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2016/17 WSOP Circuit - PALM BEACH KENNEL CLUB (Florida)

Thursday, February 16, 2017 to Friday, February 17, 2017

Event #9: $1,125 No-Limit Hold'em

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  • Buy-in: $1,125
  • Prizepool: $147,000
  • Entries: 147
  • Remaining: 0


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Monday, February 20, 2017 12:59 PM Local Time
Peter Vitantonio

Former Circuit Main Event champ wins second-career ring, both in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (February 17, 2017) — Peter Vitantonio just keeps adding to his record at the Palm Beach Kennel Club. The 2015 WSOP Circuit Main Event Champion took down the lone $1,125 event on the calendar for this stop, winning his second ring and the top prize of $41,162. Both of his rings have been won in this building.

Vitantonio is a 33-year-old professional poker player from Cleveland, Ohio. He’s been playing the game for about 15 years, and it quickly became his full-time occupation. “I don’t know,” he said. “I just kind of stuck with it. Just never stopped, really.” He now makes his home in Fort Lauderdale for most of the year, and he’s been enjoying some significant success in South Florida of late.

Vitantonio’s results at the Palm Beach Kennel Club includes six cashes, two wins, and more than $200,000 in combined earnings. When asked to pinpoint the reasons for his impressive stats here, Vitantonio didn’t have much of an answer. “I don’t know,” he said with a laugh. “I honestly don’t know. I have no idea.” He said he does feel especially comfortable playing in this venue, and this victory was particularly easy, as far as victories go.

“It was really smooth,” Vitantonio said in his postgame interview. “Really smooth. I’m pretty sure I was never all in, and I never really had a short stack. It was super un-stressful.” He was second in chips behind Gediminas Uselis when the final table began, and the two were in the same positions when Day 1 concluded with four players left.

Uselis was the first one eliminated on Day 2, though, and his exit left room at the top for Vitantonio. The champ was soon heads-up with Steve Duncker, and for the first time in two days, he was challenged. Duncker fought for more than three hours before Vitantonio finally collected the last of his chips to seal the title.

After the last hand was dealt, Vitantonio quickly posed for photos, then jumped straight into Day 1A of the Main Event to try to repeat his title from two years ago.

Friday, February 17, 2017 5:11 PM Local Time
Peter Vitantonio

After more than three hours of heads-up play, Peter Vitantonio (pictured above) has just put the finishing touches on his second Circuit victory, with both of them coming in this building. Vitantonio defeats Steve Duncker in a marathon match to earn the top prize of $41,162, and he promptly spends $1,675 of that on a Main Event entry, where he'll look to repeat his title from 2015.

On the final hand of the match, a very short-stacked Duncker takes his stand with queen-five, and Vitantonio puts him at risk with six-seven. The champ is the only one to improve, flopping a six to win the pot and the title.

Duncker (below) finishes as the runner-up, earning a career-best score of $25,440.

Steve Duncker
Friday, February 17, 2017 2:05 PM Local Time

Peter Vitantonio and Steve Duncker are heads-up for the ring in Event #9. Vitantonio, who won the Circuit Main Event in this building a couple years ago, begins the match with the lead.

Peter Vitantonio - 1,310,000 (82 bb)
Steve Duncker - 895,000 (56 bb)

Blinds are 8,000/16,000 with a 2,000 ante in the current level, putting close to 140 total big blinds in play.

Friday, February 17, 2017 2:02 PM Local Time
Frank DiMaria
Friday, February 17, 2017 1:52 PM Local Time
Gediminas Uselis
Playtika - Jason Alexander
Friday, February 17, 2017 1:06 PM Local Time
The final four players are back in their seats, and cards are in the air for Day 2.
Friday, February 17, 2017 2:24 AM Local Time
End of Day 1
Friday, February 17, 2017 2:22 AM Local Time
Peter Vitantonio

The clock has run out on Day 1, and the final four players are bagging their chips for an overnight soak. Here's the remaining lineup:

Seat 1: Gediminas Uselis - 701,000 (58 bb)
Seat 2: Peter Vitantonio - 627,000 (52 bb)
Seat 3: Frank DiMaria - 448,000 (37 bb)
Seat 4: Steve Duncker - 425,000 (35 bb)

Peter Vitantonio (pictured) won the WSOP Circuit Main Event in this very building in 2015, collecting $130,000 and his first ring. The pro from Ohio has put himself in a good position to add another on Friday, sitting second in chips behind Lithuania's Gediminas Uselis.

Everyone left is guaranteed to earn at least $13,493 tomorrow, with the ring and a top prize of more than three times that reserved for the winner. Blinds will be 6,000/12,000 with a 2,000 ante when play resumes, putting more than 45 big blinds in the average stack. Cards go in the air at 1 p.m.

Friday, February 17, 2017 1:39 AM Local Time
Ari Engel
Friday, February 17, 2017 1:39 AM Local Time
Joseph Taylor
Playtika - Jason Alexander
Friday, February 17, 2017 1:38 AM Local Time
Gary Friedman
Friday, February 17, 2017 1:37 AM Local Time
Houston Baker
Friday, February 17, 2017 1:36 AM Local Time
Chad Eveslage
Friday, February 17, 2017 1:01 AM Local Time
Alan Schein
Friday, February 17, 2017 12:48 AM Local Time

The field has just been reduced to 10 players, and they've drawn for new seats around the final table. Here's the remaining lineup:

Seat 1: Gediminas Uselis - 547,000 (91 bb)
Seat 2: Chad Eveslage - 53,000 (9 bb)
Seat 3: Alan Schein - 240,000 (40 bb)
Seat 4: Houston Baker - 91,000 (15 bb)
Seat 5: Gary Friedman - 32,000 (5 bb)
Seat 6: Joseph Taylor - 140,000 (23 bb)
Seat 7: Peter Vitantonio - 500,000 (83 bb)
Seat 8: Ari Engel - 180,000 (30 bb)
Seat 9: Frank DiMaria - 181,000 (30 bb)
Seat 10: Steve Duncker - 223,000 (37 bb)

Another ring would give Ari Engel nine in his career and move him into a tie with Alex Masek for the all-time lead. He begins the final table in the middle of the pack and slightly below the chip average.

Blinds are 3,000/6,000 with a 1,000 ante in the current level, putting the average stack around 37 big blinds. Everyone left is guaranteed to earn at least $3,013 this evening, with play scheduled to continue for just over two more levels.

Gorilla Gaming
Thursday, February 16, 2017 10:58 PM Local Time

Level 17 is ticking off the clock, and the field has just crossed into the money. Fifteen players remain, each of them guaranteed to earn at least $2,481.

Play is scheduled to continue tonight until the end of Level 21.

Thursday, February 16, 2017 9:02 PM Local Time
Ari Engel

Level 15 has just begun, and play will continue tonight until the end of 21. There are currently 28 players left, which means the average stack is about 33 big blinds as they play 1,200/2,400 blinds with a 400 ante.

Eight-time ring winner Ari Engel (pictured) is among the remaining field, as is four-timer and WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hui. Alex Nguyen and Vytautas Laurinaitis are both looking to add a second final table appearance to their results at this stop, while Brett Bader, Mark Dube, and T.K. Miles are looking for their first. Stephen Smith, who won Event #7 here just last night, is also still in, though he's very short on chips at the moment.

Only 15 of the remaining players will finish in the money, so the bubble is just starting to appear on the horizon.

Thursday, February 16, 2017 5:42 PM Local Time

Registration is now closed for Event #9, and the numbers have been finalized. This $1,125 no-limit hold'em event drew 147 entries, generating a prizepool worth $147,000. That money will be shared by the final 15 players, with a min-cash worth $2,481. Each of the final five players will earn five figures, with the prizes escalating all the way up to a top payout of $41,162. The winner will also collect the ninth gold ring of the 12-event series.

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

Thursday, February 16, 2017 3:25 PM Local Time
Jerry Wong

Level 7 is underway, and the field for Event #9 is growing with a quickness. There are already 128 entries into the field, with late registration and single re-entry available until after the next break.

As the series starts to build toward the weekend's Main Event, a few more traveling pros are starting to make their way to Palm Beach Kennel Club from the far side of the state and beyond. Jake Schwartz, T.K. Miles, and November Niner Jerry Wong (pictured) are all making their series debut this afternoon.

Thursday, February 16, 2017 1:12 AM Local Time

There are two ring events on the docket today, and the first is the lone $1k event on the series' schedule.

The last time the Circuit stopped at the Palm Beach Kennel Club, Brett Bader won the ring for this event, conquering a field of 47 entries to claim the $17,625 top prize. Bader is back in West Palm Beach this week and likely to return in defense of his title.

Here are the vitals for this event:

  • This is a two-day event
  • Players begin with 15,000 in tournament chips
  • Levels 1-12 are 30 minutes apiece
  • Levels 13-21 are 40 minutes apiece
  • Late registration and single re-entry are available until the start of Level 9 (4:30 p.m.)
  • Day 1 concludes after Level 21

Cards go in the air at noon.

Playtika - Jason Alexander