Uz mows through field at WSOP Circuit Event
A field of 144 players anted $5,000 apiece to take part in the first World Series of Poker Circuit Event of the 2007-2008 season last week at Caesars Indiana. With a World Poker Tour event being held in Foxwoods, Conn., however, there were few big-name professionals on hand.
That suited Carlos Uz of Miami Lakes, Fla., just fine.
Uz, 49, came into the tournament just hoping to cash and maybe get his photo online so one of his eight children could see his picture on the Internet.
He got much more than that after he and tournament runner-up Marc Fratter decided to split first- and second-place prize money.
‘We were pretty even in chips and would have probably been here all night, so we talked it over and decided to just chop it and play for the (Circuit Event) ring and seat (to the WSOP $10,000 Main Event in Las Vegas),’ Uz said.
Sitting at opposite ends of the table, and the ring poised on a black velvet-lined box between them, the duo played 43 hands, with neither player gaining much of an advantage. After a top-of-the-hour break at 6 p.m., Uz and Fratter decided to play one more hand.
Uz went all-in, Fratter called, and after a flop of king, queen and seven of diamonds, Fratter mucked his hand and Uz was declared the championship event winner.
Fratter, an attorney from McKinney, Texas, and Uz each came away with about $170,000 before taxes. Uz won the WSOPC ring, and Fratter wound up with the Main Event seat and an additional $1,000 expense money.
‘We’re both pretty happy with what we got, I think,’ Fratter said. ‘I think I had about 40,000 more chips, but with the blinds and antes so high, it was going to just be about luck. We figured we’d play one more hand and end it. We’re going up to Legends (restaurant) right now to celebrate.’
Uz rode a second-day rush to make it to the final table. A combination of good reads and strong lay-downs, he said, was how he worked his way through the field.
‘There were a couple of times when I thought I was out, and I’d hit a hand and get a few chips, then hit another hand and hit some more chips. It was just that way for the whole tournament,’ Uz said.
In opening day action last Wednesday, Uz scooped a huge pot from poker pro Amanda Baker of Las Vegas. Baker, who recently signed on with FullTilt Poker, won a $1,000 buy-in event earlier in the week.
Baker went all-in on the river, with a community board showing three diamonds. Uz held the ace and king of diamonds for what wound up being a bigger flush.
‘I think that hand was what probably did it for me because that got me to $90,000,’ Uz said.
Uz was dominating at the final table, knocking out three of the final eight players, with Fratter railing third-place finishing Vito Casullo Jr. of Covington, Ky., and fourth place Terry Ogle of Gatlinburg, Tenn. They earned $68,840 and $55,072, respectively.
The rest of the final table: Chris Moore, fifth, $41,304; Chris Viox, sixth, $34,430; James Lindsay, seventh, $27,536; two-time WSOP bracelet winner Tom Schneider wound up eighth for a payday of $20,652; and Thomas Hover went out ninth for $13,768.
Bryan Sapp of Louisville, who placed third at the spring WSOP Circuit Event at Caesars Indiana, was bounced out in 10th place.
Bill Edler, the top-rated player in the world according to Bluff Magazine and fourth-rated player according to CardPlayer.com, was ousted on the first day of action. Edler, who has won more than $2.7 million in 2007, was fresh off a cash at the WPT event, where he finished 21st and won an additional $51,065.
Online ace Chad (Lilholdem) Batista, winner of the 2006 WSOP Circuit Event at Caesars Indiana, was also knocked out on the first day of play.
Former University of Louisville coach Denny Crum made it to the second day of the championship tourney but failed to cash.
Crum’s tournament life was on the line in Day One after pushing his entire stack into the pot after catching a pair of kings. His only opponent held a pair of aces and looked like he would send Crum to the sidelines. The flop came king-queen, jack, thrusting Crum into the lead. The turn was an ace, giving Crum’s opponent the lead. Crum was rescued by a one-outer, as a king fell on the river for four-of-a-kind, or quads.
The WSOP Circuit returns to Caesars Indiana in the spring; the dates are April 2 through 16.
Nine other WSOP Circuit Events are coming up: Nov. 8 through 18 at Harvey’s in Lake Tahoe; Nov. 26 through Dec. 5 at Harrah’s New Orleans; Dec. 8 through 18 at Harrah’s Atlantic City; Jan. 3 through 22 at Grand Casino Tunica; Jan. 27 through Feb. 7 at Harrah’s Rincon San Diego North; Feb. 18 through 27 at Horseshoe Council Bluffs; March 5 through 15 at Caesars Atlantic City; April 20 through May 1 at Caesars Palace Las Vegas; and May 9 through 21 at Harrah’s New Orleans.