The latest World Series of Poker Circuit event took place out in Tulsa as the WSOP-C Hard Rock Main Event saw 646 entrants stump up the $1,700 buy-in and build a $978,690 prizepool to be fought for. After much drama and a final table that featured players such as Jesscia Vierling, Blair Hinkle and Cedrric Trevino, it was Arthur Morris who reigned supreme, taking the top prize of $182,379.

Live Poker Attendances Are Up

Another strong turnout for this event saw the resurgence in the live poker industry prompted by the success of the 2022 WSOP in Las Vegas. With 646 entries, the event saw a total of 98 players paid, but while players such as DJ Alexander (94th), Jason Strasser (75th), Chris Tryba (49th), Schuyler Thornton (45th) and Greg Jennings (23rd) can all feel delighted with their performances, they fell short of the nine-handed final table.

The first person to leave that was Jay Riley, who busted in ninth for $16,934. He was followed from the felt by Michael Marder (8th for $21,346) and Maziar Monfared (7th for $27,270) as the field narrowed, with fellow American Danny Griffith failing to make the final five, busting in sixth place for $35,300.

When Jessica Vierling became the last player to be busted on the penultimate day of the event, cashing for $46,294, she left with just four players still in with a chance of lifting the trophy. Four men remained in the chase for the win, with over $439,000 still to be played for.

Hinkle and Trevino Lose Their Seats

The final day began with a bust out. Blair Hinkle got an early double-up with pocket queens, but didn’t last much longer, busting with ace-queen to Morris’ ace-four, a four on the flop seeing the eventual winner come from behind in the hand to dump Hinkle out of the reckoning for a score worth $61,498.

Next to go was a prominent player too, in the shape of WSOP success story Cedric Trevino. The so-called ‘Poker Traveler’, who shot to fame over the recent World Series of Poker thanks to a number of eye-catching video blogs detailing his thrilling journey in Sin City, was all-in wit pocket tens on a board showing Q-8-2-4 against the queen-eight of Mike Cordell.

No help came on the river for the ebullient Trevino, and he cashed for $82,737 in third place. That pot was vital, giving Coredell a 2:1 chip lead heading into the final battle. Like so many World Series of Poker events, however, heads-up was to be anything but predictable.

Morris Makes a Comeback

“I’ve been playing for 17 years so it feels really good.”

The final battle began with Morris on the attack, determined to make sure that he gave himself a chance. He did a lot better than that, bullying a series of early hands his way, and turning his deficit into a lead. With a number of deep runs in WPT and WSOP events, Morris’ lifetime results of over $800,000 in live tournament earnings came to the fore as he made his experience tell.

Despite all that success, a ranking event title had always eluded Morris, but he was a man on a mission to make sure that the anomaly that had driven him his whole poker career was corrected in this event. Cordell couldn’t keep pace with the machine-like Morris as the eventual champion raised it up with ace-nine of hearts. Cordell called with king-eight and a flop with two hearts, but two eights also gave Cordell trips and Morris the nut flush draw.

The turn of a ten of hearts gave Morris the nut flush and the chips went in with Cordell needing the board to pair to survive. A queen of hearts on the turn gave Morris the top prize of $182,379 and the title he so desperately craved as he claimed the famous WSOP Circuit ring. For Cordell, it was a case of so near and yet so far, but he will come again after an impressive performance, and the runner-up prize of $112,717 will make it easier for him to lick his wounds.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Morris told the World Series of Poker after his victory. “I’ve been playing for 17 years so it feels really good.”

If Arthur Morris needed to know he was right to never give up, then he will have the memory of a lifetime in the WSOP Circuit Hard Rock Tulsa Main Event to look back on with pride to remind him he made the right choice.

WSOP Circuit Hard Rock Tulsa Main Event Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Winnings
1st Arthur Morris U.S.A. $182,379
2nd Mike Cordell U.S.A. $112,717
3rd Cedrric Trevino U.S.A. $82,737
4th Blair Hinkle U.S.A. $61,498
5th Jessica Vierling Germany $46,294
6th Danny Griffith U.S.A. $35,300
7th Maziar Monfared U.S.A. $27,270
8th Michael Marder U.S.A. $21,346
9th Jay Riley U.S.A. $16,934


Joe Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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