First-time winners star at Foxwoods World Series Circuit

September 24, 2013, Patrick Gallagher  

What does a physical education teacher, meat manager, Broadway stage father and a retired online-poker-grinder-turned-in vestment-banker have in common? They all won their first World Series of Poker Circuit ring at Foxwoods Resort Casino in August.

Just four months since the last WSOPC here, Foxwoods still managed to hit record numbers in players and prize pools, cementing its place as a top stop on the WSOPC. The overall series drew 3,975 players to the 12 ring events, vying for their piece of the combined $2.2 million purse.

Multiple $365 (and other mid-level entry) tournaments helped bring the large and varied fields and prize pools, and as a result delivered multiple first-time winners.

New England and New York grinders continued to dominate the Foxwoods circuit event, claiming seven of the 12 rings. Massachusetts PE teacher Ryan Methia, who won Event 6 ($365 NLHE) and cashed three more times throughout the series, won the Casino Championship.

The main event went to ex-Internet pro Jason Strasser of New York, who survived with just 10 big blinds at the final table. He outlasted 591 players, including 2012 November Niner Mike Esposito and New Hampshire pro Joe Mourneau, who made the final table at the Little One for One Drop this year.

Other interesting and notable wins include Joe Frizzi (supermarket meat manager) Event 11 ($365 NLHE), Grant Lang, who’s daughter was preparing to star in a Broadway play while he took down Event 7 ($580 six-max), as well as Ari Engel’s sixth ring coming in Event 9 ($580 NLHE).

There’s no rest for the weary as Foxwoods now moves on to its signature series, the World Poker Finals, which runs Oct. 20-Nov. 3.

The series is guaranteeing $1 million, including $500K for the $2,700 main event, which begins Nov. 1 at noon. Players start with 30K chips and have 60-minute levels.

Other interesting events include a $400 limit hold’em tourney on Oct. 22 (1 p.m.), $400 pot-limit Omaha (with re-entry) on Oct. 23 (1 p.m.), $400 Omaha/8 on Oct. 25 (1 p.m.) a $400 H.O.S.E. tournament on Oct. 27 (1 p.m.) and a $400 stud/8 event on Oct. 30 (1 p.m.). There also will be a seniors event ($500, Oct. 23, 11 a.m.) and a $300 ladies tournament (Oct. 26, 11 a.m.)

The opening event is a $600 NLHE re-entry tournament on Oct. 20. It starts at 11 a.m. and has a $100K guarantee. See the ad on the facing page for full schedule details.

MOHEGAN SUN: On the heels of its successful Summer Showdown, Mohegan Sun has announced the $150K guarantee Indian Summer Classic (Oct. 3-6).

The weekend series features a variety of deepstack events, including two $300 NLHE re-entry tournaments with $30K guarantees and 15K in chips, a $250 NLHE re-entry with a $25K guarantee and 20K chips and $70 satellites to the $500 NLHE re-entry main event with $65K in guarantees (25K chips).

Go to mohegansun.com for details on this series.

EPT: Every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, the Eastern Poker Tour hosts charity events that feature 50-plus-player fields, $20 satellites, guarantees, nightly $1-$2 cash games and solid play. Visit easternpokertour.com for complete schedule and tournament details.

— Email Patrick Gallagher at anteupne@gmail.com.

WSOP Circuit

Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, Conn., Aug. 8-19
Event 1 • $365 NLHE
Entries: 641 • Pool: $192,748
John Ting, $39,514
Event 2 • $1,125 NLHE
Entries: 116 • Pool: $120,060
Fabio Dagata, $34,938
Event 3 • $365 O/8
Entries: 137 • Pool: $41,196
Eric Judge, $11,535
Event 4 • $365 NLHE
Entries: 578 • Pool: $173,805
Ketan Patel, $36,500
Event 5 • $580 NLHE
Entries: 449 • Pool: $226,476
James Campbell, $49,825
Event 6 • $365 NLHE
Entries: 276 • Pool: $82,993
Ryan Methia, $19,919
Event 7 • $580 6-Max
Entries: 155 • Pool: $78,182
Grant Lang, $21,891
Event 8 • $365 NLHE
Entries: 325 • Pool: $97,727
Jon Glasspool, $22,966
Event 9 • $580 NLHE
Entries: 235 • Pool: $118,534
Ari Engel, $29,634
$1,675 Main Event
Entries: 591 • Pool: $888,568
Jason Strasser, $186,600
Event 11 • $365 NLHE
Entries: 265 • Pool: $79,685
Joseph Frizzi, $19,523
Event 12 • $365 NLHE
Entries: 207 • Pool: $62,245
Parker Drew, $16,184