It’s a busy time for poker in California. In addition to the World Poker Tour (WPT) Bay 101 Shooting Stars tournament in San Jose this week, The Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles is playing host to the biggest World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit event of the year.
Running March 7th to 17th, the series includes Hold'em, Omaha, and HORSE tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $365 to $1675.
Canadian Mike Leah has already had a strong year. Leah won Event #1 of the WPT Fallsview festival in February for over $100,000 and also had a deep run in the Main Event a few days later. Yesterday, Leah added to his 2014 total by winning not one, but two WSOP Circuit rings at the Bike. The first was in Event 9, a $580 buy-in, then he shipped Event 11, a $365 Turbo.
Chip leader as they started the final table, Leah dominated through most of the final day of play. The final table “went really quick” Leah said on WSOP.com. He never lost his chip lead throughout the day, making it heads up with a slight lead against Lucas Fridricksson. Despite doubling up once with into Leah’s , Fridricksson was never able to overcome Leah’s aggressive play. Leah took the tournament down when Fridricksson four-bet shoved with into Leah’s .
A lot of players might hit the bar to celebrate their nearly $17,000 win. Not Leah. Already registered in Event #10 while he was shipping Event #9, Leah had hoped to jump quickly from there into a deep run in the $1,125 event. He busted Event 10, but instead of calling it a day, he headed straight for the cage to buy into Event 11.
Leah quickly ran his stack up and soon found himself at his second Circuit final table of the day. Fighting his way through the final table, once again Leah found himself heads up, this time against four-time Ring holder Caufman Talley. After a short battle, Leah secured his second ring and another $15,440 in less than 24 hours.
Despite his success elsewhere, this is Leah’s first taste of WSOP hardware, and that’s definitely on his mind. Leah was quoted on the WSOP website after his wins: “the saying goes 'first the ring then the bracelet,'” said Leah with a smile. “So maybe now I’ll finally be able to win the bracelet.”
Leah said to PokerNews Canada's own Anthony Charter that it "was an incredible day; very fun to have the chip lead almost all the way through in both and be able to close two tournaments on the same day."
The wins also give Leah a lock on the Casino Championship race, adding to points he got from cashes in Event #1 and Event #7 giving him an insurmountable 122.5 points with only one event left to play. In the interview with WSOP, Leah was excited about the National Champion points race as well. “That’s the only reason I came to The Bike. I thought I was Top 100 but I found out I wasn’t so I knew I had to make a stop or two to try and win my way in. Casino champion would be the easiest way to do it so then I don’t have to sweat it out anymore.”
Leah is also tied for the top spot in the Canadian Poker Tour Points Race.
One ring to rule them all, but a second one never hurts.
*Lead photo courtesy of the WSOP Blog