WSOPC lands in Atlantic City for latest events

Ship Teh Chips

As both the World Poker Tour and the European Poker Tour head into their final events for the 2007 calendar season, the World Series of Poker Circuit also caps off its calendar year with a stop at Harrah's in Atlantic City, N.J.

The event runs December 8-18 and, because it's the only major tournament on the East Coast at this time, it's usually one of the best-attended stops on the WSOPC schedule. No one, however, could have predicted the onslaught of patrons for the opening tournament.

An astounding 901 players came to the felt for the start of play on Saturday for the $300 No-Limit Hold'Em event, building a prize pool of $270,300. The number of players that came out for the tournament set a record for the largest event ever played for the WSOPC in its five stops in Atlantic City.

Ninety players would take away something for their efforts. A worldwide community - players at the final table once called such countries as Brazil, Peru, Albania and Romania home - battled it out for the top prize of $67,575.

Coming to the final table, Kevin Crumlish held a 2-1 lead over second-place Eliano Mesquita and he maintained his sizable lead through the early going. Mircea Ionescu, who came to the final table in the middle of the pack, soon started making some moves and climbing the leaderboard. He eliminated Dan Hayden in ninth place and, once he took out Mesquita in fifth, assumed the chip lead in the tournament.

Crumlish attempted to fight back by taking out Howard Wolper in fourth but, once Ionescu dismissed a short-stacked Sonny Lusha in third with pocket aces that turned into a set, he faced a 3-2 deficit against Ionescu.

Heads-up action only lasted for six hands between the two. On a Qc-10d-4s flop with the blinds at 40k-80k with a 5k ante, Crumlish moved the remainder of his stack ($1.1 million) to the center. After analyzing the complete overbet for several minutes, Ionescu decided to make the call and tabled K-Q, dominating Crumlish's Q-5.

Once the board blanked out, Mircea Ionescu was crowned the champion, taking the cash and the WSOPC ring that is given to all champions. Ionescu and his tablemates divvied up the proceeds as follows:

Mircea Ionescu
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Kevin Crumlish
Wall, N.J.
Sonny Lusha
Staten Island, N.Y.
Howard Wolper
Atlantic City
Eliano Mesquita
Toms River, N.J.
Carlos Chavez
Madison, Miss.
Ashley Shuey
Shartlesville, Pa.
James Zinkand
Washington D.C.
Dan Hayden
Springville, N.Y.

The WSOPC Atlantic City will continue over the next 10 days with multiple No-Limit Hold'Em tournaments on the schedule that offer buy-ins from $300 to $1,000.

Satellites will also be running for the entirety of the schedule for $300; they lead up to the $5,000 Championship Event, which will start on December 16. As the WSOPC comes to Atlantic City, it's obvious that Las Vegas and Prague don't have a corner on the poker action.

Best Poker Sites - Editor`s Pick

Latest Blogs »