Photo courtesy of Image Masters
Buy-In: $500 (+$80)
Total Entries: 128
Prize Pool: $64,000
October 20-21, 2014
31-year-old pro moves to second on the all-time wins list, trails leader Alex Masek by one.
$580 HORSE tournament sees its champion pocket $17,921, 50 points toward the Casino Championship and a spot in the record books.
Hammond, Ind. (October 21, 2014) — Ari Engel moved up one spot on the all-time Circuit wins list earning his seventh career ring Tuesday night in a $580 HORSE event. The 31-year-old pro joins Chris Reslock in a tie for second all-time, one victory behind current leader Alex Masek. Officially recognized as Event 6 of the World Series of Poker Circuit at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind., the win came at the hands of a 128-player field and earned Engel $17,921 along with 50 points toward the Casino Championship and a free seat in the property’s $1,675 Main Event.
“It definitely doesn’t get old,” Engel said of his continued success. “It’s nice to get a win. It’s been a little bit of time. I spend a lot of time grinding and you only very occasionally actually get a win. I’m trying to savor the moment.”
Engel’s victories date back to March of 2007 when he won a $300 no-limit hold’em event. In the years and months that followed he recorded five additional wins – four in no-limit hold’em and one in a pot-limit hold’em/pot-limit Omaha mixed variation. He came to Horseshoe Casino Tuesday night admittedly inexperienced in HORSE, but with the poker know-how to get the job done even without playing his preferred game.
“I always play online in the big series when they have big-field HORSE tournaments,” Engel said. “I have a fair amount of experience […] In a $500 HORSE tournament I felt pretty comfortable and I think I have somewhat of an edge in it.”
As mentioned earlier, Engel now trails the all-time wins leads of Masek by one. Like Engel, Masek has a young career that’s seen him take the Circuit by storm. Together, the pair has left its mark in the history books besting the pace set by Circuit legends like Chris Reslock, Mark Smith and Men Nguyen and setting the bar for up-and-comers like Valentin Vornicu and Kyle Cartwright.
“A combination [of][trophies][and][money],” Engel said of what motivates him. “Definitely the main thing is making a living [playing][poker]. One of the reasons I choose to play Circuit events is because I do have a lot of rings. I’m trying to catch [Masek]. I don’t know if I would have played a $580 HORSE tournament if it wasn’t a ring event.”
Engel began the second and final day of play in the HORSE event setting the pace with 19 players remaining. He retained his lead at the eight-handed final table and through many of the late stages of play. He watched as Jason Mayfield hit the rail eighth, Jean “Prince” Gaspard sixth and Robert Rasmussen fourth. With each elimination Engel’s stack grew and only briefly did he see second place David Speicher hold an advantage over him heads up. Humble even in victory, the Circuit’s newest champion closed by giving a nod to Masek.
“I really respect his game,” Engel said of Masek. “It’s great to try and get close to him, but he’s the man for now.”
Engel was born in Toronto, Ontario. He is 31 years old and travels the tournament circuit full time. His Event 6 victory marks his seventh career Circuit win, 37th cash and moves him over $400,000 in earnings on the Circuit alone.
Event 6 was the sixth of 12 gold ring events on the WSOP Circuit schedule at Horseshoe Hammond. The $580 HORSE event attracted 128 players. The total prize pool came to $64,000 and the top 16 finishers were paid.
Final table results:
1st: Ari Engel – $17,291 + $1,675 Main Event seat
2nd: David Speicher – $11,076
3rd: Ryan Paluf – $7,899
4th: Robby Rasmussen – $5,745
5th: Joe Jeffery – 115,000 – $4,260
6th: Jean “Prince” Gaspard – $3,220
7th: David Kowal – $2,479
8th: Jason Mayfield – $1,944
9th: Kevin Brewer – $1,551
Additional results available on WSOP.com.