MICHAEL TRIVETT AND SCOTT CUNNINGHAM SHINE AT PLANET HOLLYWOOD

Trivett wins Main Event title; Cunningham comes in 1st and 3rd place to become Casino Champion

The World Series of Poker Circuit $1,700 Main Event at Planet Hollywood accumulated 778 entries for a prize pool of $1,178,670 and it was 36-year-old Michael Trivett who took the title. He earned $215,943 for his first WSOP Circuit ring, and denied Jim Petzing his first career ring in the process.

Coming into Day 3, Trivett sat in 3rd of 16 players and sat among the top chip counts for the entire day. Trivett was visibly comfortable throughout the day, and admitted he has been working hard on his game. “I've had coaching from a good friend of mine, Ryan Laplante, over the last couple of years and just being friends with him, he's taught me a lot. I've just been studying spots,” explained Trivett.

Petzing pocketed $133,462 for his deep run, getting much respect from his tablemates for coming back from being one of the shortest stacks early in the day to laddering almost all the way up to the top. He adds a nice chunk of change to his bankroll, bringing his overall earnings to just shy of $1 million. The Las Vegas pro also came in 3rd place in the $250 Seniors I Event for $5,077 just a few days ago.

Planet Hollywood Main Event Final Table Results:

1st: Michael Trivett - $215,943 + Circuit ring + 2020 GCC Seat
2nd: Jim Petzing - $133,462
3rd: Tzu Huang - $98,912
4th: Zach Donovan - $74,098
5th: Casey Stewart - $56,116
6th: Jorge Arriola - $42,967
7th: Ryan Leng - $33,266
8th: Rubin Chappell - $26,046
9th: Ben Palmer - $20,626

This Circuit stop saw two players becoming multiple ring winners with Gino Levrini winning his third and, Tal Avivi winning his second ring.

First-time ring winners included the likes of Michael Trivett, Tom Tran, Jeffrey Stephens, Bryce Cox, Luis Pauyac-Martinez, Antonello Perrini, Jeffrey Gotts, Carlos Restrepo, Jeffrey Turton, Scott Cunningham, Dylan Ecret, Dustin Brown, James Clark, Bruce Russell and Christopher Mudd.

The two-day $2,200 High Roller attracted some of the top players around, but it was amateur poker player Bruce Russell who captured the title and his first Circuit ring. Not only was this Russell’s first ring, but it was his first career tournament win, biggest cash for $63,580 and almost doubled his overall earnings. Russell topped a field of 115 entries and defeated a tough opponent in Marc MacDonnell when he was heads up for the title.

And finally, the title of Casino Champion belongs to Scott Cunningham in a race that was determined by his win on the last day of the Circuit stop. Cunningham came in 3rd place in Event #4 and then took down Event #14 to lock up 80 points. He cashed for $18,358 across the two events and won himself a seat into the 2020 Global Casino Championship next August.

More information on the points system is available on WSOP.com.

Completed Events

Event #1: $250 No-Limit Hold'em - Tom Tran topped a field of 684 entries to win $25,431
Official Report | Winners PhotoResults

Event #2: $400 No-Limit Hold'em - Jeffrey Stephens topped a field of 359 entries to win $25,248
Official Report | Winners photo | Results

Event #3: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Bounty - Bryce Cox topped a field of 169 entries to win $9,967
Official Report | Winners Photo | Results

Event #4: $400 No-Limit Hold'em - Luis Pauyac Martinez topped a field of 230 entries to win $17,965
Official Report | Winners Photo | Results

Event #5: $400 Pot-Limit Omaha - Antonello Perrini topped a field of 136 entries to win $11,891
Official Report | Winners Photo | Results

Event #6: $400 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed - Tal Avivi topped a field of 230 entries to win $17,968
Official Report | Winners Photo | Results

Event #7: Tag Team ($250/Team) - Dylan Ecret and Dustin Brown topped a field of 87 teams to win $5,160
Winners Photo | Results

Event #8: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Double Stack - Gino Levrini topped a field of 426 entries to win $29,164
Official Report | Winners Photo | Results

Event #9: $400 No-Limit Hold'em Monster Stack - Jeffrey Gotts topped a field of 617 entries to win $38,328
Official Report | Winners Photo | Results

Event #10: $250 Seniors Event - James Clark topped a field of 249 entries to win $11,527
Winners Photo | Results

Event #11: $250 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo - Carlos Restrepo topped a field of 267 entries to win $12,454
Official Report | Winners Photo | Results

Event #12: $1,700 Main Event - in progress
Official Report | Winners Photo | Results

Event #13: $400 No-Limit Hold'em - Jeff Turton topped a field of 63 entries to win $8,151
Official Report | Results

Event #14: $400 No-Limit Hold'em - Scott Cunningham topped a field of 115 entries to win $10,489
Official Report | Winners Photo | Results

Event #15: $2,200 High Roller - Bruce Russell topped a field of 115 entries to win $63,580
Official Report | Winners Photo | Results

Event #16: $250 Casino Employees Event - Chris Mudd topped a field of 44 entries to win $3,176
Winners Photo | Results

Meet the Winners

Event #1: Tom TranHe is the first winner at Planet Hollywood’s annual World Series of Poker Circuit stop. The newly crowned champion topped a field of 684 entries to win $25,431 for his first WSOP cash and biggest career score. “It’s most exciting. It was a long grind but it’s awesome to get to the end,” said an elated Tran.

“I play many tournaments in Florida. Daytona, Miami and then we come out to Las Vegas twice a year,” said Tran. This tournament win is by far Tran’s biggest cash, and is six times his overall earnings. “This is one of the highest that I’ve won and it’s a great feel of tournament. I definitely would play in the World Series of Poker Circuit again,” smiled Tran.

The field was peppered with professional players, making the final table quite tough. Tran defeated two-time bracelet winner Brett Shaffer heads up, and three-time Circuit champion Wendy Freedman went out in 9th place. “Very tight and good players. I continued to play my game with the cards I got, and fortunately I lucked out in the end.”

Event #2: Jeffrey Stevens - He topped a field of 359 entries across three starting flights to win his very first World Series of Poker Circuit ring and $25,248. “It’s the monkey off my back. I’ve got a runner-up in a big tour Main Event, and I’ve been so close so many times so to finally get a championship in a very reputable circuit means a lot to me,” said an emotional Stephens.

“I’ve got a family that means the world to me and spending time with them is pretty cool. But they’ve seen Dad on TV and they’d like me to go play poker. It’s what I love to do,” Stephens is married with two kids, and splits his time between them and poker.

Stephens got into poker during the Moneymaker era, and has been playing for many years. “But beyond that my uncle plays, so I’ve got some family history in there,” he smiled.

Event #3: Bryce Cox“For me it’s more about the ring than it is about the money. I’ve learned in my life that money comes and goes. It feels good. If feels really, really good.”

The 42 year-old now lives in Arizona with his wife, dog and two cats after leaving his business in Seattle to start fresh. “It’s been a frickin’ struggle for two years. In the last two months of playing poker I ran so good. I just could feel like this was literally destiny,” said an emotional Cox. He has also been sober for 11 years now and hasn’t looked back. “When I first got sober I was living in an abandoned house shooting heroine. I was down in the absolute gutter. I got into AA, worked the twelve steps. I sponsor guys, I give back, I help people. My life is just so full today because of that. God’s purpose is for me to help people.”

With tears in his eyes, Cox explained: “I got shot when I was 18. I had a bullet run my shoulder and stop at my jaw. The surgeon that did the tracheostomy on my throat was like, ‘This is a surgery that I’ll do once in my career’. A lot of things had to line up in order for me to be here.”

“I met my best friend because of poker. I got really close to this group of friends, and if it wasn’t for that my life would not be the same,” said Cox.

Event #4: Luis Pauyac Martinez - He has taken down Event #4: $400 No-Limit Hold’em for his first career World Series of Poker Circuit ring and $17,965. This is his biggest career cash and second tournament win. “It feels great. It’s actually my second trophy, but it took me over three years to get the second one. I’ve been grinding for four years,” explained Martinez. “I play whenever I can. I’m a waiter so I fund my career by waitering. I plan on going pro soon – I’m building my bankroll. That’s why I moved to Cali - to go pro.”

The poker tournament grind isn’t easy by any means, but Martinez has been putting in the work. “It’s been rough. I got to Cali two years ago. The first year was horrible, but the last year was good but not the results I wanted.”

To some the money means more than the ring, but not for Martinez. “I’ve been dreaming about a ring ever since I got into poker. This means a lot – I’ve been working hard.”

Event #5: Antonello PerriniAnother winner has been crowned at Planet Hollywood. This time it’s Italy’s Antonello Perrini, taking down Event #5: $400 Pot-Limit Omaha for $11,891. This is the poker pro’s first ever live tournament win.

Perrini has a handful of cashes in Italy, and this is just his second result in North America. He is here on vacation with a group of friends, visibly and vocally supportive on his rail. “I don’t know how I did it, but I am very happy,” smiled Perrini.

This season, Perrini and his friends had planned to follow the Circuit some more after playing at the World Series of Poker at the Rio over the summer. Perrini is mostly an online player and is playing more live tournaments now.

Event #6: Tal Avivi - He has taken down Event #6: $400 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed for $17,968 after topping a field of 230 entries. This is his second career World Series of Poker Circuit ring and his biggest live tournament cash. “Wow, it’s amazing. I’m not a tournament player, I started this year. I always play cash and usually mixed games. I don’t like Texas Hold’em much, but last year I thought that the glory comes from the tournaments and I tried to adapt. So far so good. I hope for the bracelet next year.”

Avivi has been playing cash games for several years and only decided to jump into the tournament scene this year. He’s been working on his game and it’s been paying off. “I think the fundamentals are there, and I’m an aggressive player. I just need to work on patience, mental game. Usually it’s not a problem in mixed games because it’s fixed. There’s no all-in click. I’m happy with my results - I’m running deep.”

“I’m the owner of some hotels in Peru, and restaurants. But poker is my passion since I was a kid. In Lima I also play poker – high stakes cash games. And online I play mixed games too,” explained Avivi.

Event #8: Gino LevriniHe topped a field of 426 entries to take down the biggest chunk of the $140,580 prize pool for $29,164 in Event #8. “It’s pretty cool,” said Levrini. This is his third career World Series of Poker Circuit ring, but is far from his biggest cash. “I’ve been doing this for about 15 years now,” explained Levrini. This puts the poker pro’s lifetime tournament earnings over $250,000.

Like many, Levrini began playing poker via home games with friends. “Just playing with buddies and stuff like that – a few drinks. The big thing that caught my eye is, at first I was enjoying the game, not taking it too seriously. But my buddy read my hand, like perfect. I remember being so impressed. Ever since then I was hooked, because I thought it was an actual mind game you know.”

While there are a wide variety of training sites and solvers available, Levrini does his own thing. “I just practice, I just play. I’m not big into studying. I go over my mistakes in my head, like when I’m driving home. I’m thinking about the hands, if I played it right. I don’t watch videos or anything I’m self-taught.” 

Event #9: Jeffrey Gotts After two full days of play, Jeffrey Gotts has won his first World Series of Poker Circuit ring in the Monster Stack, topping a huge field of 617 entries. This is Gotts’ biggest career cash for $38,328, and is also his first ever tournament win. “It’s awesome. I’m exhausted, but it feels great!” exclaimed Gotts.

“I haven’t played live in over a year. I usually play Sundays online, but it usually gets in the way of plans.” While Gotts has not been playing much poker until now, he does study poker content to stay sharp. “I have a Run It Once subscription, and I play with some of the poker software that’s out there.”

The 57-year-old is a video engineer by trade, but plays poker recreationally. Gotts’ earnings have now crossed $80,000 in total, and he has now added a coveted piece of jewelry to his collection.

Event #11: Carlos RestrepoThe turbo event wrapped up with Carlos Restrepo taking the title and his first career World Series of Poker Circuit ring. The poker pro from Costa Rica took home $12,454 for his biggest tournament win, bringing his total earnings to $50,000.

After getting heads up against Michael Holm, who has been heads up for a ring four times now, Restrepo had a sizeable lead. Holm chipped away and locked up a double early on in the match, but Restrepo eventually got the job done.

Restrepo was supported by an excited rail for the duration of the final table, and even got a series of happy chants in Spanish to celebrate the win. 

Event #13: Jeff TurtonAfter just a few hands on Day 2 of Event #13, Jeff Turton has won his first ever World Series of Poker Circuit ring at his ninth final table. The financial advisor from Dallas now has 32 cashes on the Circuit alone, and has accumulated over $215,000 in earnings after this $8,151 win.

There were just two players left on Day 2, and both Turton and Jason Mendoza came in to the day almost dead even in chips. Early in the match, Turton got his stack in the middle with ace-king and pulled ahead of Mendoza’s pocket tens. Turton sealed the deal, and headed back to Day 2 of the Main Event, which he was multi-tabling.

Event #14: Scott CunninghamAfter coming in third place last week in Event #4, Scott Cunningham came back and sealed the deal in Event #14. This is his biggest career cash for $10,489 and his second overall tournament win. “It feels good! It was hard to get here, and to have it happen three days later is pretty cool,” smiled Cunningham.

Cunningham has a full-time job, but is taking poker more seriously these days. “I play a lot. I started to play more serious about a year and a half ago, two years ago. I have a lot of friends I play with who are very successful and I knew that I could join them. I’ve learned a lot from them – I’ve paid a lot for my lessons the last couple of years from a lot of people at the casino in Scottsdale.”

The win was certainly bittersweet for Cunningham without having his family on his rail with him. “I would’ve liked to have won on Wednesday – my Mom and Dad were here watching. It would’ve been cool if they were here.”


 

  

 


Casino Champion Update

Andrew Robinson reigns again as the Choctaw Casino Champion. The seven-time gold ring winner finished off the series with five cashes, three final table appearances, and 90 points.