Venues, Winners and Tournament Structure of the WSOP Circuit Tournament Events
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is known as the biggest event in the world of poker. The winner of the winner of the WSOP Main Event considered to be the World Champion each year.
However, there is more to the WSOP than just the summer series that takes place in Las Vegas every year. Throughout the year, players get the chance to play in the WSOP Circuit - in a series of tournament events that take place throughout the US, Canada and beyond.
When and Where do the World Series of Poker Circuit Events Take Place?
The WSOP Circuit events calendar changes from year to year. You will find that many of the events are now permanent fixtures on a calendar. Here’s a look at the 2021/22 schedule, to see exactly where the series takes place:
- November/December – Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina
- December – The Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles
- December - Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino in Aruba
- January – Choctaw Casino Resort in Dallas/Oklahoma
- January – Deerfoot Inn and Casino in Calgary, Canada
- January – Thunder Valley Casino in California
- January – Horseshoe Casino Tunica in Mississippi
- February – Isle Casino Pompano Park in Florida
- February - Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina
- March - The Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles
- March – Turning Stone Casino Resort in New York
- March/April - Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino in Sint Maarten, Caribbean
- April - Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina
- April/May - Horseshoe Casino Tunica in Mississippi
As you can see, some of the venues on the circuit are visited more than once, such as Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina which plays host to three different events and the Horseshoe Casino Tunica in Mississippi which plays host to two.
How does Each WSOP Circuit Event Work?
In many ways, each stop on the circuit acts like a miniature World Series of Poker in itself.
Just like the main series, within each of the 14 events listed above, there are a series of tournaments. Some of the tournaments will take place over just a single day, with others over 2 days. You also find a main event that can take place over longer. The buy-ins aren’t of the same magnitude as the main series however. For example, in the Florida WSOP Circuit event in 2022, the buy-ins range from just $400 for many of the events, up to $1,700 for an entry into the main event.
In addition to the live events, there are also online events where players can enjoy being part of the WSOP Circuit events.
What Do WSOP Circuit Players Win?
If players win an event at the WSOP main series, they famously win a WSOP bracelet. Winners on the WSOP circuit win a gold ring. In addition, starting at the end of the 2021/22 season, there is an additional incentive. Any winners of a gold ring at any of the events throughout the circuit will also gain entry to the prestigious new ‘Tournament of Champions’ event at the WSOP in Las Vegas. This is a $1,000,000 freeroll event, with only winners able to participate. These winners include both the live and online WSOP Circuit ring winners. One overall lucky winner will be upgrading their ring to a bracelet.
Most Successful Players on the WSOP Circuit
Maurice Hawkins from Plantation in the US is the most successful player in the history of the WSOP Circuit. In total he has won 14 rings, which also puts him top of the all-time money list for the series. In total he has made more than $2 million from the circuit, which makes up 50% of his all-time career earnings.
Second on the all-time money list is Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson who has made more than $1.3 million in earnings. He has three rings that go alongside his six bracelets. Joshua Reichard and Valentin Vornicu both have 12 WSOP circuit rings, enough to fill up every finger with a couple to spare. Kyle Cartwright, Daniel Lowery, and Brad Albrinck are the only players apart from Hawkins and Ferguson to have made more than a million dollars in the series.
WSOP Circuit Leader Boards
Leader Boards are becoming increasingly popular in poker, offering the players the chance to see how they rank against their peers over a series of events. There are leader boards for each individual stop on the WSOP circuit, as well as an overall leader board.
About the WSOP Circuit
Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the World Series of Poker, Ty Stewart, sums up the WSOP Circuit experience perfectly:
“The WSOP-C is one of our most important initiatives, allowing regional players to experience big-time poker and providing grinders a platform to earn a living. We’re pumped up about the new ‘Tournament of Champions’ format where all our winners will come together for one event. Just win and you’re in!”
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