$70,384 and the elusive World Series of Poker gold ring was handed out to Seneca Easley on Sunday and all the felt action is just heating up!

Easley won the coveted gold ring in the WSOP Circuit event at Harrah’s Rincon.  As you may know, the gold rings are handed out to each victor on the circuit tour, much like the bracelets are handed out during the WSOP events in Vegas each summer.  Along with the ring and the cash, Easley now has a chance to score an even bigger pay day in the WSOP Circuit National Championship May 27th-29th.  A win there secures a gold bracelet and 300 grand! Easley's win earned him a seat to the 100 player only event.

300 grand is chump change compared to what well known poker pro, Gus Hansen, has brought home this week.  Hansen has been winning like a fiend on Full Tilt poker.  Playing a mix of deuce to seven triple draw and pot limit Omaha, Hansen has earned a cool million bucks this week.  Hansen has brought his 2011 earnings up to 4 mil!

Later today my eyes will be on the 2011 WPT Vienna High Roller event.  Ol' Monte will get the scoop for you next blog and with a 15,000 dollar buy in, I'm sure there  will be some big names and fireworks here.

As for a small tip of the felt today, I shall tell you a situation that happened to Phil Helmuth.  First published in Cardplayer Magazine by Helmuth on October 26th, 2001 - Helmuth tells a story of the 2001 Main Event and a hand against eventual world camp, Carlos Mortensen.  Five players remained and Helmuth called a 30K blind with Q-10. The flop brought Q spades 9 hearts and 4 spades and 160K already in the pot. Helmuth was checked to and raised 60K. Mortenesen raised to 260K. Another player at the table, Stan Schrier, didn't realize Helmuth was still in the hand. He waited and waited.  Meanwhile, Helmuth studied Mortensen and believed Carlos was holding Q-J.  He thought if he raised Carlos with an all in of 650K, Mortensen would fold.  Helmuth believed he either had him beat or he could force a fold. Once Schrier folded, Helmuth pushes and Carlos says "count" as for a count of Helmuth's chips.  The dealer thought Carlos said "call"! Helmuth heard the dealer say "call" and he turned his Q-10 over face up on the table!  Carlos could now see Helmuth's cards for free and didn't need to flip his cards over.  All Carlos needed to do was call if he had the better hand and send Phil home or fold and live another hand.  Phil's read was on, Carlos called and home goes Helmuth from the World Championship - so close to another title and 1.5 million dollars.

About the situation, Helmuth says "I just figure that some great power somewhere said "Phil, I am going to take this one away from you , but don' t worry about it, because I have given you so much in life."  Well said Phil, well said. Take your time in your hands, each call, fold or check is vastly important and could cost you a dollar or 1.5 million.  Double check what the opposing players say and confirm with the dealer.  Regardless of the outcome, there is always tomorrow and tomorrow will be sunnier than today.