TJ Shulman wins WSOP Circuit event

South Florida poker pro TJ Shulman  defeated 193 players, including a tough final table, to win Event No, 8 ($580 Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em) Thursday at the Palm Beach Kennel Club in West Palm Beach. Shulman, of Boynton Beach, pocketed $25,092 and earned his first career World Series of Poker Circuit series gold ring.

Shulman, known for expressing his opinions, helped me out when I wrote about a tournament gone wrong in August 2015 at Hialeah Park.

The WSOP report noted Thursday was an emotional victory for Shulman. His father passed not too long ago and he said that the ring is for him, but also wants to dedicate the victory to his friend Jonathan Abla, a fellow poker player who died earlier this year.

On breaks Shulman was on the phone with Abla’s mother. Abla won his second of two career gold rings in West Palm Beach just over one year ago.

“I thank God and my dad for looking over me,” Shulman told the WSOP. “The [ring] is for both of them.”

The final table included poker pros Jason Brauda (8th), Andrew Touchette (5th) and Marcus Stein (4th). He also had to outmaneuver Event No. 2 winner, Carlos Loving (3rd), and the last opponent Shulman had to overcome was Daren Stabinski (2nd), who has over $500k in live tournament earnings.

Shulman officially has won more than $500,000 but says he more likely is in seven figures, winning tournaments that he says went unreported at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood. Shulman no longer plays at the Seminole Hard Rock after being involved in an incident at a tournament about a year ago. (The Hard Rock, like most casinos, doesn’t talk about conflicts with customers, so it’s kind of difficult to go deeper into it. But it’s accurate to say Shulman thinks he got a bad deal.)

Shulman finished fifth with teammate and two-time gold bracelet winner John Gale in the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Tag Team event this summer in Las Vegas.

The $580 Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 193 players generating a $96,500 prize pool. The top 21 players were paid.