By Scott Carlson, Rakeback.com Staff Writer
The first WSOP Circuit Stop of the 2010-11 season recently concluded at the Horseshoe Council Bluffs in Council Bluffs, Iowa. 2008 WSOP bracelet winner Blair Hinkle from Columbia, Missouri captured the $1500 main event. Hinkle took home $88,553, a circuit ring, a $10,000 entry into the 2011 WSOP main event and an entry into the season ending Circuit National Championship in Las Vegas. The main event drew 255 players creating a prize pool of $361,440. The circuit event in total drew 4,056 entrants, an increase of 12% over last years numbers. Also earning a berth into the Circuit National Championship was "Casino Champion" Robert Georato of Naples, FL.
The new WSOP Circuit expansion, which was first announced in July, includes 12 circuit stops throughout the United States and an "unofficial" stop in South Africa. A points system was introduced creating a Casino Champion at each stop. Points are earned based on a player's performance in the 10 circuit ring preliminary events along with the main event. A total of 100 players will qualify for the Circuit National Championship. The Circuit Championship is a $1 million freeroll to be held at Caesars Las Vegas immediately preceding the start of the WSOP in May 2011. The ways to qualify for the Championship are as follows:
1. Win the $1500 Main Event at any WSOP Circuit Stop.
2. Be the Casino Champion accumulating the most points at any individual WSOP Circuit Stop.
3. Make the final table at any of the four $10,000 buy-in Regional Championships.
4. Accumulate enough points between all WSOP Circuit stops to be in top 36 in the standings.
Included in the 12 stops are four "Regional Championship" events which will conclude with a $10,000 main event that will be aired on ESPN. Expect all of the big name pros such as Mike Matusow, Barry Greenstein and Phil Hellmuth to populate these events.
Harrahs announced September 2nd that they have added a 13th WSOP Circuit Stop at Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, OK. The casino is located a short one hour drive from Dallas, TX. The stop will take place January 6-25, 2011 which will include 10 WSOP ring events and a total of 54 events. This marks the first time a Circuit Stop will take place outside of a Harrahs-affiliated property. This stop is expected to draw huge numbers.
Harrahs also announced that a 14th Circuit Stop will be added soon. The only break in the Circuit schedule is February 16th - March 1st so expect the new stop to fall in that time frame. Have an idea where the new Circuit event will be? Let us know in our forums.
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