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2016/17 WSOP Circuit - HORSESHOE HAMMOND (Chicago area)

Thursday, October 20, 2016 to Friday, October 21, 2016

Event #8: $365 Omaha 8

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  • Buy-in: $365
  • Prizepool: $48,900
  • Entries: 163
  • Remaining: 0


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Saturday, October 22, 2016 12:01 AM Local Time

Joe Brandenburg

Retired computer scientist finds success in all games, a ring in Omaha Hi-Lo

Hammond, Indiana (October 21, 2016) — Joe Brandenburg is the champion of Event #8 at Horseshoe Hammond, defeating a field of 163 players to win the $365 Omaha Hi-Lo event. The victory is Brandenburg’s first on the WSOP Circuit, earning him the top prize of $13,203 and his first gold ring. He also collected 50 points in the race for seats in the season-ending Global Casino Championship.

Brandenburg is a 67-year-old retired computer scientist from Portland, Oregon, and he plays all the games at a high level. “My favorite game is eight-game [mix],” he said when asked where this discipline ranks on his list of favorites. “I’d probably say, out of that mix, that Stud/8 is the most… subtle of the games. I feel like Omaha/8 comes right after that.”

The champ started playing poker when he was a teenager, but he’s taken his one-time hobby to a semi-professional level over the last 15 years. This performance is one better than his previous best Circuit result, which was a runner-up finish in a H.O.R.S.E. event in 2013. He also has some significant scores during the Las Vegas summers, including two WSOP final tables and one runner-up finish there. This win moves Brandenburg past $900,000 in career tournament earnings, with just one six-figure cash on the list.

Brandenburg’s background is in mathematics and physics, but he moved on to computer science during the latter half of his secular career. When asked if he drew on any of those old skills at the final table, he shrugged it off a bit. “Sure, it helps,” he said. “But I also spent time as a manager, so you have to have some people skills in those positions, too.”

There almost wasn’t a Day 2 at all for the eventual champion. Before the second break of Day 1, Brandenburg’s 10,000-chip starting stack had been whittled down to just 2,000. He ran it back up quickly, though, ending the day in fourth place with just 10 players remaining. By the time he got heads up with Ricky Goldman, he held a 3:1 chip lead, and the final battle did not last long.

On the last hand, Goldman took his stand with     , and Brandenburg put him at risk with     . The board ran out      , and Brandenburg flopped a ten-high straight to win the pot and the tournament.

As he admired his new ring, Brandenburg found just a few words to explain his mood. “It feels really good,” he said succinctly. “It’s the most fun there is — playing final tables.”

Friday, October 21, 2016 7:18 PM Local Time
Joe Brandenburg

Joe Brandenburg (pictured above) has just completed the comeback, defeating Ricky Goldman in the heads-up match to win this Omaha Hi-Lo event. It's Brandenburg's first win on the WSOP Circuit, and it comes with more than $13,000 in cash. While he seems to be particularly satisfied with this outcome, this is by no means his largest result on record. Brandenburg's poker career spans more than 15 years, including significant cashes across a variety of poker formats. He's now earned more than $900,000 in tournament poker. More details about today's victory will be published shortly.

Goldman (below) collects $8,159 for his runner-up finish, and that is his biggest tournament score to date.

Richard Goldman
Friday, October 21, 2016 6:30 PM Local Time

The heads-up battle has been mostly one-sided so far, with Joe Brandenburg starting to take charge. Over the course of the last few orbits, Brandenburg first squared the match against Ricky Goldman, then took a small lead with a sizable scoop just a moment ago.

Brandenburg now holds just over 1,000,000 of the 1,630,000 in play, and the momentum has swung in his favor as they play Level 26 with 30,000/60,000 betting limits.

Friday, October 21, 2016 5:56 PM Local Time
Shaun Burnett

With the elimination of Shaun Burnett (pictured) in third place, Ricky Goldman and Joe Brandenburg are heads-up for the ring in Event #8. Goldman is the underdog as far as previous results are concerned, but he enters this duel with a huge chip lead.

Ricky Goldman - 1,260,000
Joe Brandenburg - 370,000

Blinds are 25,000/50,000 in the current level, giving the short stack less than eight big blinds.

Friday, October 21, 2016 2:05 PM Local Time
The 10 finalists are back in their chairs, and Day 2 is under way.
Friday, October 21, 2016 2:59 AM Local Time
End of Day 1
Friday, October 21, 2016 2:49 AM Local Time

The final table is reached about midway through Level 21, and that signals the end of play for Day 1. Of the 163 players who started this event, just 10 remain. Here's the lineup:

Seat 1: Daniel Blank - 99,000
Seat 2: Ryan Palluf - 17,000
Seat 3: Richard Goldman - 249,000
Seat 4: Noomis Jones - 123,000
Seat 5: Kenneth Share - 274,000
Seat 6: Shaun Burnett - 135,000
Seat 7: Joe Brandenburg - 206,000
Seat 8: Garrett Riley - 108,000
Seat 9: Bret Worden - 147,000
Seat 10: John Navarro - 273,000

Everyone left is now guaranteed to earn at least $953 tomorrow. Blinds will be 5,000/10,000 when play resumes, and the average stack is 163,000. Day 2 begins at 2:00 PM and will continue until there's a winner.

Thursday, October 20, 2016 11:19 PM Local Time

After a short stint on the bubble, the field has been reduced to 18 players, and they're in the money in Event #8.

Level 18 has just begun, and Day 1 is scheduled to continue until the end of Level 21 unless the final table is set first. Blinds are 2,500/5,000 in the current level, putting the average stack just north of 18 big blinds.

Thursday, October 20, 2016 6:08 PM Local Time

Registration is closed for Event #8, and the numbers are in. this $365 Omaha Hi-Lo event drew a field of 163 players, up once again from last year's turnout. Those entries create a prizepool of $48,900 for the final 18 players to share, with a min-cash worth $656. A top prize of $13,203 awaits the eventual winner, along with the series' eighth gold ring.

A full breakdown of the payouts can be found in the "Prizepool" tab above.

Thursday, October 20, 2016 3:35 PM Local Time

The players have just returned from their second break of the day, and Level 7 is ticking off the clock.

The board shows 155 entries so far, with late registration available for a full hour more. There is no break after Level 8, and the entry window will close with the start of Level 9 at about 4:35 PM local time.

Thursday, October 20, 2016 7:41 AM Local Time

This Circuit stop boasted three non-hold'em events, and the third one starts today at Horseshoe Hammond. Event #8 is a $365 Omaha Hi-Lo Eight or Better event, the lone ring event on today's docket.


Last season, this event attracted 168 players, and Jeff Shea played the role of underdog champion in the end. HIs heads-up opponent, Jim Juvancic, had just won the H.O.R.S.E. ring two days prior, and Juvancic had the lead at one point during their match. It was Shea's day, though, and he claimed his first ring and the top prize of more than $13,000.

Here are the details for today's event:

  • Players begin with 10,000 chips
  • Levels 1-16 are 30 minutes apiece
  • Levels 17-21 are 40 minutes apiece
  • Late registration is available until the start of Level 9
  • There is a 60-minute dinner break after Level 12
  • Day 1 concludes after Level 21
  • Structure sheet available on site

Cards go in the air at noon.