MID-MAJOR REPORT: Sean Yu, Ryan Eriquezzo, Justin Liberto Earn Wins

Ryan Eriquezzo (left), Sean Yu (center) and Justin Liberto (right) are some of the players of the Mid-Major circuits that took home titles in March.

Poker’s Mid-Major circuits are home to some of poker’s brightest up-and-coming stars. Each month, PocketFives breaks down the big winners from the WSOP CircuitWPT DeepStacksHeartland Poker Tour, and Mid-States Poker.

World Series of Poker Circuit

Elik Vodovoz Takes Down World Series of Poker Circuit Hammond Main Event

The World Series of Poker Circuit was seemingly everywhere in the month of March, holding no fewer than four different series in different parts of the U.S.

The first saw the WSOPC travel to the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Illinois where Elik Vodovoz took down the 1,050-entry field of the $1,700 Main Event for a career-high score of $294,290. The event crushed its $1M guarantee, generating a prize pool of over $1.59 million, awarding eight of the final nine players their own career-best cashes.

Sean Yu Dominates Los Angeles WSOPC Event at The Bike

South Korea’s Sean Yu bested cash game grinder Andrew Moreno heads-up to capture the $1,700 Main Event WSOPC title from the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles.

The $210,585 score helped Yu, who currently resides in Los Angeles, up over the $2M mark in career earnings. It was the second circuit ring of the series for Yu, who has seven rings total as well as a WSOP bracelet. Moreno ended up with $130,295 as the runner-up. With the event being held in Los Angeles, plenty of well-known names made the money including Scott Vener (6th, $40,910), Ralph Wong (8th, $24,815), Mohsin Charania (15th, $12,890), Joseph Serock (20th $8,855) and Joe Kuether (22nd, $7,470).

Ryan Eriquezzo Wins Fourth WSOPC Event In Atlantic City

On the East Coast, veteran tournament grinder Ryan Eriquezzo picked up his fourth WSOPC ring when he finished atop the 357 entry field of the $1,700 Main Event at Harrah’s in Atlantic City for $124,397. With the win, Eriquezzo now has more than $1.5M in career earnings.

Phillip Pope Takes Down Tulsa WSOPC Event

Phillip Pope captured a career-high cash when he picked up the win in the $1,700 WSOPC Main Event from the Hard Rock Hotel & Cainso in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Pope outlasted the field of 533 entries to take home $215,000 after beating Kou Vang heads up. Vang walked with a six-figure cash of $132,930, also a career-high score for the well-traveled grinder.

Superstar WSOP Circuit grinder Maurice Hawkins just missed out on what would be a record-tying 12th ring after finished in third place. Hawkins added $97,110 to his over $3.5M in career earnings.

World Poker Tour DeepStacks

Vitor Coleho Wins WPTDeepStacks Jacksonville

Tampa resident a former restauranteur, Vitor Coleho secured the fifth six-figure cash of his career by besting the 446-entry field of WPTDS Jacksonville. The score propels him up over $1M in total recorded earnings.

“In my mind, I was going to win this tournament,” Coelho said after his victory. It marks his ninth WPT cash where he’s accumulated over $423,000 in earnings.

Simon Brandstrom Takes Down WPTDeepStacks Barcelona

Sweden’s Simon Brandstrom posted only the fourth recorded cash of his poker career when he won WPTDS Barcelona for €270,000 plus a €2,000 seat to the WPTDS Europen Championship.

The 1,232 player field was the largest ever outside of North America and ranks as the fifth largest ever in the history of the tour.

WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg & Vietnam Crown Champions

You Zeng took home the $69,451 first-place prize and the trophy after surviving the 452-entry field of WPTDS Johannesburg. The score marks the South African resident’s second career recorded cash.

Thailand’s Vincent Chauve eliminated each of his final five opponents to take home a career-high cash of $99,000 as the top prize of WPTDS Vietnam.

Justin Liberto Adds WPTDS Title To Resume In Maryland

Accomplished tournament pro Justin Liberto finally captured a WPT title, after 14 cashes, by finishing in first in the WPTDS Maryland Main Event for $116,363. Liberto, who has over $3.3M in career earnings had a near-miss in this very event two years ago when he finished in fourth place.

Noah Shefrin finished as the runner-up, taking home $81,472 as a consolation and popular poker vlogger Matt Vaughn wrapped up in eighth place for $15,026.

Felix Schulze Is The WPTDS Amsterdam Champ

Felix Schulze wrapped up an incredible run at the Holland Casino Amsterdam Center after winning the €1,200 WPTDS Amsterdam Main Event for €104,304. It was his third tournament victory of the week after, earlier in the series, Schulze bested a 50 player field in a €330 Hyper and 61 entries in the €330 Short Deck event.

“I feel good, it’s been a decent week,” Schulze said after finishing off the 507- entry field of the Main Event.

Heartland Poker Tour

Bill Byrnes Bests Heartland Poker Tour in St. Louis

Hailing from Wentzville, Missouri, 47-year old criminal defense attorney Bill Byrnes picked up a career-high cash by defeating the 444 entries in the Heartland Poker Tour $1,650 Main Event in St. Louis.

With the win, Byrnes moves into fourth place in the HPT Season 15 standings, siting right behind Nick Davidson, Nick Pupillo and current leader, Greg Wood.

Kou Vang, who finished as the runner-up in the WSOPC event in Tulsa, finished in fifth place for $31,978.

Mid-States Poker Tour

Steven Federspiel Wins Mid-States Poker Tour Iowa

409 players flocked to the Meskwaki Casino and Bingo Hall for the Mid-States Poker stop in Tama, Iowa.

North Liberty’s Steven Federspiel made his way to his second career MSPT final table and took home the title and a career-high cash of $86,949. The score helped push him over $250K in lifetime earnings.

It was Federspiel’s sixth MSPT cash of his career.