MID-MAJOR REPORT: Vo, Donovan, Hudson Win Circuit Rings in February

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Viet Vo and Zachary Donovan both picked up WSOP Circuit Main Event titles in February (WSOP photo)

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 Circuit, WPT DeepStacks, Heartland Poker Tour, and Mid-States Poker.

Viet Vo Conquers Rio Las Vegas WSOP Circuit Main Event

The Las Vegas WSOP Circuit events are usually the biggest and arguably the toughest fields of the season. Viet Vo beat out 951 other players to win the first Circuit ring of his career.

“It feels good. I’ve been wanting this for a long time. I got second in the Main Event in Chicago three years and a half ago. I got 11th last year in the Main Event at the Bicycle Casino. I bubbled the final table. To finally be able to close it out today, it feels good,” Vo said after his win.

The victory earned him $274,030 and pushed his career earnings to just shy of $1.7 million. The final table included Jared Jaffee, Cylus Watson, Nick Pupillo and eventual runner-up Sohale Khalili.

Ali Imsirovic picked up the first WSOP Circuit ring of his career in the $2,200 High Roller event by beating a final table that included Asher Conniff, Upeshka De Silva, Barry Hutter, and Aaron Massey.

Zachary Donovan Wins Second Career WSOPC Ring at Coconut Creek

Nearly six years after winning a $365 buy-in WSOP Circuit event at Foxwoods, Zachary Donovan won the $1,700 Main Event at Coconut Creek in Florida to win his second ring and $243,916.

Donovan started the final table with the chip lead and started heads up play with the lead over runner up Sokchheka Pho. Jason Young finished third for $110,859.

Mike Hudson Wins WSOPC Potawatomi Main Event

WSOP Circuit stops are usually full of players who grind their way through all 12 events before moving on to the next stop. Mike Hudson is apparently the exception to the rule. Hudson beat out 666 other players to win the Main Event at Potawatomi after not playing any other events at that stop.

The final table included Eric Wasylenko, Brett Apter, former #1 PocketFiver Kevin Saul, and second place finisher Joshua Turner.

The win was the first time Hudson cashed in a WSOP Circuit Main Event and his first live cash since April 2015.

Nick Pupillo Takes Heartland Poker Tour Title in Black Hawk

Just a week before finishing fourth at the WSOP Circuit event at the Rio, Nick Pupillo beat out 587 other players to win the Heartland Poker Tour event in Black Hawk, Colorado for $194,478.

The win moved Pupillo into a tie with Nick Davidson for HPT Season XV Player of the Year.

Brian Wilson Tops Star-Studded MSPT Poker Bowl III Final Table

Canadian Brian Wilson arrived in Las Vegas for Super Bowl weekend and left with $143,929 and the title of Mid-States Poker Tour Poker Bowl III champion. Wilson, runner-up Pedro Mendes and third place finisher Eli Ross agreed to a three-way deal to wrap things up. Mendes and Ross each left with just a touch over $119,000.

The final table also included Vegas locals Eddy Sabat, Shannon Shorr, and Eric Baldwin.

Martin Gaudreault Wins WPT DeepStacks Montreal

Martin Gaudreault worked his way through an all-Canadian final table at the WPT DeepStacks Montreal Main Event to pick up the first live win of his career and $ 139,311. Gaudreault’s only other live cash came in a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event at the 2011 World Series of Poker.

“It’s awesome obviously, I have no words, it’s just incredible. I don’t play too many tournaments, and just going out and binking one of the biggest ones I play is awesome,” said Gaudreault.

The $1,650 CDN ($1,110 US) buy-in event drew out 686 players to push the total prize pool to $760,712.

Mike Leah finished 36th for $3,670.

Mohamed Abdou Takes Down WPT DeepStacks Brussels

The Grand Casino in Brussels played host to the WPT DeepStacks €1,200 Main Event and 584 players. Mohamed Abdou outlasted all of them on his way to the first live win of his career and $ 136,217.

All of Abdou’s previous eight cashes came in his native France and his biggest score was $17,171.

Michael Mizrachi finished 27th for $4,143 while Triple Crown holder Davidi Kitai picked up $2,724 for finishing 56th.

Matt Kirby Wins MSPT Canterbury Park for Third MSPT Win

Matt Kirby became the third three-time Mid-States Poker Tour champion after beating 478 other players to win the $1,100 buy-in MSPT Canterbury Park Main Event.

Kirby, who picked up $99,573 for the win, had previously won MSPT Walker and MSPT Onamia in 2012. The only other players with three MSPT titles are Blake Bohn and Carl Carodenuto.