This is the central hub for information about the ongoing WSOP Circuit series at Horseshoe Southern Indiana. Check back here ( daily for updated schedule and results.

October 8, 2018 (Elizabeth, Indiana) -- The World Series of Poker Circuit stop at Horseshoe Southern Indiana came to an end Monday evening with the completion of the Main Event. A total of 12 WSOP gold rings were handed out during the series, which saw a big boost in numbers compared to the year prior.

All in all, the total number of entries was up 25% from last season’s Circuit in Elizabeth, Indiana, and the total amount of prizepool money generated saw a 15% increase. Even with larger starting fields showing up at “The Boat,” there were some familiar faces that continued to make waves throughout the Circuit’s duration.

The 12-tournament series kicked off with a quick, turbo-style tournament. Corey Hodgeman, from the Nashville, Tennessee area, was the one to take down Event #1, winning his first gold ring and $15,873. The following event was a more extended endeavor.

Event #2: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry encompassed two separate starting flights and attracted a combined total of 763 entries. Topping the giant field when all was said and done was Jason Wheatley. The Kentucky native reeled in the first-place payout of $50,358 and a debut gold ring.

Another high-profile event that hit the Horseshoe Southern Indiana poker room was the Monster Stack. Event #8 generated a prizepool of $137,594 from 417 entrants. Going into Day 2 of the popular tournament, Carl Brewington had a massive chip lead. In the end, he defeated William Watson in a heated-heads up battle to win his first Circuit ring and $30,274.

Watson fell just one spot short of winning his second gold ring in less than a month, but he did return to the final stage. The 29-year-old went on to run fairly deep in the Main Event, cashing in 42nd place. Then, following his Main Event exit, Watson jumped in the final ring event of the series.

He, again, made it to heads-up play in Event #12: $250 No-Limit Hold’em. However, just as before, Watson dropped in 2nd place, to Drake Espenlaub. Although the Lexington, Kentucky resident did not seize another Circuit title, he has now accumulated a total of 170 points this season, placing him atop the National Leaderboard.

As for the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Venue Leaderboard, Dave Potter basked in the top spot for some time. Potter won Event #4 and placed 3rd in Event #7 for a total of 80 points. The sum simply could not hold against the always-present Michael Lech.

Lech made his first final table appearance of the series in Event #5. After finishing in 5th place in that, the four-time Circuit gold ring winner went on to take 5th again in Event #7. Then, just one tournament later, Lech was seen again, at the Monster Stack final table. A 9th-place finish there gave him a total of 65 points, 15 behind Potter. Then came the Main Event.

Event #10, the Main Event, attracted a total of 398 entrants between two starting flights. The field produced a prizepool of $589, 335 that paid out the top 45 finishers. Lech survived Flight A for a Day 2 berth. From there, he continued to climb and made it to his fourth final table of the series.

Another familiar face at the Main Event final table was Heather Alcorn. The WSOP dealer was already having a solid series, with an 8th-place finish in Event #7 and a 4th-place finish in Event #8, before her Main Event run.

There was a scenario where Alcron could swipe the Casino Championship from Lech if he did not finish in the top six. Lech ended up busting out in 6th place, good for $25,088 and enough points (100 on the dot) to lock up the Casino Championship.

Lech earned himself an automatic bid to the 2019 Global Casino Championship. Even though Alcorn did not pass Lech in points, it did not matter in the end. Instead, Alcorn simply went on to win the entire tournament. Her Main-Event purse included $129,654 as well as her own automatic bid to the GCC.

Completed Events

Event #1: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo - Corey Hodgeman defeats 185 entries to win $15,873
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #2: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry - Jason Wheatley defeats 763 entries to win $50,358
Official Report | Winner Photo  | Results

Event #3: $400 NL Hold'em Double Stack Turbo - Russ Salzer defeats 235 entries to win $19,388
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #4: $400 No-Limit Hold'em BB Ante - Dave Potter defeats 146 entries to win $13,490
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #5: $400 No-Limit Hold'em - David Thurston defeats 170 entries to win $15,147
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #6: $600 NL Hold'em Six Max BB Ante - Austin Farmer defeats 164 entries to win $23,648
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #7: $400 No-Limit Hold'em - Robert Sheldon defeats 176 entries to win $15,681
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #8: $400 NL Hold'em Monster Stack - Carl Brewington defeats 417 entries to win $30,274
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #9: $400 Pot-Limit Omaha Rebuy - Michael Whitton defeats 83 entries to win $24,796
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #10: $1,700 NL Hold'em Main Event - Heather Alcorn defeats 389 entries to win $129,654
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #11: $250 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo - Kevin Nystrom defeats 167 entries to win $9,018
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #12: $250 No-Limit Hold'em - Drake Espenlaub defeats 209 entries to win $10,867
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results


Casino Champion Update

Michael Lech wins the Casino Championship with four final table appearances worth a total of 100 points.


About the Winners

Event #1 - Corey Hodgeman

Using some free time, Corey Hodgeman decided to enter in the first event of the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Circuit series and came out with a World Series of Poker gold ring. The 31-year-old from defeated a field of 185 entrants in Event #1: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo.

The tournament took finished in just one day, almost 12 hours to be exact. The short levels and face-paced style was to Hodgeman’s liking. Most of his poker experience is derived from playing online.

“It’s only my third live tournament; first cash, first final table, first win, all in the same day,” said Hodgeman. “It feels good.”

Hodgeman’s lack of live tournament practice did not stop him from finding success. Along with the gold ring, he also earned the top prize of $15,873. A couple days away from his family to try his hand at a Circuit event, granted by his loving wife, turned into a lucrative leave of absence. The Gallantin, Tennessee native can now return home to her, and their two boys, with a solid payday and memorable story.

Event #2 - Jason Wheatley

Jason Wheatley has just won his first World Series of Poker Circuit gold ring and $50,358 by conquering a field of 763 entrants in Event #2: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Re-entry. The tournament consisted of two separate starting flights and an extensive Day 2.

“It feels great. It’s long overdue. I’ve been playing for 20 years. I’ve won a few small tournaments, but this is the first big one,” said Wheatley.

 Wheatley has been playing poker recreationally for a while and now has a huge milestone to show for his years of experience.  The Kentucky native must return home for work this week but does plan on playing in the Horseshoe Southern Indian Main Event next weekend.

Event #3 - Russ Salzer

Russ Salzer picked up his first World Series of Poker title at the Horseshoe Southern Indian Circuit stop after a long-standing career in the world of cards. The 59-year-old poker player defeated 235 entrants in Event #3: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Double Stack Turbo to win his first Circuit gold ring.

“The rings a little tight, but I feel a little looser since I won,” Salzer said with a laugh, following his triumph.

Along with the gold ring, Salzer was also awarded 50 Casino Championship points and $19,388 for the win. He now lays claim to 21 WSOP cashes, worth just over $670,000. Majority of Salzer’s cashes stem from the annual WSOP in Las Vegas, where he lived and played cards for 35 years. His largest and most prestigious score to date came in the 2005 WSOP Main Event World Championship where he finished 29th out of 5,619 players, banking $274,090.

Event #4 - Dave Potter

Dave Potter claimed his first Circuit gold ring on Monday. The Kentucky native defeated a field of 146 players in Event #4: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Big Blind Ante.

Potter is a local, recreational player who frequents "The Boat" about two days a week, usually accompanied by his wife, who he gives the upper to. “She’s actually the better poker player,” Potter admitted. “If I’m on the rail watching her play, they give me a hard time.”

It has been some time since his last WSOP recording though. Potter's most recent cash on the Circuit tour was a 3rd-place showing worth $4,723, which came in 2009 at the S. Indiana series. Nine years later and the 62-year-old found his way into the winner's circle. Potter also earned himself a payout of $13,490 and 50 Casino Championship points for his 1st-place achievement, along with the golden hardware.

Event #5 - David Thurston

David Thurston emerged victorious again at the World Series of Poker Circuit stop at Horseshoe Southern Indiana on Tuesday. The 45-year-old topped a field of 170 entrants in Event #5: $400 No-Limit Hold'em to win $15,147 and double up on gold rings.

Thurston now lays claim to WSOP titles in back-to-back Circuit series at “The Boat.” Last season provided the poker pro with his first taste of gold when he took down Event #9: $365 Pot-Limit Omaha Rebuy. His current triumph was in the NLHE arena, in which Thurston benefited from good play and good luck.

“I ran very well,” said Thurston. “I had aces about five times… and they all held,” he continued, mentioning some run good on Day 1. A pivotal hand that stuck out for Thurston on Day 2.  “I Jammed with pocket sevens… The guy was slow playing kings and I flopped a seven. That’s the hand that turned it for me,” he explained.

Event #6 - Austin Farmer

Austin Farmer seized the Six Max honors at the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Circuit series, granting him a debut World Series of Poker gold ring. The 22-year-old from North Chesterfield, Virginia vanquished a field of 164 players in Event #6: $600 No-Limit Hold'em Six Max Big Blind Ante.

“I drove eight and a half hours to get here. I didn’t even think I was going to come here at first,” said Farmer. “I went to Coconut Creek; had bronchitis the entire time. Didn’t get much poker done there.”

A spell of sickness at the Coconut Creek Circuit stop kept Farmer off the felt for the most part. Following that, he agreed to attend the S. Indiana series because a good friend of his was ready to grind the Circuit.

It ultimately turned out to be a valuable decision for Farmer. Aside from the gold ring, the young gun also walked away with $23,648 and 50 Casino Championship points.

Event #7 - Robert Sheldon

Robert Sheldon is the newest owner of a World Series of Poker gold ring. The Kitchen Manager from Lexington, Kentucky ultimately outlasted a field of 176 entries in Event #7: $400 No-Limit Hold’em. The tournament took two days to complete at the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Circuit stop, leaving Sheldon as the last man standing.

“I don’t do a whole lot of tournaments. I mostly play cash,” said Sheldon “I come and play here every once in a while… so I figured I come here and have some fun.”

Winning is certainly a surefire way to a good time. Along with the debut gold ring, the recreation cash-game player also took home $15,681. The score marks Sheldon’s first cash on the WSOP scene.

Event #8 - Carl Brewington

Thursday night at the World Series of Poker Circuit at Horseshoe Southern Indiana was a monumental one for Carl Brewington. The 39-year-old ended up overcoming a field of 417 entrants in Event #8: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack to win $30,274 and his first gold ring.

The Nashville native took and monster chip lead into Day 2 of the tournament. After making the final table he moved on to a heads-up match against William Watson. In the end, Brewington scooped the last pot by outkicking Watson’s jack-high flush with a queen-high flush of his own. The professional poker player let out a roar of excitement when the final card hit the felt, reveling in victory

It was not only a profitable triumph for Brewington, who lives in Tennessee with his wife and two children. It was also a welcome tribute to his late father who passed away in May.

“The last time my parents saw me play in a tournament was here,” said Brewington “It’s just amazing, and God is great. Without God I wouldn’t be able to do none of this. It’s just a blessing. I’d like to thank my family and friends for supporting me.”

Event #9 - Michael Whitton

Michael Whitton came to the World Series of Poker Circuit at Horseshoe Southern Indiana to play his favorite game, Pot-Limit Omaha. The Georgia resident showed up for Event #9: PLO Rebuy and ultimately topped a field of 83 players.

The tournament took two days to complete and generated a prizepool of $77,486 that payed out the top-nine finishers. Whitton had just 10 big blinds going into the official final table but held strong and made it to Day 2.

On Day 2, Whitton ran it up, placing himself in the final four. From there, he knocked out the next two opponents and had a solid chip stack for heads-up action. In the end, Whitton eliminated Matt Sterling for the PLO title.

Whitton owns a jewelry store back in his home state of Georgia, so winning a trophy ring was fitting. Along with the WSOP gold ring, Whitton was also awarded the first-place prize of $24,796 and 50 Casino Championship points.

Event #10 - Heather Alcorn

Heather Alcorn has became the newest Main Event champion of the World Series of Poker Circuit at the Horseshoe Southern Indiana. She defeated 389 players to take home the title along with her first WSOP Circuit ring, and $129,654.

Alcorn only plays once or twice a year but she is a part of the poker community. In fact, she travels the circuit as a dealer. She had no intention to play the Main Event, but her plans changed when she ended up final tabling  two events here. She got 8th in Event # 7: $400 No-Limit Hold'em for $1,752 and 4th in Event #8: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Monster Stack for $10,150.

''I couldn't work this event for personal reasons so I just happened to be driving through town so I thought I'd just stop and say hi to everybody. I thought I was going to stay one night and play one tournament, ended up final tabling, so I stayed the next day and final tabled that one. So I went ahead and played the main.''
Alcorn started Day 3 second in chips and wanted to keep playing her game.
''I didn't really have a strategy per say. I just wanted to keep playing the way I was playing. It was a great final table.''

However, the day didn't start too well for her, and she was soon down to 13 big blinds when she lost a flip against Michael Foley with ace-king against Foley's deuces: ''I just got coolered one hand and honestly I was pretty sure I was going out at that point but I was not ready to give up.'' ''It just turned around I got a few good hands right away,'' she adds.

Indeed, Alcorn's downsing didn't last long . She quickly found herself two double ups, flopping a set of eights to survive against Foley's nines; and making quads a couple of hands later when she ran her jacks against Foley's ace-king for her tournament life. She sent Foley out soon after when he found himself in bad shape with ace-eight against her pair of kings and she was back in the game with 74 big blinds within a few hands. She also proceeded to eliminate David Sill in third place, with a pair of kings as well, when Sill shoved his king-nine against her kings in a three-handed spot.
The heads-up portion of play was reached and Heather had a big lead with 8.3 million in chips against Kevin Iacofano's 3.3 million. Alcorn and Iacofano traded pots for a few hands, extending Alcorn's lead but it was all over when Iacofano shoved his last 15 big blinds with   against Alcorn's   . The flop was    , and Iacofano kept the lead with his pair of fives. But that didn't last long as  the turn came the   and there was a possible counterfeit. Sure enough, the river was the  . Both players had two pair, tens and sevens, and Alcorn won with her ace kicker, making her the newest Horseshoe Southern Indiana Main Event Champion. Kevin Iacofano earned $80,120 for his runner-up finish.

Alcorn had to outlast a tough field to take down this event. The final table included two WSOP ring winners Michael Lech (6th place), and Kevin Iacofano (runner-up). Her other final table opponents were Robert James (9th), Daniel Loizzo (8th), Saleem Delawalla (7th), Michael Foley (5th), Abhishek Yerra (4th), David Sill (3rd). 
In addition to the prize money and the Circuit ring, Alcorn has earned a free entry into the 2018/19 WSOP Global Casino Championship, a WSOP bracelet event featuring a $1,000,000 guaranteed prizepool.

Event #11 - Kevin Nystrom

Kevin Nystrom came away with his first World Series of Poker Circuit title at Horseshoe Southern Indiana after pushing through a tough final stretch that dipped into the wee hours of the night. All in all, the 33-year-old Warehouse Worker defeated a field of 167 entries in Event #11: $250 No-Limit Hold'em to win a gold ring and $9,018.

“It feels pretty awesome,” Nystrom said after his victory. “It was nice to have it in reach, then not tilt off after taking like five in a row.”

When it got down to three players, Nystrom had a solid chip advantage but seemed to hit a wall. He could not get that next knockout to send it to heads-up. However, the Texas native kept his composure and got it done, representing strongly for his Central-Indiana crew.

Although his hometown Circuit at Horseshoe Hammond begins next weekend, Nystrom will be missing a large chunk of it. Instead, he will be happily busy with father duties. The Peru, Indiana resident has a set of 5-year-old twins about to turn 6.

Event #12 - Drake Espenlaub

Drake Espenlaub conquered the last event of the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Circuit series. The 32-year-old from Evansville, Indiana topped a field of 209 entries to win his first World Series of Poker gold ring and $10,867 in Event #12: $400 No-Limit Hold'em. The tournament took two days to reach a conclusion.

Espenlaub entered Day 2 with a nice chip lead among three finalists It took just a single level for the field to go from three to one on Day 2, leaving Espenlaub as the last man standing. The win marks a great start to Espenlaub's dive into the world of professional poker playing.

“I just decided, in the last three months or so, I’m going to give it a run,” said Espenlaub. “I’m going to follow the Circuit through probably the next Main Event at the Rio.”