A new record was set when the third event of the World Series of Poker Circuit, a $365 buy-in NL Hold’em Re-entry tournament, turned out be the biggest event in the history of the circuit. This event, which had four starting flights, drew a huge field of 4,053 poker players who generated a prize pool as large as $1,215,900. The event was played at Oklahoma’s Choctaw Casino Resort this month.
The player field was much larger than the field of 3,001 players who took part in the re-entry tournament held at Horseshoe Hammond in 2011 and the field of 2,867 players who took part in the WSOP Circuit re-entry tournament held at Choctaw last year.
The action finally boiled down to a heads-up match between Ray Henson, who had finished in the 12th position in the WSOP 2007 Main Event and won the circuit ring thrice, and T. J. Cloutier, the Poker Hall of Famer who had won the WSOP bracelet six times.
Cloutier and Henson had played heads-up against each other once in the past. Both had become the finalists of the Scotty Nguyen Poker Challenge IV $5k Main Event, which was held at Tulsa’s Cherokee Casino Resort in 2007. The event had a field of 105 players who generated a prize pool of $601,400. In the heads-up match, Cloutier emerged as the winner and took home the first-place prize of $240,560. After eight years, Henson took revenge on Cloutier by defeating him to win his fourth WSOP Circuit ring and a first-place prize of $197,588. He later joked: “It’s the first tournament I’ve won all year.”
The final table results show T. J. Cloutier as the runner-up and winner of the second-place prize of $122,040. The players who finished third and fourth were Ben Perez, who won $88,603, and Zhengyue Cao, who won $65,136, respectively. The players who finished fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth were Matt Lawrence of Oklahoma ($48,308), Zachary Hammons of Texas ($36,137), Robert Martin Garland of Texas ($27,273), and Myles Hamm Euless of Texas ($20,775), respectively. The players who finished ninth and tenth were Taylor Black of Santa Cruz ($15,928) and Krissi McFarland of Texas ($12,329), respectively.
The WSOP reports that the heads-up play began with Henson in the chip lead. When the blinds reached 300k/600k/100k, the hand that brought the tournament to an end was played. Ultimately, Henson emerged as the champion and received several messages of congratulations from his poker buddies.