupation: Professional poker player
WSOP earnings: $107,162
WSOP Circuit earnings: $97,515 (2 rings)

7th: Joseph Cappello - $18,348
Hometown: New Rochelle, New York
Occupation: Professional poker player
WSOP earnings: $87,991
WSOP Circuit earnings: $30,386

8th: Jared Jaffee - $14,452
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Occupation: Professional poker player
WSOP earnings: $747,003 (1 bracelet)
WSOP Circuit earnings: $21,853

9th: Oliver Entine - $11,544
Hometown: New York, New York
Occupation: Quant-finance
WSOP earnings: $21,850
WSOP Circuit earnings: $54,947

Notable in-the-money finishers included four-time gold ring winner Vincent Moscati (11th place - $9,346), WSOP bracelet winners Brian Lemke (13th place - $7,670), Andy Frankenberger (16th place - $6,388), Geffrey Klein (24th place - $4,590), and Justin Liberto (40th place - $2,509), as well as 2012 WSOP Main Event finalist Michael Esposito (25th place - $3,968).


Here is the full list of gold ring winners from Harrah's Atlantic City:

Event #1: $365 No-Limit Hold’em (220 entries) - Chris Reslock wins $16,502
Event #2: $365 No-Limit Hold'em (180 entries) - John Yanni wins $14,582
Event #3: $365 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo (163 entries) - Chris Morse wins $13,203
Event #4: $365 Omaha Hi/Lo (101 entries) - John Creed wins $9,089
Event #5: $365 No-Limit Hold'em Re-entry (484 entries) - Kalid Ali wins $31,216
Event #6: $365 Monster Stack (282 entries) - Stephen Dees wins $20,303
Event #7: $580 No-Limit Hold'em (123 entries) - Ari Engel wins $17,221
Event #8: $365 No-Limit Hold'em Six Max (165 entries) - Joe Rodriguez wins $13,860
Event #9: $1,675 Main Event (370 entries) - Robert Kuhn wins $122,098
Event #10: $365 No-Limit Hold'em (100 entries) - David Coppola wins $8,998
Event #11: $580 No-Limit Hold’em (99 entries) - Pei Xin wins $14,851
Event #12: $365 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo (125 entries) - Bud Novin wins $10,500

Ari Engel of Las Vegas, Nevada earned the title of Casino Champion at Harrah's Atlantic City. Engel won the eighth gold ring of his career in Event #7 ($580 No-Limit Hold'em) before final tabling the Main Event, finishing fourth. Engel accumulated 90 points and $58,158 in earnings here, and his overall performance allowed him to secure one of the limited seats in the 2016 WSOP Global Casino Championship.