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Joe Rice Wins Inaugural World Series of Poker Circuit Turning Stone Main Event

The New York Resident Defeated A Field of 891 Entries To Win $238,870 And His Second Ring of the Series

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This month the World Series of Poker Circuit made its way to Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY for the first time ever. New York native Joe Rice made the most of the WSOPC being in his home state, winning both the $400 buy-in kickoff event and the main event in addition to making two more final tables. Rice’s grand finale saw him top a field of 891 entries in the WSOPC Turning Stone $1,700 no-limit hold’em main event for his second gold ring and the top prize of $238,870.

“My wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I said, honestly I just want to play the Circuit (at Turning Stone) and play all the events. I told her I guarantee I will win at least one, maybe two and I will make at least $100,000,” Rice told WSOP reporters after the win.

Rice shared that he and his wife Jessica are expecting their first daughter this summer, who will join the couple’s two sons, Joseph Jr. and Jayson.

“I told them I was coming out here to do this for them. You know, it was tough being away from them throughout the week. They cried because they missed me. They really are my heart and soul. I am glad I can make them proud,” he said. “I told my family by the end of the series the world will know my name, but most importantly they will know my family’s name.”

All told, Rice cashed for $274,441 during the series. His victory in the main event saw him earn 912 Card Player Player of the Year points. With his four final-table finishes during the series, he now sits in 39th place in the 2022 POY race, which is sponsored by Global Poker.

Plenty of notables made deep runs in this event, including 2017 WSOP main event champion Scott Blumstein (35th – $4,793), three-time ring winner Aditya Prasetyo (28th – $6,319), and 2018 Card Player Poker Tour Seneca Niagara main event winner Victor Adams (18th – $12,570).

The final day of the main event began with 13 players remaining and Tim O’Donoghue in the lead. Rice sat in fifth chip position when play resumed, but managed to climb up the leaderboard by the time the official nine-handed final table was set. O’Donoghue ($23,605) ultimately finished ninth when his rivered top pair of aces ran into the nut flush of Giuseppe Galluzzo. James Namiot (8th – $29,747) was the next to fall, with his pocket nines losing a preflop race to Galluzzo’s A-K suited.

Rice scored his first knockout at the final table when his pocket fives won the coin flip against the A-10 suited of Matthew Eng (7th – $37,877). Minutes later, Rice picked up pocket aces and held against the pocket sixes of Jared Woodell (6th – $48,729) to narrow the field to five.

Patrick Bowe got all-in with J-10 facing the A-5 suited of John Amoia. Amoia flopped aces up and faded a club draw for Bowe (5th – $63,332) to take down the pot. Amoia soon was the one at risk, and he once again held A-5 suited. This time around he was facing the A-K of Rice, who made aces and kings by the river to send Amoia home with $83,144 for his fourth-place showing.

Bob Hover got all-in with his K-Q suited leading the K-J suited of Rice, but a jack-high flop turned the tables. Hover found no help on the turn or river and was eliminated in third place ($110,250).

Heads-up play began with Galluzzo holding more than a 3.5:1 lead on Rice. After closing the gap a bit, a preflop race saw Rice double into the chip lead. His pocket fives faded the A-K of Galluzzo to give him a small chip advantage. He soon extended that lead by winning a big pot with bottom two pair.

In the final hand of the event, Rice limped in from the button with AHeart SuitQSpade Suit and Galluzzo moved all-in with JClub Suit7Heart Suit. Rice made the quick call and the board ran out 5Heart Suit4Diamond Suit2Heart Suit8Diamond SuitKDiamond Suit to lock up the pot and the title for Rice. Galluzzo was awarded $147,644 as the runner-up.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Joe Rice $238,870 912
2 Giuseppe Galluzzo $147,644 760
3 Robert Hover $110,250 608
4 John Amoia $83,144 456
5 Patrick Bowe $63,332 380
6 Jared Woodell $48,729 304
7 Matthew Eng $37,877 228
8 James Namiot $29,747 152
9 Timothy Odonoghue $23,605 76

Winner photo provided by WSOP.