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San Diego based Valentin Vornicu (cover image) is surely on cloud nine at this point in his illustrious poker career and why not? The beast has shattered all records by winning back-to-back events at the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Harrah’s New Orleans and collected his 11th and 12th WSOPC gold ring one after another breaking his tie with Maurice Hawkins and is now the undisputed owner of 12 shiny rings.
First, the 34-year-old Vornicu defeated a field of 1,340 entries at the $365 No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry event to pocket $64,205 and after 30 hours of this victory, extended his lead by shipping the $365 Single Day NLH Re-Entry for $24,084 after besting the 349-entry field. Vornicu also locked up a seat in the 2018 Global Casino Championship.
The first event of the series saw 1,340 entries, generating a $402,000 prize pool with the top 140 places getting a piece of the pie. The biggest share went to Valentin Vornicu, who defeated Clinton Boynes in the heads-up match.
Known names who managed to pass the money mark included Maurice Hawkins (17th place for $4,103), Jonathan Tamayo (22nd place for $2,920), Timothy McReynolds (39th place for $1,657) and David Jackson (63rd place for $1,342).
What’s even more incredible is that Vornicu entered the final table as one of the shortest stacks, and somehow when the play was eight handed, went ahead to bust every opponent on his way to the title.
Post his win, Vornicu described his journey in the event saying, “Everybody pretty much doubled up eight-handed. Including myself. So, it was a game of ‘Cat and Mouse.’ There were like three super short stacks under 10 big blinds and there were pay jumps of a like two or three thousand. Now, all of a sudden, you’re just kind of waiting around for people to bust and everybody is just waiting around.”
On breaking the tie with Hawkins, he said, “It’s the first time I’m at the top of the leaderboard with no ties. First, I tied Alex [Masek] and then I was tied with Maurice [Hawkins]… I just am happy with the win itself. I just like winning tournaments. It’s nice to win one of these bigger fields for more money. Now, I have more money to spend at the WSOP and fire HORSE events and stuff.”
Final Table Results
1. Valentin Vornicu – $64,205
2. Clinton Boynes – $39,002
3. Jonathan Hilton – $28,839
4. Timohy Acker – $21,988
5. Vismantas Maijosius – $16,971
6. David Slaughter – $13,249
7. Joseph Hebert – $10,495
8. Ryan Stephens – $8,440
9. Holly Meliet – $6,891
The $365 Single Day NLH Re-Entry drew in 349 entries to form a $104,700 kitty which paid out the top 36 places.
By the end, it was Valentin Vornicu, who was pitted against Joshua Lowing for the title, with the former prevailing and with that he clinched his 12th WSOP Circuit ring and collected the $24,084 first place purse.
Post his win, the elated Vornicu quoted, “What is there to say? Right now, I’m just super tired and super happy. Also, is this real? Is this real?”
I’ve never won back-to-back tournaments. Definitely not live. Maybe online, but usually after I win a tournament live, the next one I play I just bust before the first break.”he added.
Other notables who managed to make into money included Blake Whittington (15th place for $1,502),Jonathan Hilton (16th place for $1,249) and Ricky Meyers (24th place for $898).
Unlike the first event, Vornicu began the final table as the chip leader but ended up doubling up four opponents and found himself as a short stack. Nonetheless, Vornicu kept going and finally managed to recover some and eventually ended up shipping the event!
Final Table Results
1. Valentin Vornicu – $24,084
2. Joshua Lowing – $14,887
3. Andrew Mousmoulesz – $10,861
4. Kien Tran – $8,056
5. Mohammad Shahlaei – $6,068
6. Michael Horchoff – $4,641
7. Jerry Monroe – $3,602
8. Sley Sanchez – $2,835
9. Justin Brassieur – $2,264