Elgin, IL (16 November 2022) - The expectations were high when the World Series of Poker Circuit traveled to the Grand Victoria Casino for the first time in WSOP history. The series lived up to the highly set expectations, with massive player fields throughout the twelve days of poker action.
The series started strong with two events on the opening day. First out was the $400 No-Limit Hold 'em Double Stack. 725 players took a stab at the historic event, generating a prizepool of $239,250. The one-day event concluded late Thursday night, with Chicago native Jason Mangold as the last man standing. The victory was Mangold's second on the Circuit scene, adding $43,221 to his career earnings.
The second event of the opening day was the $600 No-Limit Hold 'em event. The two-day affair was boosted with $300,000 in guaranteed prize money - a guarantee that was exceeded in early levels of the second starting flight out of four. A total of 1,815 players decided to enter the event, for a massive prizepool of $748,875. Dennis Laurence, out of Dekalb, IL, came away with the win to take home $138,084.
Event #5 met a familiar face in the winners' circle, in Michael "Texas Mike" Moncek. The win was Moncek's fourth career Circuit victory. The Illinois native also has a WSOP bracelet in his trophy cabinet after taking down the $1,500 Limit Hold 'em event at the 53rd annual World Series of Poker.
The marquee event of the series, the $1,700 Main Event, attracted 1,070 entrants, compiling a prize pool of $1,621,050. Jill Bryant, a local poker veteran out of Aurora, IL, had the chip lead at the start of the final day and eventually found herself heads-up against Ohio's Frank Lagodich. Bryant had the support of a packed rail but ultimately fell short after a grueling heads-up match.
"It was kind of tough at times being a lone wolf here," Lagodich recalled after winning his first bracelet. "Jill had a full rail of supporters that were here to cheer her on, every time she won a hand; they would be super excited."
With the win, Lagodich secured the first-place prize of $275,896, coupled with his first gold ring and a seat in the Tournament of Champions.
The successful series at Grand Victoria Casino drew a total of 9,333 players, $4,433,931 in prize money was awarded throughout the series, and 16 rings were handed out over the 12 days of play. All winners punched a ticket to the invitation-only "Tournament of Champions." The $1 million freeroll event will be held during the 2023 World Series of Poker tournament in Las Vegas. 2023 Online winners will also be eligible to compete in the signature event.