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Event 1 Winner Lou Cheffy - $183,983 and a WSOPC Gold Ring

2012/2013 World Series of Poker Circuit

Season Nine

Palm Beach Kennel Club

Palm Beach, Florida

Event #1

No-Limit Hold'em

Buy-In $500 (+80)

Total Entries:  2,539

Prize Pool:  $1,269,000

February 13-19, 2013



A Really Big Show


Lou Cheffy Wins $183,983 and Gold Ring


Palm Beach Opener Draws Largest Field of the Season – 2,539 Players


West Palm Beach, FL (February 19, 2013) – The opening event at the Palm Beach Kennel Club was expected to be huge, but no one knew quite how many players might turn up from South Florida – and all over the country and indeed Latin America for the first gold ring event of the 12-event schedule.

As things turned out, the $580 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em tournament attracted the biggest crowd of any competition so far this season, with a total number of entries at 2,539 players.

Not only was this the highest attendance figure of any tournament played so far during the 2012-2013 WSOP Circuit season which dates back to August 2012, the turnout made it the second-largest major poker tournament ever held in the state of Florida.

Previously, the current season's biggest tournament was the re-entry opener held at Horseshoe Hammond (Chicago).  That event played in October 2012 attracted 2,498 players.  It should also be noted that this tournament in Florida had a higher buy-in – $580 as opposed to $365 for the former record-holder.

The record for the largest major poker tournament ever held in Florida was set at last year's opener here at West Palm Beach -- Event 1 in February 2012.  The attendance figure was 2,607 players, which obliterated all previous attendance figures for this state.  With close to a new high mark set again and the bar raised higher, breaking the opening numbers from the last two WSOP Circuit stops here in Florida will be a stretch.

No doubt, attendance and interest was boosted significantly by a widely-advertised $1,000,000 prize pool guarantee, posted by the Palm Beach Kennel Club.  But as things turned out, the total prize pool was a quarter-million higher, closing at $1,269,000.

More players collected prize money in this event than any other this season.  A whopping 281 players took home prize money, event more than were paid last year.  Only Chicago's 2011 opener, which drew more than 3,000 players paid more recipients money than this event in WSOP Circuit history.

Atop the mountain of prize money after six long days and nights of intense competition was Lou Cheffy, from Naples, FL.  He collected a whopping $183,983 in prize money, plus his first gold ring.  It was the biggest cash prize Cheffy has ever won.

Cheffy is a 54-year-old financial planner – a fitting occupation indeed for a man who just added nearly two-hundred grand to his investment portfolio.  He previously worked as an attorney.  Cheffy is originally from Ohio.  His best poker showing up to this point had been a 29th-place finish in the WSOP Seniors Championship, back in 2011. 

The runner up was Joel Furney, from Quitman, GA.  He arrived as the final table as chip leader, but couldn't quite outlast one final adversary.  Still, Furney collected a nice consolation prize amounting to $114,540.

The final table included two players who hoped to boost their jewelry collection, but both came up short.  Davd Nicholson has a shot to win his fifth gold ring.  He came in with an average-sized stack but suffered a tough hour at the final table and exited in ninth place.  John Holley didn't fare much better.  He was going for gold ring number three, but instead exited in seventh place.

The final table finishers were as follows:

1            Louis Cheffy     NAPLES, FL, US                                 $183,983          

2            Joel Furney        QUITMAN, GA                                  $114,540          

3            Derek Csanadi         ST. PETERSBURG, FL, US         $87,206            

4            David MacDonald      JUPITER, FL, US                      $67,333            

5            William Pappas          BOSTON, MA, US                    $52,372            

6            Daniel Suied     BILLERICA, MA, US                           $41,052            

7            John Holley       DESTIN, FL, US                                 $32,436            

8            Marty Hogan     SOUTH LEBANON, OH, US             $25,824            

9            David Nicholson           PERKINSTON, MS, US          $20,735            



Tournament Notes


  • This was the first event of this year's WSOP Circuit being held at the Palm Beach Kennel Club (PBKC).
  • This is the third consecutive season the PBKC has hosted the WSOP Circuit.  This was the second-largest tournament of the 25 gold ring events that have been played here, so far.
  • Day One began with four starting sessions, classified as 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D.  Sessions drew 600 – 421 – 660 – 857 players, respectively.
  • This was the largest turnout of the 2012-2013 season, so far.  It broke the previous high mark set at Horseshoe Hammond (Chicago) in October 2012 which was 3,498 players.
  • After the first four sessions, Day Two started with 304 players.  At day's end, only 16 survived.
  • The final day was played on Monday.  It took about three hours to play from 16 down to the final nine players.
  • Joel Furney arrived at the final table as chip leader with about 6 million, but his closest rivals were close, with four players listed over the 3 million chip mark.
  • The runner-up was Joel Furney, from Quitman, GA.
  • The final table included two previous gold ring winners – David Nicholson and John Holley.  Nicholson went out ninth.  Holley exited in seventh.
  • All final table players were Americans.
  • The final table went about ten hours.  With so many chips in play, a long finale was expected.


As the first gold ring winner, Lou Cheffy joined two previous gold ring winners (Events 3 and 4) in the Casino Champion race for the Palm Beach series.  He accumulated 50 points for his victory.


The player who accumulates the most overall points in the Palm Beach Kennel Club's twelve combined gold ring tournaments will earn the title Casino Champion and shall receive automatic entry into the $1 Million 2012-13 WSOP National Championship Presented by Southern Comfort 100 Proof.  The qualifier will join the winner of the $1,675 buy-in Main Event (February 23-25), who also wins an automatic seat. 


All players who cash in gold ring events receive points that apply to both the Casino Championship race (good for Palm Beach Kennel Club events only) and the season-long race to claim one of the 60 at-large National Championship bids to be awarded to the top point earners throughout the season.  More information on the points system is available on WSOP.com.


The 2012-13 WSOP Circuit at the Palm Beach Kennel Club runs through February 25, 2013.




For more information on the World Series of Poker Circuit, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @WSOP or check us out on WSOP.com.


For additional information, please contact::

Nolan Dalla (WSOP Media Director) at:  nolandalla@gmail.com

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