The World Series of Poker Circuit Events reached the halfway mark with the conclusion of the Circuit Events at Choctaw Casino Resort, the tenth of 20 stops scheduled for 2012-2013.

Strong attendance figures marked this season’s midpoint with 37,652 total entries through ten events and a total of $22,338,718 in awarded prize money. Although overall attendance was down 4% compared to the same events held in 2011-2012, that season saw tremendous attendance increase of 25% over the previous year.

Attendance has been stellar in Main Events so far this Circuit Season. Only halfway into this season, three events (Choctaw, Hammond and River Rock) have already eclipsed the 1,000-player mark. Last year, Hammond was the only stop to reach that benchmark.      

In addition to drawing massive fields, the 2012-2013 WSOP Circuit has generated some huge prize pools. In fact, twice as many million-dollar prize pools have been generated just halfway through the season than were amassed all of last year. Here is is a list of the top five prize pools so far this season:

TOURNAMENT

ENTRIES

PRIZEPOOL

$1,675 Horseshoe Hammond Main Event

1523

$2,304,000.00

$1,675 Choctaw Main Event

1140

$1,710,000.00

$1,675 River Rock Main Event

1032

$1,548,000.00

$580 Choctaw NLH Re-Entry Event

2209

$1,104,500.00

$1,675 The Bicycle Club Main Event

721

$1,081,500.00

 

Created in 2005, the World Series of Poker Circuit Events are a series of poker tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $355 to $1,675 and cater to both amateur players and full-time traveling pros. In now its ninth season, the WSOPC has grown to 20 stops from just five in its inaugural season and has expanded its footprint throughout much of North America with new stops at Foxwoods in Connecticut, Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina, the Lodge Casino in Colorado and River Rock Casino in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The first-ever World Series of Poker event on Canadian soil, the Circuit Events at River Rock was a rousing success, drawing one of the largest Main Event fields in WSOPC history. The stop ushered in another first in WSOP history with the first online WSOP Circuit Events which were hosted at Playnow.com.

Also new for the 2012-2013 WSOP Circuit is the Main Event live stream on ESPN3. Viewers can now watch each WSOP Circuit Main Event from their home computer or mobile device. Poker pro and ESPN poker columnist Bernard Lee breaks down the action during each Main Event Final Table along with a host of special guests.  

With ten events now in the books, 20 of the 100 available seats to the 2012-2013 WSOP National Championship have been clinched by each stop’s Main Event and Casino Champion.  The race for one of 60 seats reserved for the season’s overall top performers is also heating up as players travel from stop to stop  to accumulate points to come away with top finishes.  

The WSOP Circuit National Championship is an ESPN nationally-televised, million-dollar freeroll event with seats awarded to the Main Event champion and overall points earner at each of this season’s 20 scheduled WSOP Circuit Event stops. Seats will also be awarded to the players who accumulate the most qualifying points. The top 60 point earners through the end of the season will also gain entry into the WSOP National Championship.

Points are earned based on performance at each stop’s 12 official Ring Events. Learn more about the WSOP Circuit points system and the National Championship here.

While much attention has been on this year’s National Championship point race, many eyes have also been focused on the all-time WSOP Circuit ring leader chase which has been highly active during the 2012-2013 season.

Much of this focus had centered five-time WSOP Circuit champion Mark “Pegasus” Smith and poker pro Kyle Cartwright. Smith, who entered this season with the all-time ring record, was forced to share that distinction after Cartwright won his fifth ring during the IP Biloxi Circuit.

However, Alexandru Masek, a 25-year-old graduate of the University of San Diego Law school, stole the spotlight after winning his fifth and record-breaking sixth ring at Harrah’s Rincon and the Bicycle Club. Masek, known as the “Pujols of Poker” is proving his prowess on the felt with his ability to go deep in each and every tournament he plays.

A host of other top-notch players are on the heels of Masek, Smith and Cartwright and if the first half of this season is any indication, expect to see continued volatility in this year’s ring chase.

Here is a list of players with most WSOP Circuit Rings:

Alexandru Masek - 6
Mark Smith - 5
Kyle Cartwright - 5
Ari Engel - 4
Michael Souza - 4
Kurt Jewell - 4
Men Nguyen - 4
Chris Reslock - 4

The WSOP Circuit Events at Harrah’s Tunica mark the second half of the 2012-2013 season. Harrah’s Tunica is one of the WSOP Circuit’s flagship stops and among the few to have hosted a WSOP Circuit Event since the tour’s inception in 2005. Other stops that have hosted a Circuit Event since day one are Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, Harrah’s/Harvey’s Lake Tahoe, Harrah’s New Orleans and Harrah’s Rincon.

The Circuit Events at Harrah’s Tunica began January 24th and runs through February 4th.

Here’s a look at the remaining stops on this season’s schedule:

VENUE

DATE

Caesars Palace Las Vegas

Feb 7 - Feb 18

Palm Beach Kennel Club

Feb 14-Feb 26

Caesars Atlantic City

Feb 28 - March 11

The Lodge Casino (Colorado)

March 14 - March 25

Foxwoods Resort Casino

March 27 - April 8

Harrah's Cherokee

April 4 - April 15

Horseshoe Council Bluffs

April 11 - April 22

Harrah's Philadelphia

April 25 - May 6

Harrah's New Orleans

May 9 - May 20

 

There have been 37,652 entries through the first ten stops of the 2012-2013 WSOP Circuit Events with total combined prize pools amounting to $22,338,718. Below are stats of the top performers so far:

Most Cashes:
 

Name

Cashes

Total Earnings

 Yossi Azulay

12

$79,218.00

Douglas Carli

10

$14,017.00

Rex Clinkscales

9

$59,432.00

Corey Cutrell

9

$32,653.00

Ting Ho

9

$25,686.00

Jarod Ludemann

8

$49,987.00

Trevor Deeter

8

$37,898.00

Jeffrey Fielder

7

$347,250.00

Jonathan Taylor

7

$115,682.00

Joshua Reichard

7

$56,211.00

David Nicholson

7

$51,765.00

Austin Buchanan

7

$48,969.00

Charles Moore

7

$46,997.00

Joshua Pender

7

$44,657.00

Quan Nguyen

7

$38,423.00

Valentin Vornicu

7

$23,367.00

 
 Most Earnings:
 

Name

Cashes

Total Earnings

Joshua Williams

$385,909.00

1

Jeffrey Fielder

$347,250.00

7

Ryan Riess

$242,458.00

4

Baptiste Chaivillaz

$216,275.00

1

Matthew Kirby

$197,327.00

3

Adam Teasdale

$194,040.00

1

Tripp Kirk

$187,404.00

3

Ross Bybee

$168,433.00

1

Cary Marshall

$146,652.00

4

Dale Roesel

$143,230.00

1

Joshua Williams

$385,909.00

1

 
Most Final Tables:
 

NAME

FINAL TABLES

Rex Clinkscales

6

Jonathan Taylor

5

Daniel Gilmer

4

Jeffrey Fielder

4

Austin Buchanan

4

Charles Moore

4

Yossi Azulay

4

Wendy Freedman

4

Aaron Massey

4

 
Most Cashes by Women:
 

NAME

CASHES

TOTAL EARNINGS

Katherine Bowen

6

$9,519.00

Wendy Freedman

5

$55,755.00

Sandra Wong

4

$22,646.00

Claudia Crawford

3

$40,635.00

Donna Delfin

3

$26,908.00

Nancy Birnbaum

3

$24,116.00

La Sengphet

3

$14,910.00

Donna Murray

3

$9,146.00

 
Women Top Earnings:
 

NAME

TOTAL EARNINGS

CASHES

Wendy Freedman

$55,755.00

5

Patricia Till

$45,810.00

1

Claudia Crawford

$40,635.00

3

Amanda Musumeci

$31,851.00

1

Donna Delfin

$26,908.00

3

Nancy Birnbaum

$24,116.00

3

Lillian Chan

$23,338.00

2

Sandra Wong

$22,646.00

4

Brenda Bassett

$20,332.00

1

Adina Mazzucco

$17,196.00

2