When the World Series of Poker announced its new format earlier this year for its circuit events, some poker pundits (if there is such a thing) questioned the move, especially the creation of $10,000 buy-in regional championship tournaments. After all, if you’re not attracting players, upping the money is a risky move.
Well, the circuit events have been underway for several weeks and so far, the revamp seems to be working. And that bodes well for two Harrah’s properties in A.C. — Harrah’s Resort and Caesars — which will host WSOP Circuit events in December and March respectively.
Harrah’s Resort in particular, which will host one of those 10K events, has to be happy that a similar 10K event in Hammond Indiana (which is real close to Chicago) has attracted a decent, if unspectacular field of 226 players. You have to figure A.C. can top that.
This year’s circuit events are already seeing some records broken. The current stop at the Horseshoe Casino set a record for a circuit event by attracting 1,611 entrants for its opening event, a $350 buy-in that also served as a satellite for the $1,600 main event.
(The “main” events at circuit stops are separate from regional championships).
The WSOP Circuit ring
Chicago’s main event drew a record 872 players and was won by Kurt Jewell, a Kentucky-based pro. He takes home $242,909.
The final table for the 10K regional championship, which has a prize pool of $2,101,800 – the largest WSOP Circuit purse in more than three years — gets underway today. The winner will take home $525,449, plus the WSOP Circuit gold ring.
Some notables who have played at the regional championship, which will be televised nationally, include: Barry Greenstein, Gavin Smith, David Baker, Chris Bell, Chad Brown, Nick Binger, Matt Brady, Doug “Rico” Carli, Eric Froehlich, Matt Glantz, Blair Hinkle, Frank Kassela, Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler, Kathy Liebert, Jeff Madsen, Jason Mercier, Brock Parker, Sorel Mizzi, Tony Rivera, Vanessa Selbst, Dan Shak, Shannon Shorr, Justin Smith, Matt Stout, Bernard Lee, and Steve Zolotow.
December’s circuit event in A.C. should continue to keep the circuit on a roll.