Dorrance wins record WSOPC event in Indiana

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Indiana was the place to be in October with World Series of Poker Circuit events at the Horseshoe’s Hammond and Southern Indiana poker rooms. This year’s 24 rings attracted 9,470 entries for a combined prize pool of 5.7 million while players from 38 states, Canada and Bulgaria cashed.

Horseshoe Hammond’s main event was the circuit’s largest in history (1,717 players, $2.5 million prize pool) and even attracted Hall-of-Famer T.J. Cloutier. Penn State graduate James Dorrance never had cashed at a WSOPC event, but he walked away with a record $418K and the title from the $1,675 main event.

The tournament surpassed the previous main-event attendance record set in Hammond in 2011. That tournament drew 1,615 entries and saw local grinder Bob Chow go home with the almost $400K 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 WSOPC 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,” Dorrance said. “There were a lot of creative and smart players.”

The Hershey, Pa., native made his way to Indiana because of the $2 million guarantee. 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.

Diane Dines became the first woman to make the main event final table here. Last year, Claudia Crawford’s 10th-place finish fell short of the official nine-player final table. Dines, who won her seat playing at a $1-$2 cash table during a Horseshoe promotion, finished third ($193K).

Horseshoe Southern Indiana’s main event had 301 entries for a pool of $451K. Chicago’s Zal Irani won $106K. At Hammond’s 2012 WSOPC main event, Irani made the final table along with 2013 WSOP main-event champ Ryan Riess.

Ralph Massey, older brother to pro Aaron Massey, won the turbo NLHE event at Southern Indiana.

BELTERRA: The Heartland Poker Tour returned to Belterra Casino Resort in Florence. Poker pro Adam Friedman dominated the final table to win $83K in record time.

“If I take my time and pick my spots, I have a chance at winning this event,” he said before action began. Friedman has more than $1.3 million in tournament winnings.

Craig Casino from Winfield, Ill., had a chance to get back on top of the HPT’s all-time money list, held by Greg Raymer, but fell short, finishing ninth. Casino does, however, own the most cashes in HPT history.

CHARITY WIN: Windy City Poker Championship executive producer Kirk Fallah won Lake Area United Way’s charity tournament that kicked off the WSOPC at Horseshoe Hammond. The final table featured pro Aaron Massey, who finished fourth.

— Email “Chicago” Joe Giertuga at chicago.joe@comcast.net.

WSOPC, Horseshoe Casino, Hammond, Ind., Oct. 17-28

Event 1 • $365 NLHE
Entries: 2,496 • Pool: $748,800
Robert Georato, $110,471
Event 2 • $580 NLHE
Entries: 456 • Pool: $273K
Mark Morris, $57,327
Event 3 • $365 NLHE
Entries: 465 • Pool: $139,500
Michael Oshana, $22,983
Event 4 • $365 PLO
Entries: 146 • Pool: $127,900
Kevin Meeusen, $35,812
Event 5 • $365 NLHE
Entries: 469 • Pool: $140,700
Janchiv Enkhyam, $30,250
Event 6 • $580 NLHE
Entries: 330 • Pool: $165K
Ben Keeline, $41,246
Event 7 • $365 HORSE
Entries: 227 • Pool: $68,100
Jason Hill, $17,706
Event 8 • $1,125 NLHE
Entries: 198 • Pool: $198K
Stan Barshak, $51,479
Event 9 • $365 O/8
Entries: 204 • Pool: $61,200
Nick Orlov, $15,914
$1,675 Main Event
Entries: 1,717 • Pool: $2.57M
James Dorrance, $418,526
Event 11 • $580 NLHE
Entries: 260 • Pool: $130K
Hussain Sajwani, $31,851
Event 12 • $365 NLHE
Entries: 264 • Pool: $79,200
Ron Kruk, $19,405