KC McKeown (pictured) wins multi-flight ring event with final action of suspended Circuit series.

16 March 2020 (Tulsa, Okla.) -- The World Series of Poker Circuit at Hard Rock Tulsa was scheduled to run for 13 days and award 13 gold rings. However, in the interest of protecting the health of players and staff, the decision was made to cut the series short. Sunday, March 15th, marked the last day of play.

All remaining events (#5 - #13) have been postponed with the possibility of running at a later date. Statements on scheduling for the unfulfilled tournaments will be announced at an appropriate time in the future.

During the five days that did occur at the Hard Rock Tulsa, five Circuit titles were claimed, including four official gold rings.

Leading off with a debut victory was Deland Bell. The Oklahoma City native defeated a field of 188 entrants in Event #1: $250 No-Limit Hold’em Kickoff. Next up was the Monster Stack finale.

Event #2: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack drew 208 entries, generating a prizepool of $68,640. The tournament took two days to complete and, in the end, Justin Brevik became the last man standing, winning his first gold ring and $16,266.

The weekend festivities fully featured Event #3: $400 No-Limit Hold’em (4 Flights). In total, the multi-flight competition accumulated 842 entries and a payout pool of $277,860. Around the time of the final starting leg, news broke about the series being halted, which would ultimately lead to Event #3 becoming the Circuit’s finale.

Sunday’s docket remained as originally planned, leaving three gold ring events to finish on the day. All three went well into the night. First to finish was Seniors Event #1, conquered by Judy LeBlanc. Secondly, Event #4: $400 No-Limit Hold’em (1 Day) closed out with Mark Martin grabbing his first gold ring and nine-time gold ring winner Daniel Lowery placing as runner-up.

Around 1:00 a.m. the only ring event yet to reach a conclusion was the largest of them all, Event #3. KC McKeown was the player to walk away as champion. McKeown steadily grinded through the long day of poker and eventually routed six-time gold ring winner Blake Whittington heads up to win his first WSOP Circuit title and a significant payday of $46,553.

As for the Casino Champion race, a winner cannot be officially deemed at this time, on account of the Circuit conceivably being completed later on. However, the venue leaderboard was topped by Bell, winner of Event #1. By cashing a second time, in Event #3, Bell added 5 more points to his original 50 for a total of 55 points to end the suspended Circuit series.

Completed Events

Event #1: $250 No-Limit Hold'em Kickoff - Deland Bell defeats 188 entries to win $9,156.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #2: $400 NLHE Monster Stack - Justin Brevik defeats 208 entries to win $16,266.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #3: $400 No-Limit Hold'em (4 Flights) - KC McKeown defeats 842 entries to win $46,553.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results

Event #4: $400 No-Limit Hold'em (1 Day) - Mark Martin defeats 150 entries to win $12,995.
Official Report | Winner Photo | Results


Casino Champion Update

About the Winners

Event #1 - Deland Bell

The World Series of Poker Circuit at Hard Rock Tulsa wasted no time in deeming its first gold-ring champ of 2020. Although it was scheduled at a two-day competition, Event #1: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Kickoff reached the finish line in just one day with Deland Bell reveling in the winner’s circle grasping his first WSOP gold ring.

“I’ve been, you know, playing small tournaments here and there for a while. This is probably the best, obviously, I’ve ran in a long time and you get that close, of course, you want to get the ring,” Bell said after his win.

When Level 24, the last level of the night, came to an end, only two players remained, Bell and Steven Glasscock. The two opponents agreed to execute an extra level in an effort to close it out. About halfway through the overtime level, Bell's pocket aces secured him a first-place finish and $9,156.

“It gives me a lot of incentive to go for more now… If I could run like that, even early in a tournament, if I can just bypass some beats, I feel really good about my chances to do really, really well this series,” Bell expressed.

Aside from a having to run an errand on Friday, Bell plans to frequent Hard Rock Tulsa for the remainder of the series and has his eyes set on more success. He takes an early lead in the Casino Championship race with 50 points to his name.

Event #2 - Justin Brevik

Justin Brevik became the newest member of the World Series of Poker gold ring club by taking down Event #2: $400 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack at the Hard Rock Tulsa Circuit. The tournament took two days to complete and encompassed a total of 208 entries.

“It’s a big deal. I’ve been playing poker since 2000 and I’ve had some decent cashes from time to time, but never in the WSOP,” stated Brevik.

Along with a debut Circuit gold ring, the 47-year-old out of Bixby, Oklahoma claimed the top prize of $16,266 and 50 Casino Championship points. The purse provides him with a solid bankroll and good momentum going forward.

“I travel for work. I was planning on going out of town, but with the virus now, things have changed,” mentioned Brevik. “So, I will be playing probably some events the rest of the week and probably the Main.”

Event #3 - KC McKeown

KC McKeown captured his first World Series of Poker title on Sunday in what was effectively the Hard Rock Tulsa Circuit finale. The 30-year-old out of Texas conquered Event #3: $400 No-Limit Hold'em, an extensive tournament that featured four separate starting flights and drew a total of 842 entries.

By the end of Flight A, McKeown had accumulated a very healthy stack. One that would leave ham as a front runner going into the next leg. He geared up for what would turn out to be a grueling Day 2. From there, he went on to reach the final table.

“My goal was to really out beat what I did in January,” said McKeown. “Once we got down to five-handed, I saw a position for me to make it to the top three and that’s where I got.”

“Cards just kind of fell into place to get heads up,” he continued. Ultimately, McKeown faced off against six-time gold ring Winner Blake Whittington for the Event #3 honors.

On top of being up against a tough opponent, McKeown's 3:1 chip lead took a big hit soon after heads up began. However, he was again able to bounce back and finally scoop the winning pot to seize his first gold ring, as well as $46,553.

“For me, I absolutely love poker. I’ve loved it since I can even remember. I think probably within the last two, or three, years, I’ve really set my mind in the right place to where I play really well,” expressed McKeown following his milestone.

Event #4 - Mark Martin

Mark Martin won his first World Series of Poker gold ring in the final event of the suspended Circuit at Hard Rock Tulsa. The 65-year-old from Kansas topped 150 entries in Event #4: $400 No-Limit Hold'em (1 Day), which, from start to finish, took about 11 hours.

“It wasn’t easy,” stated Martin after his triumph. “I was up and down all day long.”

Along with his piece of WSOP gold, Martin bagged a $12,995 cash prize. The Self Employed, recreational poker player was elated about the win, but down about the Circuit ceasing.

“I would like to,” Martin responded when asked if he wanted to continue play at the series. “We had reservations to play this next week, but you know, the situation, so…”

The situation at Hard Rock Tulsa is on par with what is happening across the nation. Instead of pressing on, the Circuit has been suspended in an effort toward safety.