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Friday, April 26, 2019 2:55 AM Local Time
Michael Ledford, of Dickson, TN, has claimed the victory in Event #1, $400 No-Limit Hold'em Big-Blind Ante (1 Day). Ledford, a 65-year-old retiree, collects $21,023 with the triumph, the largest poker payday of his career, along with his first career gold Circuit ring.
Ledford took down the win after a lengthy heads-up battle against regional Circuit regular Steve Bierman, who was searching for his own first Circuit triumph. Bierman, from New Orleans, collected $12,988 as the runner-up, while two-time ring winner Carl Masters, from Clarksville, TN, finished third for $9,384.
Ledford and Bierman battled for well over two hours before the final hand. With the blinds already high, Bierman moved all in with pocket sixes, and Ledford pondered, then called with , having Bierman outchipped. A nine arrived on the flop, no draws emerged, and Bierman couldn't find another six, ending the event.
Ledford almost finished off Bierman almost as soon as heads-up play began, but a Bierman double-through gave him the edge and marked the start of a fast-paced, seesaw affair. The two swapped the chip lead several times, but Ledford again moved to the verge after taking a 9:1 lead after taking down an all-in pot in a straight-over-straight hand. However, Bierman then doubled up twice, and briefly moved into the lead before Ledford edged back into the lead and finally closed out the win.
The heads-up duel featured a marked contrast in style between Bierman, who put all his chips into the middle many times, while Ledford patiently waited and folded, searching for better spots. "He's a great player," said Ledford, referring to Bierman, "and I was just lucky to beat him."
Ledford's published results might make him seem the inexperienced player, but he's been playing a long time -- "since about age six," as he described it. Still, it's only been the last four or so years that he's been playing the game in an organized, serious manner, mixing it up with the pros at some of the region's Circuit stops. He'll be at the tables for the rest of this series as well, hoping to add to a great start in the days to come.
Thursday, April 25, 2019 10:41 PM Local Time
Event #1 has played down to its unofficial ten-player final table, led by Brooklyn, NY's Robert Nguyen with 1,234,000 in chips. Here are the final ten, with seat assignments and chip counts:
Seat 1: Benjamin McLeroy - 441,000
Seat 2: Carl Masters - 928,000
Seat 3: Alton E. Peterson - 750,000
Seat 4: Michael Ledford - 580,000
Seat 5: Steve Bierman - 1,100,000
Seat 6: Jessie Bryant -- 600,000
Seat 7: Eric Bunch - 981,000
Seat 8: Robert Nguyen - 1,234,000
Seat 9: James M. Craig - 447,000
Seat 10: Ross Ward - 800,000
Thursday, April 25, 2019 4:58 PM Local Time
Registration has closed for Event #1 and prizepool and payout numbers have been calculated. Here are the topline numbers:
Places Paid: 27
1st Place: $21,023
A complete listing is available under the "Prizepool" tab above.
Thursday, April 25, 2019 8:06 AM Local Time
It's an 11 am start this morning for the first of 13 official ring events on the Circuit Horseshoe Tunica slate, $400 No-Limit Hold'em Double Stack Big-Blind Ante (1 Day). This event includes these features:
- Big blind ante format
- $75,000 prize pool guarantee
- 25-minute levels
- Late registration open until the start of Event 13
- Re-entry event
Participation and prize pool numbers will be available later today.
Thursday, April 25, 2019 6:15 AM Local Time