Arkadiy Tsinis, Mitch Schock latest WSOP bracelet buddies

wsop-winners-schock-tsinisRep. Joe Barton (R-TX) was on hand at the World Series of Poker on Saturday to formerly issue the ‘shuffle up and deal’ command. Must be fun for Barton to issue commands for a change, because he apparently took a long list of marching orders from US land-based casinos in crafting his HR 2336 online poker bill.

Mitch Schock is the new baron of Bismarck after becoming the first player from North Dakota to earn a WSOP bracelet. Schock outlasted a 606-strong field at Event #39, the combined $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha/Hold’em, to earn top honors and $310k. The 40-year-old Schock is on a bit of a roll at this year’s WSOP, having now made three final tables (finishing 8th in Event #6 and 6th in Event #14), but he almost didn’t show up in Vegas this year, after getting “pokered-out” over the winter holidays. Fortunately for Schock, three months away from the game was enough to relight his competitive fires. That was not so fortunate for his heads-up opponent, Rodney Brown, who went down to defeat after three hours of one-on-one play, then slunk off to lick his wounds and count his $191k consolation prize.

Arkadiy Tsinis has become the third Ukrainian-born player to grab a bracelet at this year’s WSOP, following the examples set by Eugene Katchalov and Oleksii Kovalchuk. (We don’t know why nationalism is always invoked at the WSOP, when poker really is a game without borders, but don’t tell such things to the gallery.) Reportedly also quite a chess and backgammon stud, Tsinis overcame a field of 2,192 to take Event #38, a $1,500 NLHE, earning his first-ever bracelet and saying ‘Bitaemo!’ to his $540k purse. After four hours of heads-up play, Michael Blonovsky was relegated to second place, for which he collected $336k.