30 July 2019 (Durant, Okla.) – The first stop on the WSOP Circuit schedule wrapped-up Monday night at Choctaw. The Oklahoma property will host the WSOP twice more this season, once in October-November and the other in January.
One of the most intriguing stories to come out of the 13-ring event series was from our Main Event winner, Hollis Holcomb. The 47-year-old cyber-security expert won his first WSOP gold ring by besting 976 entrants, earning him $255,535 and a seat in the 2020 Global Casino Championship.
 
It’s the story off the felt that is the most heartwarming. Holcomb lost a friend recently and felt this victory should be in honor of him. Moments following his victory was ecstatic yet emotional, “I do want to say that I had a really good friend of mine that taught me a lot about poker and life, he passed away two years ago. He would just love this, he was in his thirty’s and it’s unfortunate that such a good player passed so soon. I wouldn’t be here without Chris Ghylin.”
 
Additionally, Holcomb won his seat by earning the Chris Ghylin trophy, which is awarded to the Player of the Year in his home town poker club. Holcomb and twenty of his close friends earn points throughout the year, with the highest total winning a seat into the Choctaw Main Event. The only catch is any winnings must be split. Nearly $130,000 will be chopped amongst poker club members. The Bartlesville, Oklahoma turned a free-roll poker club seat into a six-figure payday.
 
At the conclusion of the Main Event, David Larson officially won the race for Casino Champion for his sensational 105-point performance. The player who accumulates the most overall points during the 13-ring events at Choctaw earns the title of Casino Champion and receives automatic entry into the WSOP Global Casino Championship. Additionally, all players who cash in ring events earn points that apply toward the season-long race to claim one of the limited at-large bids.
 
Larson accomplished what few have ever done, win WSOP Circuit rings in one-day. In just 24-hours, Larson won Event #7: $400 No-Limit Hold’em, late-registered Event #9: $250 No-Limit Hold’em, bagged the Day 1 chip lead and came back hours later to win and dominate another Final Table. Over that span Larson defeated 303 entries, earning $20,194 and 100 Circuit points in the process.
 
Not only has Larson joined an exclusive club of 55 players to win four WSPOP gold rings, he has done it in one calendar year. The Las Vegas, Nevada resident won a Foxwood’s $400 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack in August and followed-it-up a month later by winning a $400 Pot-Limit Omaha at Thunder Valley in September.
 
The former software engineer turned poker professional stole the show at the Choctaw Circuit stop with his back-to-back victories in Events #7 and #9, earning him a seat in the 2020 Global Casino Championship.

 


Completed Events

Event #1: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Monster Stack - Andy Belke defeats 508 entries to win $33,140.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #2: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Multi-Flight Re-Entry - Kyle Birdwell defeats 2,206 entries to win $102,195.
Official Report Winner Photo | Results 

Event #3: $400 Congress - Morton Davis defeats 217 entries to win $17,212.
Official Report Winner Photo | Results

Event #4: $400 No-Limit Hold'em One-Day - Steve Williams defeats 262 entries to win $19,742.
Official Report Winner Photo | Results

Event #5: $400 No-Limit Hold'em - Urim Staraveci defeats 150 entries to win $13,125.
Official Report Winner Photo | Results

Event #6: $400 No-Limit Hold'em 8-Handed One-Day - Ron Robinson defeats 166 entries to win $14,190.
Official Report Winner Photo | Results

Event #7: $400 No-Limit Hold'em - David Larson defeats 123 entries to win $11,057.
Official Report Winner Photo | Results

Event #8: $400 No-Limit Hold'em 8-Handed One-Day - Imran Sabzali defeats 167 entries to win $14,129.
Official Report Winner Photo | Results

Event #9: $250 No-Limit Hold'em - David Larson defeats 180 entries to win $9,137.
Official Report Winner Photo | Results

Event #10: $400 No-Limit Hold'em 8-Handed One-Day - Clarence Prevost defeats 216 entries to win $17,132.
Official Report Winner Photo | Results

Event #11: $1,700 No-Limit Hold'em MAIN EVENT - Hollis Holcomb defeats 976 entries to win $255,535.
Official Report Winner Photo | Results 

Event #12: $250 No-Limit Hold'em Multi-Flight - Khang Luu defeats 594 entries to win $22,842.
Official Report Winner Photo | Results

Event #13: $400 No-Limit Hold'em One-Day - Patrick Wagner defeats 280 entries to win $21,414.
Official Report Winner Photo | Results

 


 





About the Winners

Event #1 - Andy Belke

36-year-old Andy Belke, a native of Kansas City, Missouri and a resident of Fort Smith, Arkansas, earns the first WSOP ring offered on the 2019/2020 Circuit schedule. Belke defeated a field of 508 entires in the $400 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack, winning $33,140. In addition to the big payday, this was the first-ever WSOP cash for the soon-to-be Mechanical Engineer – and thus the first Circuit win of his career. 

Event #2 - Kyle Birdwell

The salesman and part-time poker player dominated the 2,206 entry field of Event #2 to earn himself a huge payday of $102,195. Birdwell completed the incredible feat of holding the overall chip at the end of days one and two. The Fort Worth, Texas native plans on using this six-figure score to put his wife through nursing school and hopes to start their own business in the near future. 

Event #3 - Morton Davis 

Professional poker dealer Morton Davis wins the only mixed-game ring Choctaw has to offer at this stop. The Houston resident navigated his way through a field of 217 participants on his way to World Series of Poker gold. In addition to his first ring, Morton earned himself $17,212.

Event #4 - Steve Williams

Athens, Texas resident Steve Williams turned his first WSOP cash into a gold ring. In one day, the 46-year-old took $400 and made it into $19,742 by outlasting 262 opponents in Sunday's $400 No-Limit Hold'em Event#4. The Tax office owner used his "happy-go-lucky" attitude and gambling mindset to his advantage. 

Event #5 - Urim Staraveci

It was a long time coming for the professional poker player who has dedicated his life to the game. He navigated his way through a field of 150 players to win his first ring and $13,125 in Event #5. The Pittsburgh sports fanatic's path to WSOP gold was no easy task with a final table littered with WSOP bracelet winners, Circuit grinders and other phenomenal talent. 

Event #6 - Ron Robinson

The insurance data analyst and part-time poker player Ron Robinson from Dallas, Texas, overcame a 3-1 chip deficit to earn not only his first ring but his very first WSOP cash. Robinson last minute decided to play Event #6, which obviously turned out to be a phenomenal decision. Through his keen decision making and valiant effort, Ron walks away $14,190 richer beating out a field of 166 entrants.

Events #7 & #9 - David Larson

Las Vegas, Nevada resident David Larson was traveling to the Global Casino Championship when he decided to stop at Choctaw. It turned-out to be a phenomenal decision as he's taken this Circuit Series by storm, winning in back-to-back events. During that span, the former software engineer has defeated 303 entries, earning him $20,194. Not only has Larson joined an exclusive club of 55 players of winning four WSOP rings, he has done it in one calendar year. 

Event #8 - Imran Sabzali

In just 12-months Imran Sabzali learned how to play No-Limit Hold’em poker, formulate game strategy and gain the confidence to play in a competitive WSOP event. The 38-year old has accomplished what some players dedicate their life to, winning a WSOP gold ring. Pakistan native Sabzali defeated 167 entries to win his first career ring and $14,129 in Event #8. 

Event #10 - Clarence Prevost

36-year-old Clarence Prevost used a boisterous rail of support to battle back from a few big blinds to win Event #10. Prevost came into the Final Table 8th in chips, built on the motivation from friends and was able to overcome short-stack adversity. The father of two earned his first career ring after maneuvering his way through a field of 216 entrants to win $17,132. 

Event #11 - Hollis Holcomb

Hollis Holcomb outmatched 976 entrants to be the last man standing in Event #11: $1,700 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event. The 47-year-old cyber security expert earned his first Circuit gold ring, $255,535 and a seat in the 2020 Global Casino Championship.

Event #12 - Khang Luu

Walton, Kentucky's Khang Luu emerged as the winner of Event #12: $250 No-Limit Hold'em by defeating 594 entries across two flights. The 37-year-old earned his first career ring and $22,842 after hours of giant swings of emotion. Luu came into the Final Table as the chip leader however found himself at the bottom numerous times. Through confidence and determination, Luu was able to battle through it and come out as the victor.

Event #13 - Patrick Wagner

California native Patrick Wagner defeated 280 entries in the final WSOP Circuit ring at Choctaw, Event #13: $400 No-Limit Hold’em (1-Day), earning $21,414. For Wagner, this will be his second WSOP ring, adding to the one he earned two years ago in a $250 No-Limit Hold’em Seniors event. This victory is a good send-off for Wagner as he plans on retiring within the next month. The Richardson, Texas resident and long-time AT&T Accountant will ride-off into the sunset with a phenomenal performance and win in the final Choctaw ring event.