So Long From the Horseshoe

The 12-day WSOP Circuit series at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, IN is over. Events kicked off last Thursday with a 2,496-entry field in Event 1 and concluded early Tuesday morning with the Main Event.

The finale drew 1,717-entries — a new record for Main Events. The first prize of better than $418,000 found its way into the pocket of James Dorrance. In addition to the largest-ever prize earned in a $1,675 Main Event, Dorrance walked with a WSOP Circuit gold ring and a berth in the WSOP National Championship.

Joining him at the National Championship is Micheal Oshana. Oshana recorded a victory in Event 3 and a ninth-place finish in the Main Event to don Casino Champion honors, edging out Ben Keeline via the money-earned tiebreaker.

That does it from Horseshoe Hammond, but don't fret, cards are already in the for more Circuit in action in Lake Tahoe and Vancouver.

Goodnight and see you next year!

James Dorrance Wins Circuit’s Largest-Ever Main Event

James Dorrance

Horseshoe Hammond finale draws 1,717 entries, awards winner $418K.

Hammond, IN (October 28, 2013) — Before Monday night, James Dorrance had never recorded a World Series of Poker related cash. Now, he is able to say that he topped the biggest Main Event field in WSOP Circuit history.

The 27-year-old Penn State graduate defeated David Cossio heads-up to best a field of 1,717 in the Horseshoe Hammond Circuit Main Event. Dorrance takes home $418,526.

The tournament surpassed the previous Main Event attendance record set here in Hammond in 2011. That tournament drew 1,615 entries and saw local grinder Bob Chow go home with the almost $400,000 first prize.

Dorrance's score bested Chow's and will go in the record books as the largest $1,675 Main Event first prize in Circuit history. It didn't come easy for him, though.

He outlasted a final table that featured Kevin Eyster, who has a World Poker Tour title to his name, Scott Anderson, who had a deep run in the 2012 WSOP Main Event, and Michael Oshana, who won Event 3 at the Horseshoe, a $365 No Limit Hold'em event.

"I like to compete and it was a fun final table," said Dorrance. "There were a lot of creative and smart players. Steven Maniaci was making my life hell all day."

The Hershey, PA native made his way to Indiana because of the $2 million guarantee the tournament had. With the record-setting field, it easily surpassed the guarantee and ended up with a prize pool of $2,575,500 with 189 players earning a payday. The Horseshoe saw players travel from all over the country to come play the event and some of poker's biggest names made their way to the Chicago area.

Even though players were traveling from all over, a local Horseshoe regular Diane Dines waded her way through the big field and made an appearance at the final table, finishing in third.

Dines, a regular in the small stakes no-limit hold'em games in Hammond, got her seat in the tournament when her table was selected for a high card promotion. They dealt everybody a card and the highest card was given a seat to the $1,675 Main Event. Dines took that freeroll and turned it into at third-place finish and $193,832. When she was eliminated, she left to a standing applause from almost everybody in the room.

Bracelet winners TJ Cloutier, Bryan Campanello, Owais Ahmed, Chris Bell and Aaron Steury all made appearances at the Hammond Main Event. While Cloutier and Campanello finished short of a cash, Ahmed, Bell, and Steury all finished in the money. Steury made the deepest run of bracelet winners in the field, busting late on Day 2 in 20th place.

Some other notable players who made their way to Hammond included Tony Dunst, Kevin Saul, Joseph Elpayaa, Amanda Musumeci, Chad Brown, and Isaac Baron.

Along with the cash, the ring, and the recognition of being the winner of the largest Circuit Main Event ever, Dorrance earns himself a seat in the WSOP National Championship which will take place in Atlantic City in the spring.

Here are a look at the final table results:

1st: James Dorrance – $418,526
2nd: David Cossio – $260,100
3rd: Diane Dines – $193,832
4th: Steven Maniaci – $146,855
5th: Scott Anderson – $112,498
6th: Kevin Eyster – $87,103
7th: Steven Hensley – $68,173
8th: Millard Hale – $53,905
9th: Michael Oshana – $43,088

Full results available on

Ronald Kruk Wins Horseshoe’s Final Ring

Kruk Winner

$365 turbo event concludes in just over 10 hours. Casino Championship contender finishes one spot shy of a berth.

Micheal Oshana takes Casino Championship.

Hammond, IN (October 28, 2013) — Ronald Kruk earned Horseshoe’s final ring Monday shortly after 10 p.m. It took the 59-year-old South Bend, IN resident barely 10 hours to work his way through the 264-player starting field in the $365 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo tournament.

The $19,405 first prize translates into an hourly wage of just under $1,900. In addition to that hefty sum, Kruk walked with a WSOP Circuit gold ring and 50 points toward the season-long race to the WSOP National Championship.

One player at the final table less worried about the prize money and more worried about the points standings was Ben Keeline. Keeline earned 50 points for his win in the $580 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed preliminary event and changed his flights when he found himself in the thick of the Casino Championship race.

Keeline worked his way through the turbo field and earned a spot at the final table with a good shot at overtaking the current points leader, Micheal Oshana. He knew a fifth-place finish would tie him atop the leaderboard but he’d lose the money-earned tiebreaker.

It was fourth place or bust.

Keeline saw Carlos Perezaquirre hit the rail ninth, Nick Guagenti eighth, Boulos Estafanous seventh and Bill Varga sixth. Finally, five remained and he had to outlast just one more player.

Unfortunately, that’s where the run would end.

Keeline exited fifth, earning 25 additional points and tying him at the top with 75 points. Oshana, who won a preliminary event and finished ninth in the Main Event, amassed an impressive $73,071, trumping Keeline’s $46,022 worth of earnings and snatching Casino Champion honors.

The event’s winner, Kruk, came in just a few spots shy behind the pair up top. He earned 60 points during the 12-day series placing him in a tie for third overall.

Event 12 was the last of 12 gold ring events on the WSOP Circuit schedule at Horseshoe Hammond. The $365 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo tournament attracted 264 players generating a $79,200 prize pool. The top 27 players were paid.

The one-day event began Monday at 12 p.m. and concluded around 10:30 p.m. The nine-handed final table lasted just two hours.

Final table results:

1st: Ronald Kruk – $19,405
2nd: Ala Aqel – $11,989
3rd: Fadi Hamad – $8,662
4th: Craig Bergeron – $6,375
5th: Ben Keeline – $4,776
6th: Bill Varga – $3,639
7th: Boulos Estafanous – $2,820
8th: Nick Guagenti – $2,220
9th: Carlos Perezaquirre – $1,776

Full results available on

Two for Two: Hussain Sajwani Earns Gold

Sajwani Winner

Chicago area player lays claim to two career WSOP-related cashes, both coming in the form of Hammond gold ring victories.

Hammond, IN (October 28, 2013) — Hussain Sajwani’s WSOP resume boasts a modest two cashes. On the surface, that stat would be considered notable at best.

If one were to delve a little deeper into his results, though, they’d find he made those two cashes count. The 26-year-old semi-professional poker player from the Chicago area broke through for his first cash and gold ring victory in a 2011 $560 six-handed event in Hammond.

He remained cashless in the years since – that is, until Monday night.

He did it again in Event 11, a $580 No-Limit Hold’em tournament, earning his second gold ring in just his second cash. In addition, the win sent him back to Chicago with $31,851.

Despite the accolades, Sajwani admitted the victory was bittersweet.

“Overall I was trying to not go into poker as a profession. I feel like winning two [rings] is encouragement [to][turn][pro], though,” Sajwani admitted.

His reluctance to the side, the victory is a timely one for the 26-year-old Pakistani-born Sajwani. He was on site for many of the preliminary events and wasn’t able to record any cashes.

“This was pretty much my last event,” Sajwani said.

Sajwani outlasted a decorated field that included gold ring winner Kevin Saul (24th), two-time gold ring winner Michael “Car Wash” Schneider (5th) and the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino Champion Patty Till (3rd).

“[I][was] more relaxed [at][this][final][table] than last time,” Sajwani said. “There’s wasn’t as much anxiety or nervousness there. There was a plan I had in mind, so it was easier to conquer than my first time.”

The Event 11 final table concluded in the shadow of the Main Event, a tournament Sajwani was in position to make a deep run in, but lost much of his stack to the eventual sixth-place finisher, Kevin Eyster and finished short of the money.

While Sajwani’s win doesn’t match Eyster’s score in terms of prizes, he got the last laugh, heading home with some hardware to show for his hard work.

Event 11 was the 11th of 12 gold ring events on the WSOP Circuit schedule at Horseshoe Hammond. The $580 No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 260 players generating a $130,000 prize pool. The top 27 players were paid.

Final results:

1st: Hussain Sajwani – $31,851
2nd: William Higgins – $19,679
3rd: Patricia Hill – $14,218
4th: Arthur Antigua – $10,464
5th: Michael Schneider – $7,839
6th: Charles Richards – $5,974
7th: Michele Iacovone – $4,628
8th: Gary Herstein – $3,644
9th: Jerry Barlow – $2,915

Full results available on

Three Events to Conclude on Day 12

Today marks the last of 12 days of tournament poker at Horseshoe Hammond and it's shaping up to be a busy one. Things kick off at 12 p.m. with Event 12, a $365 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo tournament. Players begin with 10,000 tournament chips and play 20-minute levels throughout.

Registration for the final event remains open until 2:15 p.m. and we'll bring you full prize pool information at that time.

Next, the $1,675 Main Event begins at 1 p.m. Just 15 players remain with David Cossio leading the way. Cossio is a 14-time WSOP related casher with more than $220,000 in earnings. He's trailed by James Dorrance with 5,085,000 and Casino Champion contenders Michael Oshana (2,840,000) and Kenny Nguyen (1,100,000).

More information on Hammond's championship event is available on the events page.

Finally, the unofficial final table of Event 11, yesterday's $580 No-Limit Hold'em tournament, begins at 2 p.m. Michael "Car Wash" Schnedier begins the day slightly behind the chip lead of Michael Iacovone and looking for his second ring.

The day's schedule:

  • 12 p.m., Event 12, $365 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo, Registration remains open until 2:15 p.m
  • 1 p.m., the Main Event, 15 players remain, David Cossio leads, $418,000 and a National Championship berth to the winner
  • 2 p.m., Event 11, $580 No-Limit Hold'em, 10 remains, Michael "Car Wash" Schnedier begins second

Good luck, players! It's been a fun 12 days in Hammond.

David Cossio Leads Day 3 of Hammond Main Event


Day 2 of the Hammond Main Event is complete, and David Cossio finished the day atop the leaderboard with 6,650,000 in chips. Play began with 224 players who returned from Day 1A and 1B, and after 10 levels, only 15 remain. They will return on Monday at 1 pm.

The tournament featured a record-setting field, boasting a total of 1,717 entries over two starting days. No other WSOP Circuit Main Event has ever had more. The previous record was 1,615, set in Hammond in 2011. The massive field gave this event an equally massive prize pool of $2,575,500, easily surpassing the $2 million guarantee. The top five finishers will all walk away with six-figure payouts. The winner will receive $418,526 to go with a WSOP Circuit ring and an entry into the National Championship at Caesars Atlantic City in the spring.

Cossio is well ahead of the second-place player, James Dorrance, who finished the day with 5,085,000. Steve Maniaci is third with 4,650,000. No other player has more than 3 million in chips.

Two players who won rings earlier at the Hammond Circuit stop made it deep in the Main Event. Kevin Meeuson won Event #4, a $365 pot-limit Omaha tournament, for $35,812. He was eliminated from the Main Event in 23rd place, earning $16,380. He had a chance at winning Casino Champion honors, but has been surpassed by Micheal Oshana, who won Event #3 for $29,983. Oshana defeated Ari Engel heads-up to win his ring last week, and he is still alive in the Main Event. He finished Day 2 with 2,840,000, good for fourth place. He is already guaranteed 20 points in the Casino Champion race, which would tie him with the leader, Mark Morris. Kenny Nguyen also has a shot at Casino Champion. He is currently 2 ½ points behind Oshana, and is also still alive in the Main Event with 1,100,000 in chips.

Players who were eliminated in the money today include Kyle Julius, John Holley, Gillian Epp, and bracelet winners Aaron Steury and Owais Ahmed. Erik Roussakis also made the money, despite starting Day 2 in last place with only 25,000 in chips. Roussakis final tabled this event each of the past two years, but finished in 45th place this year.

Here are the chip counts for the remaining 15 players:

  1. David Cossio – 6,650,000
  2. James Dorrance – 5,085,000
  3. Steven Maniaci – 4,650,000
  4. Micheal Oshana – 2,840,000
  5. Scott Anderson – 2,800,000
  6. Millard Hale – 2,260,000
  7. Amalim Onyia – 2,055,000
  8. Steven Hensley – 1,320,000
  9. Kevin Eyster – 1,200,000
  10. Diane Dines – 1,170,000
  11. Kenny Nguyen – 1,100,000
  12. Bryan Moon – 1,035,000
  13. Michael Skomac – 1,015,000
  14. Austin Buchanan – 785,000
  15. Maurice Sessum – 385,000

Full results available on

$580 NLH Chip Counts, 10 Remain

Ten players remain in Monday's $580 No-Limit Hold'em field. Michael Iacovone leads the way with 566,000, but is trailed closely by gold ring winner Michael Schneider with 482,000.

Cards are in the for Day 2 Monday at 2 p.m.

Final table seating assignments and chip counts:

Seat Name Chip Count
1 Michael Schneider 482,000
2 Hussain Sajwani 207,000
3 Michele Iacovone 566,000
4 Jerry Barlow 191,000
5 William Higgins 385,000
6 Mc Arthur Antigua 140,000
7 Gary Herstein 107,000
8 Patricia Till 742,000
9 Charles Richards 287,000
10 Matthew Schwartz 55,000

Results available on

260 Entrants in Today’s $580

The Main Event isn't the only show in town. The 12 p.m. $580 No-Limit Hold'em touranment drew 260 entrants generating a $130,000 prize pool. The top 27 spots finish in the money with 27th place earning $1,050.

In addition to $31,851, the tournament's winner earns a WSOP Circuit gold ring and 50 invaluable points toward the Casino Championship — a race Mark Morris currently leads with 70 points and just one more points-eligible event remaining. The final points-eligible event, a $365 No-Limit Hold'em turbo tournament, takes place tomorrow at 12 p.m.

The $580 No-Limit Hold'em event is currently on dinner break with 59 players remaining. They will log nine more levels before bagging for Day 1 at shortly after 2 a.m.

Full payout structure:

Prize Pool

The Main Event and $580 NLH

Day 11 at Horseshoe Hammond is headlined by the Main Event. It's Day 2 of the record-breaking 1,717-player field and it begins at 1 p.m. with 224 players remaining and just 189 players finishing in the money.

One player looking to do more than just back into a payday is Kevin Davis. Davis begins the day far and away in the chip lead with 689,500 chips. The next closest player, Michael Yale, holds 510,000.

You can view full chip counts and catch up on all the Day 1A and 1B action on

Running alongside the Main Event is Event 11, a $580 No-Limit Hold'em tournament. Players begin with 12,000 chips and play 21 Day 1 levels. Registration remains open until 2:15 p.m. and dinner break occurs at about 6:30 p.m.

This is the second-to-last ring event at Hammond, so don't miss your chance to earn some points toward the Casino Championship!

The day's schedule:

  • 12 p.m. Event 11, $580 No-Limit Hold'em, Day 1, Registration open until 2:15 p.m.
  • 1 p.m. the Main Event, $1,675 No-Limit Hold'em, Day 2, 224 players remain 189 finishing in the money, Kevin Davis leads