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A down-to-the-wire Casino Championship battle won by Jared Hemingway wraps up a wild series at Choctaw
Durant, Ok. (12 November 2018)
- The first of two stops at Choctaw Casino and Resort in Durant Oklahoma was dominated by two Texans. Jared Hemingway and Bart Bogard battled the entire series for the lead in the Casino Champion race. The battle came down to the final day with Hemingway needing at least a seventh place finish in the main event to lock up the title.
Hemingway did so well in the main, Bogard almost won it back. Hemingway finished runner-up to Max Young in the main event. Had he come out victorious in the heads-up battle, he wouldn’t have received any points and Bogard would have won the title. Hemingway would have secured a seat with his main event victory.
Both players won a ring. Bogard won a $400 no-limit hold’em event just a few days after Hemingway took down the $400 no-limit hold’em six-max. Hemingway also finished runner-up in the opening event, the $250 no-limit hold’em double stack event, and cashed in the $400 no-limit hold’em single-day event.
Out of 13 events, Bogard cashed in six of them. He finished third in the opening event, eighth in the six-max, along with his win and cashes in the multi-flight re-entry, the monster stack and the main event.
The main event was won by Max Young, who secured the other guaranteed seat in the 2019 Global Casino Championship for the stop. Young earned his fifth ring and second in the month of November by defeating Hemingway heads-up. He also took home $263,815, which is a career-best score for the poker pro from Oregon.
Martin Ryan, Josh Vizcarra, Carl Brewington and Trung Pham all added another Circuit ring to a trophy case that already had at least one. Ryan won the $600 no-limit hold’em for his seventh career rings in just two years of traveling the Circuit. It was the end of Ryan’s time on the Circuit for the foreseeable future. The native of Trinidad decided that this would be his last stop for a while and he was going to spend some time at home.
Pham won his second ring a year to the day after winning his first one. Last year at this stop, he won the multi-flight re-entry event. This year, he won the $400 no-limit hold’em single-day event. Both of his ring victories came on his birthday.
Brewington is a new addition to the Circuit and it’s looking like the monster stack format best suits his style of play. Brewington won the monster stack at Southern Indiana and then came to Oklahoma and won Choctaw’s monster stack event. He won one of the larger scores, defeating 632 entries for $42,751.
Vizcarra was the third player to win his second ring at the stop. He won his piece of hardware in a $400 no-limit hold’em. He’s already got his banner on the wall of the Grand Theatre from a major victory at another series at Choctaw, and now the Texas pro owns a Circuit ring from one of his home casinos.
The rest of the events were filled with first-time winners with varied backgrounds. Schuyler Thornton got his first ring victory off his back. The successful high-stakes mixed game pro defeated Hemingway heads-up in the first event of the series.
It was followed up by Wes Cutshall’s victory in the multi-flight re-entry event. Cutshall has been a fixture in the poker world for some time. The Houston native is a regular at most of the stops in Oklahoma and owns Raiser Clothing, a poker branded clothing line. Cutshall and Young were the only two players to earn a six-figure score at the stop. Cutshall was the first to do it, defeating 2,070 entries to earn $107,753.
Houston dominated the early part of the series. Another Houston grinder, Jorge Cosenza took down the $400 pot-limit Omaha. Cosenza is a pot-limit Omaha cash game specialist, who plays the game every day in Houston. He very rarely plays tournaments, but a last-minute decision to come hang out with friends at the stop brought him to Choctaw. He’ll bring a victory back to Houston.
The most interesting storyline of the first-time winners is younger brother of Jared Hemingway. Lloyd Hemingway won the final event of the series, the second $400 no-limit hold’em bounty event of the series. Lloyd won his first ring just steps away from where his older brother was playing the final table of the main event. The younger Hemingway called the entire experience ‘badass’ and earned $12,478 for his first career poker victory.
The other $400 no-limit hold’em bounty event was won by Rex Worrell. The 78-year-old is a former ‘working golf pro’ that developed Hidden Oaks golf course in Texas. Worrell won the bounty event just a few days after Clay Hoffman won his first ring in a $400 no-limit hold’em event. Hoffman made his return to the felt after a 15-year hiatus from the game and took down his second tournament win in the last few months.
The Circuit wrapped up at Choctaw on Monday, but the next stop gets going in just a couple days with the kickoff of the stop at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas on Wednesday.