Billy McMahan wins 1st Prize worth $131,250 - WSOP Circuit Event #10
Aug 21, 2005  
by Jason Kirk  

Billy McMahan wins 1st Prize in the No Limit Hold'em - Buy in $2,000 + $80 tournament at Grand Casino Tunica

The Tunica WSOP Circuit is winding down now, with the Main Event beginning tomorrow and running for the next four days. On the schedule today was the last big tournament, the final table of the $2000+80 Event #10, No-Limit Hold'em. While yesterday's $1500+60 had more WSOP bracelets represented at the table, today's lineup was just as deadly. In order of seating, the players are:


John Myung is an accountant from Vienna, VA, who's been playing poker for four years. In that short time he has played in the Poker Superstars Invitational II on FOX Sports and the National Heads-up Championship on NBC, won the Showdown at the Sands, and took 3rd in the 2005 WSOP Limit Hold'em event. He began the final table with $50,000 in chips.


Billy McMahan is a professional gambler from Newport, TN. He has been playing poker for 18 years and mostly plays pot-limit Omaha. This is his first major final table. He started play with $73,500 in chips.

Manelic "Manny" Minaya is a billing and collections manager from Tampa, FL, who has been playing poker for 30 years. He had a good run at this year's WSOP, taking 61st in the Main Event and 4th in the $2500 Omaha Hi-Lo event. He also took 5th place in the 2005 World Poker Open Pot-Limit Omaha event. He began the day as chip leader with $147,000.


Mark Compton comes from Longview, TX, and works in sales. He's been playing poker for 20 years, and he finished in the money twice at this year's WSOP. His best games are pot-limit hold'em and pot-limit Omaha, and he started the day with $48,000 in chips.

Guy D. Choate is a student from Beebe, AR. He's been playing poker for 2 years, and his biggest moment was making the final table of the $500+50 No-Limit Hold'em event here in Tunica last week. He began the day with $51,000 in chips.

Scott Grisham is a business owner from Cleveland, TN. He's been playing poker for 10 years, and he finished 67th at this year's Party Poker Million. He started the final table with $45,000.

Sharon Levin is a professional poker player from Hollywood, FL. He's only been playing the game for 2 years, but has won multiple tournaments at the Seminole Casino and the Seminole Hard Rock. He started play with $73,000 in chips.

Bill Seber comes from Houston, TX, where he works in gear manufacturing. He's been playing poker for 35 years, and his greatest accomplishment in that time was winning 1st place in the 2004 Bellagio Five Diamond Classic Pot-Limit Hold'em event. He started the day with $26,500 in chips.


Mike "Little Man" Sica is a retired school teacher from North Brunswick, NJ, who's been playing poker for 45 years. He has made 22 final tables and has won 7 of those, including a bracelet for the $3000 No-Limit Hold'em event at the 2004 WSOP. He began the day with $114,000 in chips.

Just ten minutes into the final table, Bill Seber made a preflop raise to $10,000, and Sharon Levin came over the top of all his chips. Seber called and showed two red jacks, and Levin turned over the king-seven of spades. A king fell on the flop and held up for Levin, and Seber finished in 9th place with $7,955.
Scott Grisham was the next to go. He found ace-jack offsuit on the short stack and moved all-in, but John Myung was holding ace-king of clubs and made the call. The dominant ace-king held up for Myung and sent Grisham home in 8th place with $11,930.

Mark Compton's stack was whittled down by the blinds and antes and he had to pick his spot to make a move. When Billy McMahan limped in front of him, Compton moved all-in on the button with nine-eight of spades and McMahan called with pocket fives. Compton was in almost as favorable a position as he could have hoped for, given his small stack, but he caught no help from the board and left in 7th with $15,910.

The next short stack to go was repeat WSOP Circuit final table participant Guy Choate. Earlier on he had been able to double up when Mark Compton walked into his pocket aces, but he didn't find good enough situations for getting all his money in and he found most of his stack disappearing to the blinds and antes. He finally made a move when the flop came seven-high and he held seven-five of diamonds, but Manny Minaya had him out-kicked with king-seven. Choate couldn't catch runner-runner to a flush, and exited in 6th place with $19,885.

When the table got short, the players started to see more multi-way pots. John Myung was crippled in one of these when he called an $18,000 preflop bet. The flop came eight-eight-three, and Myung re-raised Billy McMahan's $10,000 bet. McMahan went into the tank and finally moved all-in, and Myung was forced to lay his hand down. Once he was short-stacked, it was another multi-way pot that did Myung in. He saw a cheap flop with king-deuce and check-raised McMahan all-in when he paired his deuce on the flop. McMahan made the call with an unpaired king-ten and paired up his ten on the river, sending Myung home in 5th place with $23,860.

The river also took Manny Minaya out when he held the best hand. Mike Sica had bumped the bet to $35,000 preflop, and Minaya moved all-in. This sent Sica into deep-thought mode, and when he came out he decided to make the call. Minaya showed pocket tens, while Sica held ace-three offsuit. The flop gave Sica a gutshot straight draw, and the river four filled it for him. Manny Minaya finished in 4th place with $31,815.

Mike Sica's good fortune didn't last much longer. When play was three-handed, Sharon Levin moved all-in preflop from the button. Sica decided to make the call with seven-six of clubs, and Levin showed ace-ten offsuit. Levin paired up on the ten-four-three flop, but Sica caught another gutshot draw. The board couldn't help him a second time, however, and Sica exited in 3rd place with $39,770.

In another turn of fortune, however, Sharon Levin broke the "F-bomb" rule while celebrating his knockout of Mike Sica and was assessed a ten-minute penalty, during which time his stack would be blinded off. This left him unable to defend his chips during heads-up play, and when his penalty had expired he was essentially helpless. He managed to double up his minuscule stack three times, but the fourth time was the knockout punch. Levin took an anticlimactic 2nd place and won $72,380. Bill McMahan took home $131,250 and the gold championship ring.

Billy McMahan and Johnny Grooms  at Grand Casino Tunica during the WSOP Circuit Event #10

With the completion of the $2000+80 tournament, the focus now shifts to tomorrow's start of the Main Event. The winner of this tournament will not only claim more points for the WSOP player rankings, but will also gain entry into the 2006 Tournament of Champions. That's not to even mention the first prize of well over $1 million. A flood of big-name players has poured into Tunica in the last 24 hours, and tomorrow they'll all start taking their shot at the first WSOP Circuit Main Event of the season. The four-day tournament will be the biggest event in Tunica this year, and you can find full coverage of it here at Blind Bet Poker.

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