2017 Seminole Hard Rock WSOP Circuit
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
$365 No Limit Hold’em (Freeze-Out)
Prize Pool: $47,700
September 26-27, 2017
(Hollywood, Fla.) — The World Series of Poker Circuit continued Wednesday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino with the final day of play in Event 5, a $365 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Freeze-Out. The 159-entry field returned just five players and it was Jeffrey Higgins of Northborough, Mass. that left victorious. For his efforts, Higgins was sent back northeast with $12,877 along with his first-ever WSOP Circuit gold ring.
“This means more to me than it should,” an emotional Higgins said following the win.
Currently splitting his time between multiple businesses, Higgins, 37, quit his first job in in 2006 and played online. In the years that followed, he picked up traditional work. Today, his children and businesses keep him busy and poker has become a hobby he only gets to indulge in sporadically.
The $365 buy-in freeze-out — Event 5 on the WSOP Circuit schedule — saw a prize pool $47,700 that paid the top 18 finishers. Mark Fink (10th), Phil Hui (14th) and Daniel Pearlman (17th) were among those who bowed out in the money but shy of the final table.
The opening day of action moved fast. After an 11am kickoff, the 10-handed final table was reached shortly after 10pm. Fink’s bustout sent pay to the nine-handed finale and Circuit standout Bob Chow was first to go from there. Eric Piderit’s sixth-place elimination was the last of the night as Level 21 expired and play concluded.
When action resumed the following day, Higgins owned the chip lead over Florida pro Sean Shah, Austin Reilly, Stephen Bierman and Steven Disney. Disney, who returned with just five big blinds, went in fifth followed by Shah in fourth and Bierman in third. The heads-up battle between Higgins and Reilly lasted about an hour. They began neck-and-neck in the counts, but Higgins hit a timely flop when he scored bottom two pair against Reilly’s top pair, top kicker. The duo got it all-in and Reilly was left shortstacked while Higgins sprinted to the finish line a short while later. Reilly earned $7,959 for the runner-up finish.
Prior to Wednesday, Higgins’ tournament resume boasted only modest success. His victory in the $365 freeze-out is his first major win and moves him into a tie for second on the Seminole Hard Rock WSOP Circuit Casino Championship leaderboard.
Event 5 final results:
1st: Jeffrey Higgins – $12,877
2nd: Austin Reilly – $7,959
3rd: Stephen Bierman – $5,729
4th: Sean Shah – $4,199
5th: Steven Disney – $3,132
6th: Eric Piderit – $2,377
7th: Jonah Miller – $1,835
8th: Angelo Castaldi – $1,439
9th: Bob Chow – $1,148
10th: Mark Fink – $930
11th: Denis Cyr – $930
12th: Christopher Norton – $930
13th: Christopher Perkins – $765
14th: Phil Hui – $765
15th: Michael Goldfarb – $765
16th: Sean Small – $640
17th: Daniel Pearlman – $640
18th: Stuart Greenbaum – $640