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
RANKPLAYERHOMETOWNPRIZE (IN USD) 1Andrea BuonocoreItaly$143,229 2Eric BaldwinHenderson, NV$88,498 3Timothy ChangWoodbury, NY$64,664 4Jim CollopyWashington, MD$47,875 5Bruce VandervortEl Paso, TX$35,920 6Daniel JonesKingwood, TX$27,316 7David MoweryDelavan, WI$21,060 8Jesse SylviaLas Vegas, NV$16,464 9Kevin FitzgibbonsMorgan 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
TOURNAMENTENTRIESPRIZE POOLWINNERHOMETOWNPRIZE (IN USD) Event #1: $250 NLH454$69,586David O’CallaghanIreland$17,366 Event #2: $250 NLH178$35,600Hamid HosseinpourN/A$8,855 Event #3: $250 NLH173$24,600Justin MateckiMelbourne, FL$8,705 Event #4: $400 NLH Double Stack236$78,352Christopher PaolinoConnecticut$17,871 Event #5: $400 Omaha 8 or Better149$49,468Max ThainTuscon, AZ$12,791 Event #6: $400 NLH Black Chip Bounty149$34,270Lucas WigginsLas Vegas, NV$8,919 Event #7: $400 H.O.R.S.E.156$51,480Robert ChowSchaumburg, Illinois$13,949 Event #8: $400 NLH Monster Stack394$130,808David BabaOntario, CA$26,701 Event #9: $250 Ladies Event NLH70$14,000Cheryl SvensonTracy, CA$4,504 Event #10: $400 Pot-Limit Omaha104$34,528Steve FouttyLas Vegas, NV$9,880 Event #11: $400 Seniors NLH197$65,010Stan JablonskiBullhead City, AZ$15,688 Event #12: $2,200 NLH High Roller98$196,000Andrew RodgersAnchorage, AK$57,001 Event #13: $1,700 NLH Main Event468$709,956Andrea BuonocoreItaly$143,229 Event #14: $600 NLH Double Stack168$86,520Carlos LovingTampa, FL$21,741 Event #15: $400 NLH137$45,210Gregory HughesChandler, AZ$12,056 Event #16: $400 O/E (Omaha 8 and Stud 8)83$27,390Dan GannonLas Vegas, NV$8,299 Event #17A: $250 NLH76$15,200Keith BonifaceHenderson, NV$4,761 Event #17B: $250 NLH108$21,600Manuel LangAustria$6,121 Event #18: $250 NLH Bounty133$19,950Jose Gutierrez-MarengoLas Vegas, NV$5,406