Josef Tittjung, a poker regular from Oklahoma, won his first WSOP Circuit gold ring last night after taking down a $365 No-Limit Hold’em Double Stack event at Hard Rock Tulsa. The player also cashed $23,806 from the event.
Tittjung was the last man standing from a field of 345 entries who played over two days at the host venue. The event’s field generated $103,500 in prize money, which organizers distributed to the top 36 finishers.
The tournament attracted several WSOP Circuit celebrities including ten-time gold ring winners Maurice Hawkins and Valentin Vornicu. However, an eleventh gold piece evaded them in the $365 No-Limit Hold’em Double Stack. The players were eliminated in 11th and 10th place, respectively, shortly before the end of Day 1, played on Monday at the host casino.
Their swift elimination also set the official nine-handed final table. Tittjung was second in chips at that point with 1.082 million. Micheal Cooper was leading the final 9 players into the final table with 1.2 million.
Day 1 of the tournament was completed with seven players left in contention. Tittjung had managed to emerge as the chip leader by that time. The player had 2 million in chips at the end of Day 1 and was the only finalist to have cracked the two-million mark.
Tittjung maintained his good run on Day 2 to eventually win the tournament and the coveted WSOP Circuit trophy. The player played heads-up against three-time gold ring winner Justin Gardenhire. The latter scooped a payout of $14,717 for his deep run last night.
A Little More about the Winner
This was Tittjung’s second-ever cash from the WSOP Circuit. The player finished 13th in the $365 Monster Stack a few days ago. That event too was on the schedule of the ongoing WSOP Circuit Hard Rock Tulsa.
While the player may have cashed only twice in the WSOP Circuit series, poker is a game he knows very well. The 72-year Oklahoma-based retiree cut his teeth back in the 1970s on five- and seven-card stud.
Speaking with WSOP stuff minutes after his triumph last night, Tittjung said that he hoped he would continue his good streak throughout the WSOP Circuit series’ ongoing event. The player further noted that he loved the challenge that poker presented to him as a mind game.
The latest member of WSOP Circuit’s winners club is a frequent visitor to his home state’s casinos. With decades of experience, he has completed multiple tournaments and has clashed against poker celebrities, including multiple-time WSOP gold bracelet winner and former WSOP Main Event Champion Scotty Nguyen.
The WSOP Circuit Hard Rock Tulsa is set to run through March 26 when the Main Event will be completed. The $1,675 buy-in event kicks off tomorrow at the host venue. It will feature a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million.