Valentin Vornicu Wins Record 12th WSOP Circuit TitleMay 16, 2018 1:23 pm
Valentin Vornicu, has extended his lead over Maurice Hawkins as the World Series of Poker Circuit’s top title holder after winning a 12th ring at the WSOPC Harrah’s New Orleans $365 No Limit Hold’em event.
Furthermore, Vornicu’s latest victory worth $24,084 comes just one day after he won a record 11th ring at the $365 Re-entry Event for $64,205, with the 34 year-old pro now boasting $1,159,385 in career earnings.
Valentin Vornicu is a former member of the Romanian International Mathematics Olympiad who was educated at the University of Bucharest, where he earned a degree in 2006 followed by a Master’s Degree in Algebra and Number Theory in 2008. A few years earlier, Vornicu had also started the mathematics web portal MathLinks, and after moving to California, in 2011 he created the MathLinks Summer Program which is based in San Diego and offers residential summer mathematics program for students aged between 12 to 18.
11th WSOPC Ring
In April of 2017, Maurice Hawkins claimed the WSOPC record after winning a 10th gold ring whilst playing at the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Main Event in Iowa. At the time, Alexandru Masek and Valentin Vornicu were right behind him on 9 rings each, but seven months later Vornicu tied Hawkins after taking down the $365 WSOP Circuit Lake Tahoe for $14,429. Last weekend, Vornicu subsequently overtook his nearest rivals by besting a field of 1,340 players in Louisiana to claim a famous victory, after which the Californian pro commented:
“It’s the first time I’m at the top of the leaderboard with no ties. First, I tied Alex [Masek] and then I was tied with Maurice [Hawkins]. I just am happy with the win itself. I just like winning tournaments. It’s nice to win one of these bigger fields for more money.”
Final Table Results
1: Valentin Vornicu $64,205
2: Clinton Boynes $39,002
3: Jonathan Hilton $28,839
4: Timohy Acker $21,988
5: Vismantas Maijosius $16,971
6: David Slaughter $13,249
7: Joseph Hebert $10,495
8: Ryan Stephens $8,440
9: Holly Meliet Baton $6,891
12th WSOPC Ring
The next day, Vornicu was one of 349 players to take part in the $365 No Limit Hold’em event, and amongst the recognizable pros booking a cash but falling short of a final table appearance was Ricky Meyers in 24th ($898), Jonathan Hilton in 16th ($1,249), and Blake Whittington in 15th ($1,502).
Vornicu then started the final table in pole position, but dropped to a short-stack before mounting a comeback which eventually saw him overcome Joshua Lowing heads-up to claim $24,084, and his second WSOPC ring in just three days. Commenting upon his remarkable achievement, Vornicu said:
“I’ve never won back-to-back tournaments. Definitely not live. Maybe online, but usually after I win a tournament live, the next one I play I just bust before the first break.”
Final Table Results
1: Valentin Vornicu $24,084
2: Joshua Lowing $14,887
3: Andrew Mousmoules $10,861
4: Kien Tran $8,056
5: Mohammad Shahlaei $6,068
6: Michael Horchoff $4,641
7: Jerry Monroe $6,302
8: Sley Sanchez $2,835
9: Justin Brassieur $2,264
Vornicu vs Hawkins
In 2011, Vornicu claimed his first WSOPC ring after winning the $1,100 WSOP Circuit Hammond for $50,943, and has since gone on record 56 in-the-money WSOP Circuit finishes worth more than $500,000. During that time, Vornicu has claimed just one WSOP Circuit Main Event, namely the 2015 WSOPC Los Angeles which he won for $197,110.
By contrast, Hawkins has been playing the WSOP Circuit since 2006, with his first gold ring coming in 2009 after topping the Caesars Palace Las Vegas for $40,355. Hawkins has recorded 55 WSOPC tournament cashes over his career, although his wins include four WSOP Circuit Main Events, and more than $1.2 million in earnings.
It will now be interesting to see whether Vornicu manages to pull even further ahead of Hawkins, or whether the latter will close the gap before claiming a record 13th title of his own. In the meantime, a number of tough competitors are waiting in the wings ready to make their own plays at the title, including Alexandru Masek on nine gold rings, followed by Chris Reslock, Robert Hankins, and Ari Engel all on eight rings apiece.