The latest World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit stop at Bally’s in Las Vegas wrapped up on Sunday and culminated with Italy’s Andrea Buonocore taking down the $1,700 Main Event on March 30 for $143,229 and his first career ring. The Italian defeated two-time bracelet winner Eric Baldwin during heads-up play, who in turn earned a payday of $88,498.
The latest WSOP Circuit stop in Las Vegas consisted of 19 ring events with buy-ins ranging from $250 to $2,200. Those events, which ranged from Pot-Limit Omaha to H.O.R.S.E., generated $1.7 million in prize money.
Buonocore Wins Main Event for First Ring
The Main Event attracted 468 entrants to generate a prize pool of $709,956. Well-known players in the field included Ashley Sleeth (18th – $7,092), Stephen Song (44th – $2,911), Ryan Laplante (51st – $2,734), Allen Kessler (54th – $2,734) and 2013 WSOP Main Event champion Ryan Riess (56th – $2,612).
The final table action began on Day 2 and extended into a third day of play. 2012 WSOP Main Event runner-up Jesse Sylvia was one of the first players out at the final table, finishing in eight place for $16,463 in brutal fashion when his aces were cracked by the flush of Buonocore.
Later, two-time bracelet winner Jim Collopy bowed out in fourth place when he got it in with a flush draw and couldn’t beat the ace-high of the eventual champion. Buonocore eliminated yet another opponent when he sent Timothy Chang out in third for $64,664 when Chang pushed a short stack with queen-deuce and ran into Buonocore’s Big Slick.
Buonocore began heads-up play against Baldwin, who has a massive $7.1 in tournament earnings, with a big chip lead and was able to close out the tournament when Baldwin moved in with king-four and Buonocore called with pocket sevens. The board ran out clean for Buonocore and he locked up the victory for his first ring and second-biggest score.
The Italian’s largest score came at the 2019 World Series when he finished fourth in Event #34: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Double Stack for $235,099.
“It feels amazing,” Buonocore said after his latest victory. “I haven’t played tournaments in a long time. I’ve been only playing cash games. I was playing my regular 100/200 game in Bobby’s room. It wasn’t really a good game and the game broke, so I wasn’t sure what to do next. I checked online and saw they had this tournament, so I registered very late. I went deep and everything went my way.”
WSOP Circuit Bally’s Main Event Full Results
|RANK||PLAYER||HOMETOWN||PRIZE (IN USD)|
|2||Eric Baldwin||Henderson, NV||$88,498|
|3||Timothy Chang||Woodbury, NY||$64,664|
|4||Jim Collopy||Washington, MD||$47,875|
|5||Bruce Vandervort||El Paso, TX||$35,920|
|6||Daniel Jones||Kingwood, TX||$27,316|
|7||David Mowery||Delavan, WI||$21,060|
|8||Jesse Sylvia||Las Vegas, NV||$16,464|
|9||Kevin Fitzgibbons||Morgan Hill, CA||$13,052|
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Foutty Wins Seventh Ring in PLO Event
Earlier in the series, Las Vegas pro Steve Foutty won his seventh career circuit ring by taking down Event #10: $400 Pot-Limit Omaha for $9,880, getting through 104 runners and defeating Andrew Donabedian during heads-up play, who took home $6,101.
Foutty, who now has $1.1 million in career earnings and an impressive 90 WSOP cashes, won his first ring in 2014 at WSOP Circuit Harveys Lake Tahoe by taking down Event #5: $365 No-Limit Hold’em for $13,850. Foutty went on to win two rings in 2015 and three in 2019.
Foutty joins a prestigious group of six players who have seven Circuit rings to their name, including Joshua Turner, Blake Whittington, John Holley and Vincent Moscati.
Despite Foutty’s poker accomplishments, the Las Vegas pro was humble after winning his latest ring.
“I do not have a recipe for success,” he said. “I put in a lot of volume. I don’t think I’m that good, but I don’t think I’m bad either.”
Other players who made deep runs in the PLO event include Todd Kobrin (3rd – $4,124), Denis Bilodeau (4th – $2,881) and Wynn-Millions-all-in-dark-guy Elvis Toomas (5th – $2,081).
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An early highlight in at the Bally’s Circuit stop was when Florida’s Justin Matecki took down Event #3: $250 NLH to earn his second ring and $8,705.
Matecki, who now has $77,068 in live earnings, won his first Circuit ring just weeks ago at WSOP Circuit Circuit Isle Casino Pompano Park in Event #9: $600 No-Limit Hold’em Mystery Bounty, which earned him $25,364.
Matecki defeated Frank Kearns during heads-up play, who in turn earned $5,369. Other players for final-tabled the tournament include Garry Bliesner (3rd – $3,750) and Homero Salinas (4th – $2,861).
Later in the series, Robert Chow of Illinois earned his fourth career ring by taking down Event #7: $400 H.O.R.S.E. for $13,949, defeating heads-up opponent Michael Parizon, who took home $8,331.
Chow, who now has $1.2 million in live earnings, won his first ring in 2011 when he took down the WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond Main Event for $393,584, by and large his biggest score to date.
Other players who made the final table in the H.O.R.S.E. tournament include Leonard August (3rd – $5,741), Ron Ware (4th – $4,058) and Jonathan Williams (5th – $2,943).
Another player earned a fourth career ring as Carlos Loving topped a 168-entry field in Event #14: $600 NLH Double Stack to win $21,741 and deny all-time WSOP cash leader Roland Israelashvili his ninth ring during heads-up play.
After Bally’s, the WSOP Circuit heads to King’s Casino in the Czech Republic from March 30-April 17, while the next domestic stop will be at Harrah’s Cherokee from April 7-18.
A full list of winners at WSOP Circuit Bally’s is available in the table below.
WSOP Circuit Bally’s Ring Winners
|TOURNAMENT||ENTRIES||PRIZE POOL||WINNER||HOMETOWN||PRIZE (IN USD)|
|Event #1: $250 NLH||454||$69,586||David O’Callaghan||Ireland||$17,366|
|Event #2: $250 NLH||178||$35,600||Hamid Hosseinpour||N/A||$8,855|
|Event #3: $250 NLH||173||$24,600||Justin Matecki||Melbourne, FL||$8,705|
|Event #4: $400 NLH Double Stack||236||$78,352||Christopher Paolino||Connecticut||$17,871|
|Event #5: $400 Omaha 8 or Better||149||$49,468||Max Thain||Tuscon, AZ||$12,791|
|Event #6: $400 NLH Black Chip Bounty||149||$34,270||Lucas Wiggins||Las Vegas, NV||$8,919|
|Event #7: $400 H.O.R.S.E.||156||$51,480||Robert Chow||Schaumburg, Illinois||$13,949|
|Event #8: $400 NLH Monster Stack||394||$130,808||David Baba||Ontario, CA||$26,701|
|Event #9: $250 Ladies Event NLH||70||$14,000||Cheryl Svenson||Tracy, CA||$4,504|
|Event #10: $400 Pot-Limit Omaha||104||$34,528||Steve Foutty||Las Vegas, NV||$9,880|
|Event #11: $400 Seniors NLH||197||$65,010||Stan Jablonski||Bullhead City, AZ||$15,688|
|Event #12: $2,200 NLH High Roller||98||$196,000||Andrew Rodgers||Anchorage, AK||$57,001|
|Event #13: $1,700 NLH Main Event||468||$709,956||Andrea Buonocore||Italy||$143,229|
|Event #14: $600 NLH Double Stack||168||$86,520||Carlos Loving||Tampa, FL||$21,741|
|Event #15: $400 NLH||137||$45,210||Gregory Hughes||Chandler, AZ||$12,056|
|Event #16: $400 O/E (Omaha 8 and Stud 8)||83||$27,390||Dan Gannon||Las Vegas, NV||$8,299|
|Event #17A: $250 NLH||76||$15,200||Keith Boniface||Henderson, NV||$4,761|
|Event #17B: $250 NLH||108||$21,600||Manuel Lang||Austria||$6,121|
|Event #18: $250 NLH Bounty||133||$19,950||Jose Gutierrez-Marengo||Las Vegas, NV||$5,406|