Taylor wins WSOPC main event at Foxwoods

October 01, 2015, Dave Lukow, Jo Kim, Michael Young  

College student Samuel Taylor outlasted 460 entrants to win the World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Conn. Taylor earned $149K for capturing the first WSOPC main-event title of the season.

The payout boosted Taylor’s career winnings to $642,791. Playing out of New York, he has cashed 31 times, seven at the WSOP. Johanssy Joseph of Spring Valley, N.Y., was second ($92,184). Mitch Garshofsky of Las Vegas took home $67,232 for third, his biggest payday on the circuit.

Brandon Miller of from Paramus, N.J., was fourth ($49,904) followed by Soukha Kachittavong ($37,428).

Looking ahead, the World Poker Finals runs Oct. 3-19 and has $1.6M in guarantees. The $600 opening event has three starting days (Oct. 3-5, 11 a.m.) and a $500K guarantee. The $2,700 main event, which has a $500K guarantee, is Oct. 16-18 with two starting days (Oct. 16-17, 11 a.m.). Be sure to contact the poker room for more details.

TURNING STONE: The Accumulator II Hold’em Series ran Sept. 8-13, ending with the $50K guarantee that settled for a 10-way chop for about $3,620 each. Lucio Procopio was given the main-event title as 375 players entered the $100 tourney.

SENECA NIAGARA: The October Pokerfest runs Oct. 26-30. Call the poker room for schedule.

Mid-Atlantic

DOVER DOWNS HOTEL & CASINO: The Masters Poker Series, which runs Oct. 28-Nov. 1, will be an Ante Up Set Sail Series. Players entered in any of the seven events at the Dover, Del., casino will be given a drawing ticket. On Nov. 1, tickets will be drawn until five winners claim an Ante Up Poker Cruise package for two on the April 18 sailing out of Port Canaveral, Fla. The Masters Poker Series features seven no-limit hold’em events, including two $550 main events: one open to all players and the other for players 45 and older.

Among the events is a $125 Meet the Masters event featuring several pros, including Tom McEvoy, T.J. Cloutier, J.J. Liu, Kenna James and Darvin Moon. At least $150K is guaranteed over the course of the series and all cashers in all events will earn Ante Up Poker Tour Player of the Year points.

DELAWARE PARK: The poker room hosts the Mid-Atlantic Poker Championship on Oct. 14-26. There will be 16 events, including three championship events: Oct. 21-22, $1,500 pot-limit Omaha, Oct. 22-23, $585 heads-up Championship and Oct. 23-26, $1,090 Mid-Atlantic Poker Championship.

HARRINGTON RACEWAY: Splash pots during NFL games began Sept. 10. For each quarter, there will be a $100 splash pot at a random table.

HORSESHOE BALTIMORE: Ting Xiao rallied from one of the shortest final-table stacks to win the Horseshoe Baltimore’s World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event. The $1,675 event drew 458 entries, generating a $687K prize pool, paying 54 spots. Xiao is a pro from nearby Frederick, earning his largest career cash in his home casino. Primarily a cash player, Xiao had about $30K in tournament earnings before this final table. He won $147,699, the gold ring and a seat in the 2016 WSOP global championship.

“I’ve always wanted a ring,” he said. “I wanted a ring really badly. I play cash games for money and tournaments for the glory. That’s what the ring is about.”

Sandeep Patel of Parsippany, N.J., was runner-up ($91,323).

In other news, the poker room hosts a $100K guarantee for $350 on Oct. 23-25.

Atlantic City/Philadelphia

HARRAH'S PHILADELPHIA: The Guaranteed Overlay event runs Oct. 15-25. The Added Bounty Overlay Mini-Series will feature two bounty tournaments with $260 and $120 buy-ins. The $260 event will include 10 Day-1 flights, each starting at 11 a.m., with a $100K guarantee. The nightly $120 event will take place at 7 for eight starting heaters with a $50K guarantee.

For both events, the bounties will be increased considerably for players returning on Day 2, pending overlay status. If the guarantee is met, bounties will increase to $100 and $50 for each event, accordingly.

Harrah’s most recent Guaranteed Overlay in July was wildly successful, drawing in 1,636 entrants. The $160 event outdid the Philadelphia Poker Open, Harrah’s usual tournament series, collecting $227,588.

The last four players remaining agreed to a chop for $23,713 each. Jay Johnson won heads-up against Eric Suarez for the WSOP $10K main-event seat. Chris Delgrande and James Comly took third and fourth, respectively.
Suarez, who frequently makes final tables in Philadelphia’s local tournaments, lost his lead to Johnson on a flip and took second place shortly after.

“I love Harrah’s new series,” Suarez said. “The structure makes the trip worthwhile. Plus, it brings in lots of recreational players who are there just for the enjoyment. It’s good for everyone.”

SUGARHOUSE: The expansion project is under way, scheduled to finish by the end of the year. The $164M construction has expanded the Delaware Avenue property by more than doubling the perimeter of the casino. The exact inauguration date of the new addition is to be determined, but upon completion, the poker room’s location will have 28 tables and adjoining event rooms for tournament series.

Until then, don’t forget the $100K guarantee Fall Showdown, which runs Oct. 22-26 ($280).

PARX: John Muldoon claimed the championship title for the Big Stax XII $1,100 main event, taking home $45,215.The final four players agreed to a close chop, with remaining play for the trophy. Eugene Fouksman, who was leader coming into Day 3, finished second for $43,716 against Muldoon, who began the day as one of the shortest stacks. Ibra Ibraimovic, who was in the top five throughout the event, came in third ($43,216). Former Ante Up columnist Mike Wolf was fourth ($42,716) for the biggest cash of his tournament career.

Wolf, who cashed in all three of the series’ trophy events, has been on a tournament heater since the WSOP. As a pro cash player, Wolf has played about five tournaments annually for the past five years.

“I always thought how it was ironic that a poker player could win $500K playing cash and no one cares, but that same player could win $100K in a few tournaments and people notice,” Wolf said. “In a lot of ways, deep-stacked cash-game pros are better than tournament pros. It should really be the other way around.”

In the past few months, Wolf has cashed in several WSOP events, including the main, and made some final tables.

Meet Joe McKeehen
Joe McKeehen will be chipleader when the November Nine reconvenes at the Rio in Las Vegas.

When did you learn to play poker? I saw the game on TV and then my friends and I messed around a bit. I got into the industry during high school when I started to mess around for small amounts of money on PokerStars and Full Tilt. When I turned 18 and went to college, I started playing more seriously. I quit my cashier’s job to play poker for income on the side.

Would you say the rest of your poker career will be focused mainly on tournaments or cash? I’ve always played tournaments. I’ve always liked to win a lot for a little so I was drawn in immediately. I’ll continue to play tournaments everywhere and hopefully continue to have success.

Do you have a favorite venue? I like the East Coast venues (Parx, Borgata) since it’s where I live and I can drive there. Borgata tournaments are generally huge and Borgata is far and away the best place to play poker on the East Coast during the year. It’s some of my favorite times of the year when I can play a big Borgata series like the WPT in January and September. — Jo Kim