Jeff Fielder has won the World Series of Poker Circuit Choctaw main event, earning his second WSOP-C gold ring and a healthy $312k payday. Adding to the win’s luster, the event attracted 1,140 competitors, making it the third-largest main event draw in WSOP-C history. Construction company operator Fielder told organizers he was heading to the Bahamas this week for a previously planned vacation, so we imagine he’ll have a little extra spring to his step on his way to the all-you-can-eat dessert buffet. Matthew Kirby earned $192k for his runner-up placing, while Dale Roesel took $143k for finishing third.
Across the pond, Brazil’s Nicolau Villa-Lobos earned £101k for winning the UK and Ireland Poker Tour Edinburgh main event. In collecting his first ever tournament scalp, Villa-Lobos overcame a 662-strong field and something of a United Nations final table, with eight countries represented. Bulgaria’s Vladislav Donchev earned £61k for finishing second, while third place and £37k went to Poland’s Przemyslaw Dajer.
Moving down under, UK pro Rupert Elder collected $250k for winning the opening event at the 2013 Aussie Millions confab. Elder, who won the European Poker Tour San Remo main event in 2011, held a significant chip lead going into final table play and managed to hold off EPT Prague 2011 winner Martin Finger, who finished second, earning $160k. Fabian Craib took third and $120k, while Brendon Rubie, who won this event last year, took fifth and $81k. Meanwhile, Sam Valiki won the Aussie Millions $1,100 PLO event, and the tournament organizers are promising a Jan. 25 appearance by political prognosticator and poker amateur Nate Silver, who successfully predicted the electoral college results for all 50 states in the last US presidential election.
SIGNINGS AND RESIGNINGS
Looking online, PokerStars has apparently parted ways with sponsored pro Pius Heinz. The 2011 World Series of Poker main event winner was with PokerStars for about 18 months, and while neither side has said much, the two parties have apparently decided to call it a day. Stars most recently added UK triple-crown winner Jake Cody to their pro ranks.
Michael ‘The Grinder’ Mizrachi has joined Lock Poker’s pro roster. The two-time WSOP Players Championship winner Mizrachi is a terror at the tables, but has shown less acumen with his endorsement decisions, having previously signed on to promote the commitment-phobic International Stadiums Poker Tour, as well as more reputable outfits like the Breeders Cup, the Deep Stacks Poker Tour and (most recently) California’s Turlock Poker Room. News of the signing has produced howls of outrage on the 2+2 poker forum, with players wondering where the poker room that has such difficulty paying its players and affiliates found the money to pay the Grinder to say nice things about them.
Finally, we only ever have nice things to say about ex-QuadJacks.com internet radio host Marco Valerio, who announced this week he had joined the Global Poker Index (GPI). The former Federated Sports + Gaming poker ranking system was purchased by former ChiliGaming CEO Alex Dreyfuss’ Zokay Entertainment in August. Valerio, whose brief will be to pimp the GPI brand in the US market, issued a statement declaring he had “nothing but faith in Alex’s vision for the company and what it can do for poker.”