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Fernando Galvan wins Main Event $1M GTD; Arkadiy Tsinis wins 3 rings in one stop; Nikolai wins the High Roller

November 21, 2017 (Las Vegas, NV) - The ever-popular World Series of Poker Circuit stop at Planet Hollywood is in the books with 14 different events across 12 days with 12 official rings won. The cream was always rising to the top in each event, and that was apparent with regular Circuit grinder Neil Scott finally winning a ring after 63 recorded cashes in the books. He also made a deep run in the Main Event, but fell short of another ring in 9th place for $23,525!

Another major highlight of this stop was Arkadiy Tsinis' three Circuit ring wins, which is unofficially a record and will be confirmed. It looks like he will likely be the Casino Champion race winner as well, and will be confirmed once all events are complete. Tsinis won the Tag Team event with partner Daniel Mogavero, Event 6 and Event 10 6-Handed. He also has a gold WSOP bracelet as part of his impressive collection.

Fernando Galvan took down the $1M guaranteed Main Event for $247,160, topping a field of 845 entries and a whopping prize pool of $1,267,500. The guarantee was increased by Planet Hollywood, up to $1 million from $750,000 last year.

Here is a look at the final table results:

1st place: Fernando Galvan - $247,160
2nd place: Corey Hochman - $152,734
3rd place: Chris Tham - $112,503
4th place: Ali Imsirovic - $83,959
5th place: Bruce Kramer - $63,476
6th place: Melanie Banfield - $48,609
7th place: Mark Ioli - $37,695
8th place: Danny Elmore - $29,596
9th place: Neil Scott - $23,525
10th place: Sunny Gandham - $18,924

Runner-up Corey Hochman ($152,734) found himself heads-up and down 7-to-1 in chips but with the biggest heart. The eye surgeon from Arizona came in to the day with the shortest stack and laddered all the way to second while nursing a less-than-average stack the entire way. In the final hand, Hochman got it in with ace-three but it was no match for Galvan's queens in a fitting end for the champion.

There were a lot of familiar faces in this event, and with 90 spots paid there were some notable names that made deep runs including Event #7 winner Bryan Devonshire, Ankush Mandavia, Jonathan Dimmig, Joe Reddick, Eric Baldwin, Jordan Cristos, Wendy Freedman, Jon Turner, Woody Moore, Defending Champion Sean Yu, Sorel Mizzi, Kevin Calenzo, Michael Del Vecchio III, Sal DiCarlo, James Hoeppner, Jeremy Ausmus, JJ Liu, and Kevin Eyster.

The $2,200 High Roller is in the books as well with local poker pro Nikolai Sears finishing at the top for $70,000 and his first ever tournament win. He has amassed over $750,000 in cashes and finally gets to take home some hardware after a lengthy career in poker.

Casino Championship Update

Arkadiy Tsinis is the Casino Champion at Planet Hollywood after a phenomenal performance this week. He won three rings and hammered out a total of four cashes, making him the runaway winner with 110 points. 

Tsinis grew his total number of rings to four, which was a nice addition to his gold WSOP bracelet. The four-time ring winner has won himself a seat into the 2018 Global Casino Championship next year.

Casino Championship Leaderboard

 Completed Events

Event #1: $365 No-Limit Hold'em $200K GTD - Marcin Milde tops 825 entries to win $44,809
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event #2: $365 No-Limit Hold'em - Terry Fleischer tops 105 entries to win $9,450
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event #3: $365 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo
- A.J. Yowler tops 93 entries to win $8,370
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results 

Event #4: $365 No-Limit Hold'em - Neil Scott tops 137 entries to win $12,798
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event #5: $250 No-Limit Hold'em Tag Team
- Arkadiy Tsinis & Daniel Mogavero top 98 teams to win $5,878
Winner's Photo | Results

Event #6: $365 No-Limit Hold'em - Arkadiy Tsinis tops 219 entries to win $16,426
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event #7: $365 H.O.R.S.E. - Bryan Devonshire tops 137 entries to win $11,508
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event #8: $365 MONSTER STACK - Alfredo Pacheco tops 525 entries to win $33,864
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event #9: $250 Seniors' Event - Leo Hearn tops 272 entries to win $13,058
Winner's Photo | Results

Event #10: $365 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed -
Arkadiy Tsinis tops 261 entries to win $20,750

Official Report
| Winner's Photo | Results

Event #11: $1,675 MAIN EVENT -
Fernando Galvan tops 845 entries to win $247,160

Official Report
| Winner's Photo | Results

Event #12: $365 No-Limit Hold'em
Matthew Krier tops 176 entries to win $14,256

Official Report
| Winner's Photo | Results

Event #13: $2,200 High Roller -
Nikolai Sears tops 118 entries to win $70,801

Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event #14: $365 Turbo -
Lena Evans tops 162 entries to win $13,122

Official Report
| Winner's Photo | Results

 About the Winners

Event #1: Marcin Milde
United Kingdom’s Marcin Milde finished as the Day 1B chip leader and built his stack up to lead the final table by the end of Day 2. He carried this over to Day 3 and finished the job. James Fondren put up a big fight, with a heads-up match that went on for a few hours before Milde finally sealed the deal.

Milde has taken down a major online tournament for six figures and now has a WSOP title to add to his poker accomplishments. The Brit and his supportive rail are in Las Vegas for two months, so it won’t be a surprise to see him taking a shot at a second ring this week.

Event #2: Terry Fleischer
Terry Fleischer came in to the final table with the chip lead and never really let up. In just three hours, the Las Vegas self-employed tournament crusher took down yet another tournament, winning his first ever World Series of Poker Circuit ring.

“I finally have a ring now” said Fleischer. His poker resume is an impressive one, with a plethora of cashes and now 25 outright recorded wins. This is also his 17th WSOP cash, taking home $9,450 for the win.

Event #3: A.J. (Andrew) Yowler
A.J. Yowler bested a field of 93 entries to win his first Circuit ring after leaving the professional poker world to turn his focus on his family and accounting. He only had one day off from celebrating his Dad’s retirement and picked the right one, pocketing $8,370 for the win.

“I played online poker quite a bit, played professionally for about 19 months. I’ve got a fiancé with two kids – needed a little bit of security. I took accounting, Masters. Now I do disaster relief compliance.” Yowler had a lot of success in 2015, but said that things dried up a little bit and he now plays when he can at Choctaw.

Event #4: Neil Scott

Neil Scott began the final table with some high expectations of winning a Circuit ring and managed to pull it off – 63 cashes later. The Mammoth Lakes poker player, a regular Circuit grinder, finally won his first ring and $12,798 to go with it. When asked how it feels to finally win, Scott said “Surreal. I always thought, at this point, although there are people that are better than I am, I always thought at this point that three of my final tables should've been my ring. For a long time I was just starting to think at the final table I was just completely unlucky. Even though I don't believe in any of that stuff, it just seemed like that was just the way it was going.”

The newly-crowned champion has been playing poker for a long time. “Since I was 6 or 7. My father and grandfather taught me how to play different varieties of poker - mostly draw-based games. And stud. And then I played gin for a long, long time, but then the gin circuit dried up.” Scott passionately talked about how the ring was great, but that winning it is “very low on the totem pole” because he feels that the support he has gotten from friends has been the most important to him. “I'm very appreciative of having great friends. I have the best friends. I don't really have a whole lot of family, so there they are” continued Scott, pointing at the massive group of people in his winner’s photo.

Scott has been growing his hair for over two years now, since Halloween in 2015. “The hair thing wasn't so much a bet. I've lost a lot of people to cancer. About two years ago we were talking about a way to bring awareness to it but at the same time to make it a fun challenge. This is going to the Childrens' Cancer Treatment Centre in Palm Springs. So far I'm the only one who's kept my end of the deal. I'm not going to mention any names, but there were four other people. Considering my age, I'm probably losing it faster” laughed Scott.

“All of the people who have helped me on the tour, who have given me the time of day, I think all of them.”

Event #6: Arkadiy Tsinis

Arkadiy Tsinis has done it again, winning his second ring in three days after winning the Tag Team event with his partner Daniel Mogavero. He has just won Event #6 $365 No-Limit Hold’em, topping 219 entries over two days for $16,426.

Tsinis began the day with a top five stack and came in to the final table second in chips. He went on to get himself heads-up, still second in chips by a small margin. He eventually doubled up with two pair and the rest is history. “I want seven more. One for each finger” laughed Tsinis. The newly-crowned three-time champion now has a WSOP gold bracelet and three gold rings in his collection.

The Ukranian-born professional gambler says he is one of the best backgammon players in the world, and was previously a financial analyst before making poker his career.

Event #7: Bryan Devonshire
Bryan Devonshire has added a third World Series of Poker Circuit ring to his collection after taking down the H.O.R.S.E. event for $11,508. The professional gambler laughed and said “I’ve basically been retired” as he confirmed this is his first cash of 2017. It is also his first win since 2012, and he thoroughly enjoyed it with a drink in hand.

The three-time champion says he’s been living in a camper and enjoying life, and was previously a Raft guide before turning to poker on a full-time basis.

This win puts Devonshire’s all-time career earnings over $2.5 million, and makes this his 10th recorded win. He has wins across the United States as well as in Canada and Europe.

Event #8: Alfredo Pacheco

It was a fairytale ending for Alfredo Pacheco, a professional online poker pro from Los Angeles. He missed his first flight to Las Vegas from Chicago, and by the time he got on the next one, he hit the felt just in time to late register. The rest is history.

Pacheco defeated WSOP bracelet winner and three-time ring winner Sean Yu in an epic heads-up battle. The two players already knew each other, but it was Pacheco’s time to shine. It was the first Circuit event he has ever played since he prefers to play 12 tables at once, but the win hasn’t registered yet. “It hasn’t really hit me yet. I’ve had a nice little run lately, but it’s online. It’s locked up online so it’s just digital numbers and hasn’t hit me yet.”

Pacheco turned pro six years ago, but he started out by playing with friends in the beginning. “My friends got me to play with them and they’d take my money for months over months. I’m really competitive so I just started learning and reading books. I have a background in math, so I just started to turn the tables on them” laughed a proud Pacheco.

Event #10: Arkadiy Tsinis

Another day, another Circuit ring for Arkadiy Tsinis of Miami, Florida. The poker and backgammon pro took down Event #10 $365 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed for $20,750 after defeating another fellow ring-winner heads-up. The final table was also stacked with 13 rings between four players.

When asked about what he does for a living, Tsinis responded, “This is what I do. Poker and backgammon, and I started a couple of businesses.” The four-time ring winner claims to be the world’s best backgammon player and explained that he plays “competitively. Same as poker. They have tournaments. As we speak, there’s a tournament at Flamingo. I gave it up because this is much more lucrative. I just wanna have ten rings, you know. Ten fingers – that’s it.”

Event #11 MAIN EVENT: Fernando Galvan
Fernando Galvan has had a fairytale year and a half since beginning his venture into playing tournaments as a live poker pro. According to his resume, Galvan only started playing tournaments in 2016 and amassed career earnings of just over $200,000 before this win. He has now crossed the $500,000 mark in a short period of time, adding an impressive piece of jewelry to his collection. The 26-year-old Mexico native now has three wins, with this one being his biggest score to more than double his career earnings.

“I learned how to play poker with experience and reading books. Jonathan Little helped a lot” explained the newly-crowned champion. Galvan had a supportive rail behind him since Day 2 and they barely left his side. He stayed humble and focused, even after learning he just added a quarter of a million dollars to his bankroll.

Galvan explained that he began his career playing online and then pursued the live circuit. When asked what advice he would give to up-and-coming players he said “gain experience. Just keep playing.” It seems as though poker is Galvan’s sole focus at the moment, but when asked about his life outside of the game he seemed to be at a loss for words. “I like to exercise. It really helps with poker as well.”

When all was said and done, the pro poker player really stood out on Day 2. Galvan stayed steady throughout the day and through the money bubble, but it was towards the end of the night that he really turned on the jets. Even after losing a pot in a set-over-set scenario in one of the last few hands of the night, Galvan still finished as the chip leader heading into Day 3. He maintained his lead for a good chunk of the final table, and even when he lost it, Galvan was never too far behind. He pulled away from the pack when there were five players left and never looked back. One-by-one, Galvan eliminated his opponents and finally won the tournament with pocket queens.

Event #12: Matthew Krier
It was an exciting day for Matthew Krier, winner of Event #12 at the Planet Hollywood Circuit stop in Las Vegas. This two-day event brought back 15 players on Day 2 and Krier topped an overall field of 176 entries for a prize pool of $52,800.

Krier took down his first ever tournament in this event. “I’ve made seven or eight final tables. I finally won one” said a smiling Krier. When asked how he felt to win his first ring he said, “It was fun and exciting. This was my first outright win.”

Although Krier loves to ski, hike, climb and play soccer, he is most definitely passionate about poker. “I am predominantly a cash game player, but sometimes dabble in playing live” continued Krier.

Event #13:Nikolai Sears
After two days of play, Nikolai Sears is finally victorious for his first ever tournament win after having amassed over $750,000 in career earnings. Sears earned himself his first Circuit ring and $70,801 in cold hard cash.

Sears was previously a student and worked for a commerce company before becoming a poker pro. “My grandmother taught me at thanksgiving in 2003, going on 14 years during the Moneymaker boom. My grandmother, who I love the most, she taught me. I’m glad I finally got a piece of hardware. It’s my first piece of hardware, so…” laughed Sears.

Outside of poker, Sears finds his balance in life by turning to music. “I play music and I wrote some music. I DJ a little bit and…expanding my consciousness. I play guitar, I play the piano.”

The poker pro has put together an impressive string of cashes over the years, dating back to 2009 for a total of over $750,000 in results. Sears has cashed tournaments in the United States and the Bahamas. His biggest career cash to date was for over $91,000 earlier this year in Las Vegas in the WSOP Circuit Main Event. Sears has also cashed in the WSOP $10,000 Main Event for over $50,000.

Event #14:Lena Evans
Lena Evans flew in on the final day of the series to play the final Circuit ring event at Planet Hollywood. “My intention was fully to take a ring home with me” explained Evans. She did just that, after winning Event #14 $365 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo for $13,122 and a brand-new gold World Series of Poker Circuit ring.

The former professional blackjack player turned philanthropist plays poker as a hobby and a passion. By day, she is best known for her charity work and has won many awards for her efforts. “My life’s work is charity. I love the community of poker - it's such an interesting subculture. I get to interact with people I would never normally get the opportunity to hang out with. It’s really like a family.”

Evans has been predominantly a cash game player for 10 years and a year ago to this day, she turned her focus to tournaments. Her immediate success has combined her love for traveling and for the game of poker. Evans runs charity poker tournaments and events to promote the game and to give back in fulfilling ways.

For the full schedule of events at Planet Hollywood or for more information on the WSOP Circuit, use the links below: