Ten Down, Two to Go – Final Gold Bracelet Events End Monday

Record-Breaking 2011-2012 WSOP Circuit Season Coming to a Close


New Orleans, LA (May 20, 2012) – The latest World Series of Poker Circuit tournament just ended with another gold ring winner.  Not just any winner -- but a long-overdue champion who finally earned a well-deserved victory after many years of cashes and near misses playing in Circuit events.

The latest champion is Michael Schneider, a.k.a. “Car Wash.”  The 45-year-old businessman from Covington, SC was branded with his unusual poker nickname because he once owned and operated a string of car washes in South Carolina.  Schneider and his business-partner/father – a.k.a. “Papa Wash” (Richard Schneider) – sold off their establishments a few years ago.  Since then, Schneider has spent much of his time traveling around the country, playing in various poker tournaments, including the WSOP Circuit.  

With this victory, Schneider’s poker resume includes 24 WSOP Circuit cashes and nine in-the-money finishes at the WSOP in Las Vegas.  He’s also made seven final table appearances.  Schneider has earned well over six figures in WSOP-related events alone.  But Schneider also admits there was one glaring omission from his record, which was erased – make that fulfilled – tonight.  He finally took first place.

“I was getting so tired of finishing second, or third,” Schneider confided afterward.  “I really wanted to win this time, and it finally happened.  I’m thrilled to get this ring.”

Schneider collected $22,555 in prize money.  In addition to his first gold ring – which is the supreme token of achievement for winning a WSOP Circuit event – Schneider also easily qualified for a seat in the National Championship, to be played in six weeks.  Prior to victory, Schneider had already acquired enough ranking points to likely be seated in the championship.  Now, he is certain to be one of the limited number of qualifiers who will be competing in a televised gold bracelet event in Las Vegas.

Schneider was generous with his gratitude following the victory.  He wanted to thank his father for being such an inspiration as well as his wife – “the best wife ever” he says – and three beautiful children.

The runner up was Troy Davis, from Hammond, LA.  He owns a mobile home dealership.  This marked his first WSOP Circuit in-the-money finish.  In fact, places second through fifth each made the debut cash showing on the WSOP Circuit in this tournament – with Carlos Mendoza, Heather Treadway Murry, and Randall E. Reese taking 3rd, 4th, and 5th, respectively.

Another notable final table finisher was Felicia Johnico, who won a gold ring in the HORSE event at Horseshoe Bossier City, which was the season’s first WSOP Circuit stop, held last September.

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The tenth of a dozen gold ring tournaments began on Saturday with Event #10 – a $355 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em competition.  The tournament attracted 337 entries.  The total prize pool came to $98,067.  The top 36 players were paid.  All players who cashed received WSOP Circuit National Championship ranking points.

A full list of all players who cashed in Event #10 can be seen here.

Nearly all of the Harrah’s New Orleans series has now been completed.  Here are the winners from 9 of 12 events:

Event 1 – Andy Hwang (Houston, TX) defeated 945 players in $355 buy-in NLHE
Event 2 – John Fagg (Terre Haute, IN) defeated 320 players in $565 buy-in NLHE
Event 3 – John Harris (Dallas, TX) defeated 167 players in $355 buy-in PLO
Event 4 – Loni Harwood (Staten Island, NY) defeated 345 players in $355 NLHE
Event 5 – Jonathan Tamayo (Humble, TX) defeated 440 players in $355 NLHE
Event 6 – Alex Foxen (CSH, NY) defeated 335 players in $355 buy-in Six-Handed NLHE
Event 7 – Jimmy Calcagno (San Antonio, TX) defeated 395 players in $355 buy-in NLHE
Event 8 – Jacob Naquin (New Orleans, LA) defeated 232 players in $1085 buy-in NLHE
Event 9 – To Be Determined
Event 10 – Michael Schneider (Covington, SC) defeated 337 players in $355 in NLHE
Event 11 – To Be Determined
Event 12 – To Be Determined


With his victory, Schneider adds his name to the leaderboard in this WSOP Circuit’s “Best All-Around Player” standings.  However, given that he’s got ample points to qualify for an at-large bid, Schneider is merely competing for bragging in the “Best All-Around” contest.  The (one) player who accumulates the most overall points in Harrah’s New Orleans’ twelve combined gold ring tournaments receives a pre-paid entry into the 2011-2012 WSOP Circuit National Championship.  

At least two players from this tournament series will qualify for the WSOP Circuit National Championship, which is classified as a WSOP gold bracelet event.  The other automatic qualifier will be the winner of Main Event championship, which concludes on Monday.

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MORE ABOUT THE WSOP CIRCUIT AT HARRAH’S NEW ORLEANS AND THE WSOP CIRCUIT NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

The 17th and final World Series of Poker Circuit stop of the 2011-2012 season is taking place at Harrah's New Orleans, conveniently located right next to the famous French Quarter.  This year’s tournament series runs May 10-21.

New Orleans has become a favorite destination for poker players and regulars on the WSOP Circuit.  For each of the past eight seasons, Harrah’s New Orleans has been the last waltz of a long poker symphony.  This year, New Orleans wraps up seventeen WSOP Circuit event stops, which have attracted tens of thousands of poker players from all over the United States, and beyond.  

The current season began last September at Horseshoe Bossier City (Shreveport), and now comes full circle back to the state of Louisiana for what promises to be a thrilling conclusion to what has been a record-breaking poker tour.
 
There's a lot at stake for poker players who will make their way to the Crescent City over the next two weeks.  Not only are nearly a dozen gold rings up for grabs, as well as lots of prize money.  What seems to be driving attendance is the wildly-popular WSOP Circuit National Championship rankings.  New Orleans is the last chance players will have to earn points to qualify for this year’s National Championship.
 
Since the season began, all tournament players have been in the running for 100 guaranteed pre-paid seats in the $1 million WSOP Circuit National Championship finale.  In a sense, every National Championship seat is valued at $10,000 -- since that’s the proportion of the million dollar-plus prize pool each player represents.  Another 100 players are eligible to buy into the tournament (top ranked players from each of the past two WSOPs in Las Vegas), which means the event will cap out with well over a million dollars at stake.

This marks the second straight season that the WSOP Circuit has utilized a national ranking system based on accumulated points.  All players earned their points by finishing in-the-money in one or more of the 204 total gold ring tournaments which are being offered this season.

What awaits the fortunate 100 players who will advance to the National Championship?  First, there is the chance to win a lot of money.  Second, is the opportunity to appear on national television, since the tournament held at the Rio Las Vegas will be broadcast nationally on ESPN – one of only three events this year to be covered in full by the network.  Third, all players will be competing for the most coveted prize in the game of poker – the WSOP gold bracelet.  This is the second time that a gold bracelet has been tied to the WSOP Circuit.  Last year, Sam Barnhart, from Little Rock, AR won the inaugural WSOP National Championship title.
So, the final opportunity for most players to be crowned the 2012 “WSOP Circuit National Champion” will take place at Harrah’s New Orleans.  Over 12 consecutive days – through May 21st – tournament players will be jockeying for position in what will be the final chance to earn ranking points.  

At the conclusion of the Harrah’s New Orleans tour stop – on May 21st -- the final official list of 100 players who qualify will be announced.