Donaldson Brown wins 1st Prize worth  $79,175 - WSOP Circuit Event #4
Aug 15, 2005  
by Jason Kirk  

Donaldson Brown wins 1st Prize for WSOP Circuit Event #4 at Grand Casino Tunica

Event #4 of the World Series of Poker Circuit here at Grand Casino Tunica, the $500+50 No-Limit Hold'em tournament, started with 544 players at noon yesterday. The field was whittled down to 13 by 2 AM and the tables broke for the evening with plans to return at 2 PM today to determine the gold ring winner. The last four players who missed the final table went out within about 30 minutes this afternoon, giving us our final table lineup. By seat, they are:

Joshua Turner is a professional poker player from St. Louis, MO. He's been playing poker for 7 years and in that time has won tournaments in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and online. His normal game is 5-10 no-limit hold'em, and he came to the final table with $75,000 in chips.

Donaldson Brown is a rancher from Sulphur Springs, TX, who says he's been playing poker for "too long." He's won several smaller tournaments in the past, but this is his biggest poker moment. He came to the final table with $97,000 in chips.

Brian "Buck" Buchanan comes from far-away Memphis, TN, a land where gambling is illegal and where he works as an engineering tech. He's been 1-2 no-limit hold'em 3-6 & 4-8 limit hold'em for the last 2 years. He has made 5 final tables in smaller online tournaments and began the final table with $75,000 in chips.

Sid Herald of Hazard, KY, made an appearance in the 1989 World Series of Poker. That was the retiree's biggest moment in his five-decade poker career. He plays no-limit poker regularly, and came into the final table as the chip leader with $230,000.

Robert Schulz of Horn Lake, MS, is a professional poker player who is making his second final table appearance of this WSOP Circuit stop. His second place finish in Event #1 was good for over $35,000. He brought $132,000 in chips to the final table.

Lee Neely hails from Newnan, GA, and is in real estate. He placed in the $1000 No-Limit Hold'em event at the WSOP this year, and has been playing poker for five years. He began final table play with $73,000 in chips.

Terry Dopson of Kansas City, MO, is a retired parks and recreation director who began playing poker in Lubbock, Texas, in 1964. He has made final tables at seniors events in Las Vegas and Tunica, and came to the final table with $21,500 in chips.

Jason Gladden of Ocean Springs, MS, is a retired venture capitalist who's been playing poker for 5 years. This is his first major tournament final table. He started the final table with $62,000 in chips.


Guy Choate is a student from Beebe, AR. His greatest poker accomplishment to date is taking 2nd place in this year's Little Rock Strip Poker Championship. He's been playing low-stakes no-limit hold'em for 3 years, and he began the final table with $61,000 in chips.

The first bust-out at the final table came quickly when Terry Dopson moved all-in with a pair of Queens. Joshua Turner called him with Ace-eight offsuit and caught an Ace on the flop. Terry's finish won him $5,275.

Shortly after Terry was knocked out, the story of the tournament began to develop. Joshua Turner moved all-in with a pair of tens, and he was called by Jason Gladden, who held Ace-King offsuit. The board gave Jason no help and he had already walked away from the tournament area when tournament director Johnny Grooms had to call him back to the table - he had Turner covered by $500, leaving him with a single purple chip that was enough to cover his ante on the next hand. He flopped a full house, kings full of tens, on that hand and had enough to cover his big blind on the next hand - which he won when his Queen-ten offsuit hit a ten on the river. He stole the next two pots, folded one hand, and then made another steal. His stack was suddenly up over $50,000 and he was back in contention.

Had Gladden been knocked out with his $500 ante in play, he would have taken 8th place and $7,915. Instead, strip poker specialist Guy Choate moved in with a dominated hand - Ace-Ten versus Ace-Jack - and his opponent caught a Jack on the flop to send him home in that spot. That left the table seven-handed, and it would stay that way for almost another hour as the players tightened up in hopes of moving up the pay ladder.

The next player to go was Joshua Turner, one of the more active players at the table. His stated goal was to play to win, so he was trying to accumulate chips by playing a lot of pots. He had Lee Neely dominated with Ace-Queen against King-Queen before the second break, but Neely flopped the king-high straight and crippled Turner. Then, on the first hand after the break, Neely took Turner out when his pair of fours held up against Turner's nine-seven suited. Turner said he had hoped to finish higher but was happy with the way he played. He took home $10,555 for 7th place.

Another back-to-back sequence finished off Robert Schulz, the 2nd-place finisher in Event #1. First he had Jason "Chip and a Chair" Gladden dominated with Ace-eight against King-eight, but Gladden caught four cards to a flush on the river and doubled up to over $190,000. Then, on the next hand, Schulz came over the top of Donaldson Brown's $20,000 raise with Ace-nine offsuit. Brown called with pocket sixes, which held, and Schulz exited in 6th place to earn $15,190.

Tennessee resident Buck Buchanan was never able to make much headway at the final table, not winning a pot until after half his stack had been blinded away. About five hands later he moved all-in over the top of Donaldson Brown''s limp from the small blind. Brown called and showed Ace-six offsuit, while Buchanan had Ace-deuce of hearts. Donaldson filled an inside straight on the river, and Buchanan finished in fifth place for $15,830.

"Silent" Sid Herald, the most experienced player at the table and the chip leader coming in, folded the bulk of his hands for most of the day. As the table got shorter he became more active, but he kept running into bigger hands and doubling his opponents up. He was down to his last $60,000 chips when Jason Gladden made a raise from the button. "Silent" Sid moved all-in from the small blind and Jason called reluctantly - Sid held Ace-seven and Jason had King-ten, making Sid the favorite preflop. That all changed when Jason flopped top pair and turned a ten. Sid was drawing dead, and won $18,470 for taking 4th place.

For the next hour, Lee Neely and Jason Gladden found themselves dominated by Donaldson Brown's chip stack. He held more than twice as much as either of them coming into three-handed play, and on several occasions was able to make Neely fold by making a big raise on the turn or river. Quite possibly the best call of the tournament came during this period. With the board reading Queen-seven-four-deuce-eight, Brown made a bet large enough to put Neely all-in on the river. After four minutes in the tank, Neely moved his chips in and turned over four-three offsuit for a flopped pair of fours. Brown held three-deuce offsuit for a pair of twos, doubling Neely up just as the level ended. Twenty minutes later, Neely faced off with Brown again when he moved all-in with Queen-ten offsuit on a flop of Ace-Jack-Ten with two hearts, giving him bottom pair. Brown made the call with King-nine of hearts, giving him draws to a straight and a flush. The flush draw came through on the river and Lee Neely was eliminated in 3rd place. He earned $21,050 for his finish.

Once Brown was heads-up with Jason Gladden, he had accumulated enough chips to give him a 5-to-1 advantage. He stayed aggressive at first but doubled Gladden up twice, and the two settled into a pattern of showing down small cards and trading their chips back and forth. Gladden came close to completing a spectacular comeback, but wasn't able to draw Brown into enough big confrontations to build up his stack. After more than an hour and twenty minutes of heads-up play, which spanned three levels of blinds and antes, Gladden check-raised all-in on the turn with the board reading King-three-deuce-nine. Brown called with top pair, and Gladden pair of treys lost when no help came on the river. While he was unable to complete the greatest feat any tournament player can accomplish, his play was nothing short of amazing. He deserved every single dollar of the $42,480 that he earned after he thought he'd been knocked out of the tournament. And to Brown's credit, he played an cautious, intelligent game that never put his chip lead in serious jeopardy. The gold ring and $79,175 were a fitting prize for his performance.

Don Brown & Johnny Grooms after the final hand at WSOP Circuit Event #4

Tomorrow will see the first non-hold'em final table of the Tunica WSOP Circuit, when the last nine players from the Pot-Limit Omaha with Rebuys tournament convene at 2:00 PM. Be sure to come back to Blind Bet Poker for all the information from Grand Casino.

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