Don Mullis wins 1st Prize worth $100,255 - WSOP Circuit Event #8
Aug 19, 2005  
by Jason Kirk  

Don Mullis wins 1st Prize in the No Limit Hold'em - Buy in $1,000 + $60 tournament at Grand Casino Tunica

The largest first prize of the Circuit so far was up for grabs today, worth more than $100,000, was given out today at Grand Casino Tunica for Event #8, the $1000+60 No-Limit Hold'em tournament. 323 players signed up yesterday for a shot at the most lucrative prize pool yet, and they played down to the final fifteen before leaving at 2 AM today. Twelve hours later they reconvened to decide the winner, and within 30 minutes the final table was set. Two of the ten players were looking to claim a second WSOP Circuit gold championship ring. In order of seating, here are the final ten:


Dave Brown of Joliet, IL, is an electrician with IBEW Local 176. He's been playing poker for 20 years, and made the final table of the 2004 World Poker Open $1000 limit hold'em event. He started the final table with $31,300 in chips.


Don "Final Table" Mullis is a new car dealer from Mooresville, NC. In his ten-month poker career, he has made 9 WSOP Circuit final tables and 2 final tables at the Ultimate Poker Challenge. Tops among these was his gold championship ring in the Lake Tahoe WSOP Circuit. He started the final table here in Tunica with $155,000 in chips.

Jim Michael comes from Mocksville, NC, where he is in sales. This is his first live tournament final table in 30 years of playing poker. He came in with $17,100 in chips.


Mike Cox is a retiree from Austin, TX, who has been playing poker for over 50 years. He began the day with $50,000 in chips.

Jeff Cohen is a real estate developer from Parkland, FL. He's been playing poker for 2 years and this is his first major final table. He started play with $38,000 in chips.

Michael Borovetz is a semi-professional poker player from Pittsburgh, PA.In a year and a half of playing poker, he has an impressive list of tournament finishes, including 2nd place at the Atlantic City WSOP Circuit $1500 No-Limit Hold'em event and three separate first place finishes at the Palms during the WSOP. He started today's final table with $140,200 in chips.

Marc Aubin is a business owner from Terrebone, Quebec, Canada.He has been playing poker for just over 2 years, and cashed twice at this year's WSOP. He began the final table with $46,600 in chips.

Ray Gasses comes from Newnan, GA, where he is in real estate. Ray is the other of today's players seeking his second WSOP Circuit gold championship ring, with his first coming in Event #1 here in Tunica last week. He started today's final table with $54,000 in chips.


Tom "The Greek" Kandris is the owner of Dino's Pancake House in Myrtle Beach, SC. He's been playing poker for over 40 years, mostly no-limit hold'em and seven-card stud. He started the day with $64,000 in chips.


Robert Sanchez is an insurance agent from Dallas, TX, who has been playing poker for just over a year. This is his first major final table. He began play with $38,000 in chips.

The final table got off to a quick start today when Ray Gasses made a big raise from middle position. Jeff Cohen came over the top for the rest of his chips, and after a bit of thought Gasses called. Cohen showed pocket jacks, and Gasses showd king-nine offsuit. No kings appeared on the board, and Gasses was down to his last $1500. On the next hand Gasses had the best hand preflop, but Don Mullis caught a king on the turn to pair up and send Gasses out in 10th place. He won $3,760 for his finish, but will have to wait for another ring.

Seven-Handed at the Final Table of WSOP Circuit Tunica Event #8

On the next hand, Jim Michael moved all in with ace-queen offsuit and got called by Tom "The Greek" Kandris. Michael had outs until the turn, which gave Kandris a set and sent Michael packing in 9th place with $6,265. Then, two hands later, Robert Sanchez moved his short stack in on a steal with ten-seven offsuit but found himself dominated by Tom Kandris' king-ten offsuit. Sanchez's day ended when Kandris caught a king on the flop. The Texan earned $9,400 for his performance.

The quick burst of knockouts didn't become the standard for the final table. Play continued seven-handed for over two hours. Tom Kandris found himself short-stacked and managed to stay alive on several occasions, but he finally ran into steamroller Mike Borovetz. Kandris had pocket nines, and Borovetz had pocket queens. The queens held, and Kandris ended up in 7th place for a payday of $12,530. Within fifteen minutes play was down to five players, once again thanks to Borovetz. Jeff Cohen was short-stacked and moved his chips in with king-ten offsuit, but Borovetz woke up with aces in the hole. Cohen caught no help, and finished in 6th with $15,665.

Mike Borovetz again found himself in a dominating position when Don Mullis moved his last $48,000 in the middle of the table. Borovetz called the raise form the small blind and turned over ace-jack of clubs, which was a big favorite over Mullis' ace-eight of hearts. Both players paired up their side cards on the flop, making Borovetz an even bigger favorite. With two cards to come, Mullis only had two outs. One of them, the eight of clubs, hit the river to give Mullis three of a kind - not to mention a new lease on his tournament life. Borovetz was obviously stunned, but recovered quickly and continued to play a solid game.

Shortly afterward, Canadian Marc Aubin moved in with the rest of his chips he'd been nursing while watching other players get knocked out. Aubin had two sixes in the hole, but his timing couldn't have been worse when Dave Brown showed two aces. The turn gave Aubin an open-ended straight draw, but the river was a blank and he left the tournament in 5th place, earning $18,800.

Two hands later Mike Cox found himself all-in as well. Mike Borovetz made a quick call, but Don Mullis decided to think the hand over before making a move. Cox called the clock on Mullis almost immediately - the third time he'd done so - and after telling Cox that being nice didn't cost him anything, Mullis made the call. He paired a king on the river card and Cox left in 4th place with $21,300.

Play continued three-handed for nearly an hour before Dave Brown moved all-in with pocket deuces. Don Mullis thought long and hard before calling with ace-ten offsuit. The flop came queen-jack-four, giving Mullis ten outs. The turn paired the board, giving Mullis even more outs. The river was the ten of hearts, and Brown exited in 3rd place with $28,200.

Final Hand of WSOP Circuit Tunica Event #8

Heads-up play didn't last long at all. Within ten minutes, Mullis and Borovetz both ended up with their chips in the middle pre-flop. Both players had pairs in the hole - Mullis with nines, and Borovetz with eights. The board didn't change anything, and when Tournament Director Jack Effel counted both players' stacks down Mullis had Borovetz covered by about $20,000. Borovetz played as solid a game as he could've hoped for, and though he didn't take first prize he still demonstrated great skill on his way to 2nd place and $55,145. Mullis took home his second WSOP Circuit championship ring and $100,255.

Don Mullis and Jack Effel at Grand Casino Tunica during the WSOP Circuit Event #8

Today's final table was one of the longest so far, clocking in at almost six hours, but it also featured some of the most exciting hands we've witnessed. Mullis was truly riding a wave of good fortune, not only by catching a miracle card when he needed it most, but also by being lucky enough to have his opponent hold a smaller pocket pair heads-up. Some players just seem destined to win, and today Don Mullis was that sort of player.

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