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2017/18 WSOP Circuit - SEMINOLE HARD ROCK (Hollywood, FL)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 to Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Event #5: $365 No-Limit Hold'em (Freezeout)

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  • Buy-in: $365
  • Prizepool: $47,700
  • Entries: 159
  • Remaining: 0


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Wednesday, September 27, 2017 3:39 PM Local Time

Jeffrey Higgins

Recreational tournament player snags a ring and $12,877 at Hard Rock 

After a close call last month in Foxwoods, Jeffrey Higgins took care of unfinished business at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood. Higgins conquered the $365 freezeout event, winning close to $13k in cash and his first gold ring.

“This means more than it should,” the champ fought back emotions in the moments of victory. “It’s just a silly poker tournament…”

Higgins, 37, is a real-estate broker originally from Staten Island. He now makes his home in Northborough, Mass. with his wife Rochele and children Owen (8) and Juliana (3).

Higgins quit his first job in 2006 to dedicate more time to online pot-limit Omaha cash games, but he’s since returned to the mainstream workforce. He’s a real estate broker now, and he’s played poker only sporadically over the last decade.

Foxwoods is one of the closest casinos to Higgins’ hometown, and it was there that he got his first brush with Circuit success. In one of his few live tournament attempts, Higgins finished in seventh place in a $365 event up there earlier this month, narrowly missing out on a big score and a trophy.

Fast forward a couple weeks, and Higgins was suddenly atop the hill, posing for photos with the ring that eluded him the last time around.

He doesn’t have any intention of sticking around to try to collect another, though: “Now that I won, I’m going to cancel my flight tomorrow, rebook it for tonight, and go on home.”

[Full results]

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 1:46 AM Local Time

The clock has run out on Level 21 and on Day 1 as a whole. The final five players came close to reaching the finish line, but the rest of the race will have to be run tomorrow.

Here's the remaining lineup:

Seat 1: Stephen Bierman - 170,000 (14 bb) 
Seat 2: Jeffrey Higgins - 655,000 (55 bb)
Seat 3: Steven Disney - 63,000 (5 bb)
Seat 4: Austin Reilly - 378,000 (32 bb)
Seat 5: Sean Shah - 307,000 (26 bb)

Austin Reilly is the only previous winner on the WSOP Circuit left in the field, and he enters Day 2 second in chips and hunting a second ring. Sean Shah has come close before, and he'll be a force to contend with the rest of the way, as well.

They and the other two are well in trail of chip leader Jeffrey Higgins, though. Higgins is appearing at his second final table of this Circuit season, and he's a favorite to close it out this time. He has more than 40 percent of the total chips in play with five players left.

Blinds will be 6,000/12,000 with a 2,000 ante when play resumes, putting the average stack around 27 big blinds. Here are the remaining payouts up for grabs:

1st: $12,877
2nd: $7,959
3rd: $5,729
4th: $4,199
5th: $3,132

Day 2 begins Wednesday at 1 p.m.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 10:24 PM Local Time
Mark Fink

Well, that was quick. About 11 hours after the cards went in the air, the starting field of 159 entries has been trimmed to 10 players, and they're now seated around the unofficial final table of Event #5.

Four-time ring winner Mark Fink (pictured) is in the hunt for number five, entering the final table slightly below average. Bob Chow has two rings and a few more chips than Fink, and Austin Reilly is challenging for the chip lead in search of his own second.

Here's the lineup:

Seat 1: Stephen Bierman - 215,000 (36 bb)
Seat 2: Bob Chow - 186,000 (31 bb)
Seat 3: Eric Piderit - 189,000 (32 bb)
Seat 4: Jeffrey Higgins - 118,000 (20 bb)
Seat 5: Mark Fink - 116,000 (19 bb)
Seat 6: Steven Disney - 99,000 (17 bb)
Seat 7: Jonah Miller - 225,000 (38 bb)
Seat 8: Austin Reilly - 206,000 (34 bb)
Seat 9: Angelo Castaldi - 153,000 (26 bb)
Seat 10: Sean Shah - 75,000 (13 bb)

Blinds are 3,000/6,000 with a 500 ante in the current level, putting the average stack well shy of 30 big blinds. Everyone left will earn at least $930 this evening, while the winner will collect $12,877 and the hardware.

This event is scheduled to finish tomorrow, but it looks like there's a reasonable chance it'll play to completion tonight.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 4:18 PM Local Time
Event 5 - Info
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 1:31 AM Local Time