The first event at the World Series of Poker Circuit attracted a strong field of 262 players, who each kicked in $300 in a no limit hold’em event.
After 253 players were eliminated on Day One, the nine finalists returned for the final table on Day Two. It was played on the second floor of the Harvey’s Casino-Resort, adjacent to the Hard Rock Café and the race and sports book, which was filled to capacity on a Saturday afternoon.
This final table was completed in near-record time. It took less than two hours to determine the outcome.
Players were eliminated in the following order:
Steve Dick was helplessly short-stacked. Five minutes into play, he moved all-in with A-K. Chip leader Chris Carmichael was quick to make the call, holding Q-Q. The pocket queens held up, and Dick collected $1,525 for ninth place.
A few hands later, Bill Goulet made his final stand with Q-7. Bill Hans had his opponent easily covered and called with A-Q. Goulet was dominated and failed to pull off the upset. Goulet received $2,287 for eighth.
Michael Yoshihara lost his final hand of the night with A-8 versus Carmichael’s A-J. The better hand won, and Japanese-born Yoshihara, who now lives in Reno, took home $3,050.
Carmichael’s hatchet job continued. Rickies W. Miller was chopped next when his K-9 was trounced by Carmichael’s A-9. Both players flopped three-of-a-kind when the board showed 9-9-2. But Carmichael ended up holding the better kicker. Miller, a poker dealer from Sacramento, collected $3,812 for sixth place.
Only 45 minutes into play, the fifth player went out when Aaron Donovan took A-4 up against Bill Hans’ A-8. Once again, the superior hand prevailed. Donovan, a small business owner from Glendale, California (nicknamed the train) was derailed in fifth place. He received $4,575 in prize money.
Chris Carmichael seemed to be the player to beat during the final rounds. However, Carmichael’s situation had gone from bad to worse. Essentially down to just two outs (the remaining jacks), he failed to improve, and exited disappointingly in fourth place, which was worth $5,337.
The worst beat of the night belonged to Tony E., who was dealt pocket aces and flopped an ace. His opponent, Sergio Osadchuk had A-K and moved all-in holding top pair. Tony couldn’t move his chips into the pot fast enough with the huge hand — three aces. But, remarkably, the final board showed A-Q-J-7-10, which completed a straight for Osadchuck. That miracle catch catapulted him into third place. Osadchuk, a restaurant manager from San Rafael, California agreed to a three-player deal and was officially listed as the third-place finisher.
"Tony E" (real name Dino Erardi) took second place. The 45-year-old real estate broker from Stockton, California agreed to a deal with Osadchuk and Hans.
The official winner was Bill Hans, a 56-year-old poker player from Wenatchee, Washington. Hans owns multiple upscale coffee shops in the Pacific Northwest. Hans officially collected first prize totaling $24,401. Hans had previously finished in the money twice on last year’s Circuit, with two such appearances at Harrah’s Rincon (San Diego). This was his first major tournament victory.