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Size of WSOP Circuit Fields Depends on Location

Places Like Council Bluffs Always Attract Fewer Players


The fifth installment of the 2007 World Series of Poker Circuit series starts tomorrow at Caesars Palace Indiana, and if the results of the events that have taken place so far this year give any indication, the total number of players is going to be under 200 and many of them will have rooting interest in the Indiana Pacers.

Jeffrey Pollack, commissioner of the WSOP, sees the $5,000 Circuit events as "grass roots" events that spread the popularity of poker, not to mention help further brand the WSOP name. Events have taken place at casinos in Council Bluffs Iowa; Atlantic City; Robinsonville, Mississippi; and Valley Center, California, and the number of players at these events directly correlates with what city the casino sits in.

Besides Atlantic City and Las Vegas, the only time large poker tournaments are held in these cities is when the WSOP rolls into town. Local players have come out in droves to try to win some of the millions and millions of dollars that are won in poker tournaments yearly, even though the fields have remained smallish compared to other events.

But whenever the WSOP Circuit event takes place in the same town as a larger World Poker Tour event, such as the case earlier this year when the WSOP Circuit at Grand Tunica Casino took place right after the WPT's World Poker Open, participation increases. This event attracted more players to any WSOP event in 2007 so far. The Grand Tunica event attracted 377 people, whose $5,000 entry fee built a prize pool worth more than $1.8 million.

Some of the more popular and successful players who competed there include Gioi Luong, Lance Allred, Vanessa Rousso, Michael Mizrachi, and Matt Dean, who all finished in the top 20. They also competed in the WPT event.

Compare that to the WSOP Circuit event held at Horseshoe Council Bluffs (Council Bluffs, Iowa) only a few weeks later. It attracted a field of 142, generated a prize pool of $688,700, and was won by local Kosta Sengos of Sioux City, Iowa ($219,576).

The WSOP Circuit event at Harrah's Rincon had similar numbers (181 players, $877,000 in prize money), but because it took place in California, it attracted a few more sharks that the average poker player would recognize, players like Gavin Griffin, Gavin Smith, Danny Wong, and Joe Sebok). Peter Feldman, who has more than $900,000 in lifetime tournament poker winnings, added $280,895 to his bankroll for winning it.

The event at Caesars Atlantic City predictably attracted nearly the same field as the Tunica event, 314 players. First place, won by Danny Yousefzadeh, was $488,000, cut from a prize pool of $1.5 million.

Players should keep this in mind when picking events to play in. It's a double-edged sword that tournament players need to handle: The more players there are, the larger the prize pool. The fewer players there are, the easier to go deep (but the payout field is always smaller). These WSOP Circuit events give players the choice. It all depends on how far players want to travel off the beaten path.

After the Indiana event, two more WSOP Circuit events will be held: Caesars Palace Las Vegas (April 23 to May 2) and Harrah's New Orleans (May 11-23).


14 years ago

While I enjoy the circuit events, the WPT events give you more chips and more time to play. Something the WSOP should consider. Scott "kickyourace" Neuman


14 years ago

by ratchetb irecently played at caesars ind the strangest thing was happening we were playing around 300 or mre players the field was reduced to the final table with 12 hours or less they were giving little starting chips and were skipping 2 levels in the first 5 levels it caused chaos i play almost all circuit events this left a bad taste in my mouth i always enjoy the circuit this need wsop att it should not be allowed i found out the main event was ran the same i refused to play which i normally always do


14 years ago

I have been fixing my house up for sale in Cincinnati, Ohio lately. Cincinnati is only a 1 1/2 hours drive to Harrah's Caesars Indiana. I was going to go down a play a few WSOP Circuit events.

I was called by a friend on the first day of the Circuit Event and was informed by him that Harrah's Caesars Indiana was giving fewer starting chips than that which had been given to players at Harrah's East Coast Circuit events. In addition to receiving fewer starting chips the blind structure was reported to me as being ... 25/25 then 25/50 then 50/100 then 100/200 with a 25 ante (A LEVEL WAS MISSING NAMELY 100/200 no ante level) then the blinds jumped to 200/400 with an ante (MISSING the 150/300 level WOW) ...

I was told that a field of approximately 700 players was down to the final table by midnight... THAT IS WAY TOO FAST ... I therefore decided to just skip going to Harrah's Caesars Indiana ...

The players deserve a good structure ... a consistent structure .... and if they do not get a good and consistent structure I would rather be doing something else.

Wake UP Harrahs --- we do notice.

Mark "Big Daddy from Cincinnati" Hanna