Wednesday, March 16, 2016 2:56 PM Local Time
Chris Reslock Does it Again in Atlantic City
Chris Reslock is the champion of Event #1 at Harrah’s Atlantic City, defeating a field of 220 players in the opening $365 event. Well regarded for his ability to close out victories in the clutch, Reslock claimed his eighth gold ring in his 17th career appearance at a Circuit final table. He also collected $16,502 and an early lead with 50 points in the race for Casino Champion at this venue.
The champ is a retired taxi operator originally from North Dakota, but he now makes his home in Atlantic City proper. When he’s not busy winning tournaments, you’ll likely find him at one of the high-stakes mixed game tables in town, or possibly in the pits dusting off a little stress. “I’m a degenerate gambler,” he said, smirking just enough to make it difficult to judge his level of seriousness.
Like so many of his peers, Reslock initially learned how to play poker through his family. “Grandmother taught me to play five-card draw,” he said. “She’d give us each a bunch of pennies. She always won all the pennies.”
No-limit hold’em is his least favorite variation of poker, but it’s one that’s served Reslock’s bankroll well over the course of his long career. Six of his eight rings have come in this game, with the others coming in Seven-Card Stud and Omaha Hi/Lo. He was also crowned World Champion of Stud in 2007, defeating Phil Ivey heads up to win his first gold bracelet. In total, Reslock has just shy of $2 million in career tournament earnings.
The path to victory in Event #1 was a relatively smooth one, as Reslock recalled. “I only had one lucky hand where I took kings up against aces,” he said. “King on the river. Felt bad.” By the time the dinner break arrived, he was opening up a gap on the rest of the field as the first player to cross the 100,000-chip mark. With two tables left, he was in control of more than a quarter of the chips in play, though a late-day surge gave Gregory Tsanis the overnight chip lead with nine players remaining.
A man of few, carefully chosen words, Reslock was succinct in describing his gameplan entering the final table: “Stay aggressive and be careful. Just do what I always do.”
Tsanis didn’t last long into Day 2 before being eliminated in seventh place, and Reslock faced little resistance for the rest of the run. Two hours later, he found himself heads up with a 10:1 chip lead against fellow ring winner Richard Austin. Austin could not overcome the deficit, eventually taking his final stand after flopping an open-ended straight draw. Reslock’s ace-jack had flopped a pair, and the turn and river ran out clean to secure his victory.
The win is Reslock’s eighth on the WSOP Circuit, with three of them coming at Harrah’s Atlantic City. The eight rings put him just one shy of Alex Masek’s all-time lead, and it’s a race Reslock is very much interested in pursuing.
“It’s fun to be competing for something like that,” he said. “That’s the fun of all games, isn’t it? Keeping score.”