Freddy Deeb added to his illustrious list of poker accomplishments by winning the most recent World Series of Poker Circuit championship on Jan. 12 at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens near Los Angeles.
Deeb put on a masterful performance in a career filled with numerous maestro moments. He collected $171,810 in prize money for his victory, which remarkably was his first cash in a WSOPC event, earning a gold ring to go with his two WSOP gold bracelets.
Deeb is perhaps best known for winning the 2007 WSOP H.O.R.S.E. championship, which had a whopping $50,000 buy-in. He arrived at the WSOPC final table as chipleader, but lost that lead on two occasions, including being the short stack when play reached four-handed. At one point, he was all-in and needed to pair the board to survive.
While Deeb rightfully stole the spotlight, the player who could’ve written just as exciting a headline was runner-up Alexandru Masek. A recent law school graduate from San Diego, Masek nearly tied the record for most WSOPC wins. Only 26 years old, Masek has four wins, ranking second with Men “the Master” Nguyen. A victory would’ve tied him with Mark “Pegasus” Smith of Georgetown, Ky, who won his fifth title last year.
Masek played outstanding poker, but lost a backbreaking late race against Deeb.
“I’m exhausted!” Deeb said just moments after his victory. “Right now, I’m going to bed!”
With this victory, the 56-year-old Deeb has more than $3.5 million in career tournament winnings. Aside from his H.O.R.S.E. victory, Deeb won his other gold bracelet in 1996 in deuce-to-seven lowball.
Here are some other highlights from the first WSOPC in the L.A. area:
• La Sengphet became the first woman to win three open WSOPC tournaments.
Sengphet achieved what many would consider to be her most impressive victory in Event 5, defeating 377 players.
• Michael Rosenbach, a 29-year-old pro from Santa Rosa, Calif., won this third WSOPC ring in less than two months. This title came just 45 days after winning two rings at Harveys Lake Tahoe.
• Jamey Johnson came to Los Angeles from the small town of Tifton, Ga., traveling more than 3,000 miles to earn the biggest victory of his career.He posted what was indisputably the comeback performance of the Bike series, roaring back from a ninth-place ranking when the final table began. It was his first time to cash in a WSOP-related tournament.
WSOP Circuit, Bicycle Casino, Bell Gardens, Calif., Jan. 1-12
Event 1 • $345 Re-entry
Entries: 748 • Pool: $217,668
Winner: Huy Quach, $44,663
Event 2 • $555 NLHE
Entries: 191• Pool: $92,635
Winner: Stephen Graner, $25,020
Event 3 • $345 NLHE
Entries: 313 • Pool: $91,083
Winner: Adam Bishop, $20,958
Event 4 • $555 6-max
Entries: 171 • Pool: $82,935
Winner: Mike Rosenbach, $22,035
Event 5 • $345 NLHE
Entries: 377 • Pool: $109,707
Winner: La Sengphet, $25,242
Event 6 • $555 NLHE
Entries: 289 • Pool: $140,165
Winner: John Coon, $34,340
Event 7 • $1,080 NLHE
Entries: 164 • Pool: $159,080
Winner: Jamey Johnson, $42,975
Event 8 • $345 Omaha/8
Entries: 189 • Pool: $54,999
Winner: Geb. Goitom, $14,300
Event 9 • $345 NLHE
Entries: 295 • Pool: $85,845
Winner: Tesfaldet Tekle, $21,025
$1,600 Main Event
Entries: 549 • Pool: $798,795
Winner: Freddy Deeb, $171,810
Event 11 • $345 NLHE
Entries: 217 • Pool: $63,147
Winner: Jim Williamson, $16,412
Event 12 • $345 NLHE
Entries: 192 • Pool: $55,872
Winner: MuHyun Cho, $15,087