Faisal Siddiqui is the latest player to emerge victorious with a main event gold ring on the World Series of Poker Circuit. The 51-year-old software engineer from Annandale, VA outlasted a field of 303 entries to take down the 2019 WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Baltimore $1,700 no-limit hold’em main event, securing the $113,143 top prize and his first WSOPC title. Siddiqui had previously finished as the runner-up in this event back in 2015. Four years later, he managed to improve on that finish and secure his first gold ring.
“When the Circuit came to Horseshoe for the first time, I got second in the main event so it was very fulfilling to make the final table again, surpass that, and actually take it down,” Siddiqui told WSOP reporters after securing the title. “The thing that I find really exciting is that poker is a sport that allows us to play against the professionals. There is no other sport in the world that is like this. I also play golf. I could never beat Phil Mickelson at golf. But at the final table today, there were multiple pros, and I was able to beat them, which is a great feeling. It’s not about the money it’s about playing the best in the world and coming out ahead.”
There was indeed plenty of tough competition at the final table for Siddiqui, including World Series of Poker bracelet winner Michael Wang. The poker pro from New Jersey had put together an incredible run in the leadup to this tournament, winning two WSOPC rings in the span of three days and then managing to finish second in another event while playing down to this final table.
Siddiqui came into the final day in second place with eight remaining, while Wang sat in sixth chip position. He managed to chip up a bit in the early going and survive down to four-handed play, before ultimately getting involved in a massive pre-flop coin flip against Siddiqui. All of the chips went in with Siddiqui holding QQ against Wang’s AK. The pocket pair held up and Wang was left with just a few big blinds. He was knocked out in fourth place in the very next hand, earning $36,089 for his fourth final-table finish in less than a week.
Ryan Jones was the next to hit the rail when his kings and sixes ran into the kings and jacks of Siddiqui. Jones took home $49,810 as the third-place finisher. Heads-up play began with Joseph Malebranche holding a small chip lead over Siddiqui. It didn’t take all that long for Siddiqui to retake the lead and then extend it to a massive advantage. In the end, Malebranch got the last of his very short stack in with 102. Siddiqui held the K4 and made the call. The board came down 74349 and Siddiqui made trips to secure the pot and the title. Malebranch was awarded $69,925 as the runner-up finisher.
Siddiqui earned 480 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion. This was his first POY-qualified score of the year, and it moved him inside the top 1,300 players in the 2019 POY race standings, which are sponsored by Global Poker.
Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:
|| POY Points
|| Faisal Siddiqui
|| Joseph Malebranche
|| Ryan Jones
|| Michael Wang
|| Shinya Shimada
|| Joe Cashen
|| Mark Redding
|| Ryan Tamanini
|| Christopher Grove
Winner photo provided by WSOP.