Cody Pack finished atop the Circuit leaderboard this season. He heads to Cherokee for the Global Casino Championship and a shot at a gold bracelet.
Las Vegas, Nev. (July 29, 2016) – The 2016 Global Casino Championship (GCC) is right around the corner. In less than two weeks, the top players from the 2015/16 WSOP Circuit season will gather in western North Carolina at Harrah’s Cherokee to compete in the $1 million freeroll season ending tournament. The winner will earn a top prize exceeding $250,000 and a WSOP gold bracelet, and one player eyeing that top prize is Cody Pack from Cartersville, Georgia.
Pack was one of the most successful players throughout the 2015/2016 WSOP Circuit. He won three gold rings, reached seven final tables and cashed 13 times this season. He finished the year at the top of the Circuit leaderboard with an astounding 305 points, easily qualifying for this year’s GCC.
One hundred players from all over the world earned free qualification for the tournament. Players qualified for the GCC in one of three ways. They qualified by either winning a tournament series’ Main Event, a series’ Casino Championship title or by earning enough points throughout the entire Circuit season to finish in the top 52 point earners.
Qualifying for the GCC is no easy task with so many players seeking the limited seats in the tournament. Winning a Circuit Main Event is tough because the Main Events produce some of the toughest fields on tour. Some of the top pros in the game will play in the WSOP Circuit Main Events. Main Event winners from this season include: Antonio Esfandiari (Bicycle March), Mukul Pahuja (PBKC), Jason Wheeler (Bally’s LV), Andy Philachack (Choctaw), Daniel Weinman (Cherokee), Maurice Hawkins (Council Bluffs), and Valentin Vornicu (Bicycle Dec.)
Players that win the Casino Championship have proved they can consistently perform well throughout an entire two week series. To win a Casino Championship title, it usually takes at least one victory and multiple final table finishes during the 12-event series. Players scratch and claw for every single point they can get because it usually comes down to the wire with just few points separating first, who earns a GCC seat, and second, who goes home with nothing additional from the cash and rings they had won during the series. Casino Champions from the previous season include: Cory Waaland (Bally’s LV), Joshua Turner (Council Bluffs), Josh Reichard (Horseshoe Hammond), Ari Engel (Harrah’s AC) and Vornicu (Bicycle March).
The third and final way to qualify was by being one of the top 52 point earners of the entire season. These players are the grinders. These are the players that traveled from stop-to-stop looking to pick up points along the way. They never won a Main Event, nor did they ever win a Casino Championship, but they cashed often. They won gold rings in preliminary events, they final tabled Main Events and many of them finished runner-up in the Casino Championship race at one stop or another. They earned their trip to the GCC through consistency and dedication to the game, and the top point earner for 2015/16 season was Cody Pack.
Pack’s memorable season started with him dedicating himself to the game full-time. In September, Pack decided that he would play poker full-time to support himself and his family. No one could have imagined Pack’s amazing run to the top of the leaderboard over the course of the next nine months.
He started out his season by heading to West Palm Beach, Florida for the third series of the season. He final tabled two events, winning a gold ring in one of them. He also just missed making a third final table when he finished 11th in the series’ opening event. He fell short of winning the Casino Championship, finishing in third, but still picked up 87.5 points to give himself a solid start on the season.
The next stop on the schedule was Horseshoe Southern Indiana. Pack was present, and focused on collecting more points. He won the six-handed event at the series to earn his second gold ring of the season, making him the first player of the year to win two gold rings. He cashed in two other events at the series, making the final table in one of them. This time Pack finished fourth in the Casino Championship standings. He had two amazing series, but still was not guaranteed a seat to the GCC. He would have to continue his grind if he wanted that seat.
Pack wouldn’t have to wait long for that guarantee. Before the halfway point of the season, Pack had won his third WSOP gold ring of the year. It came in November at Harrah’s Cherokee and it was a big one. Pack defeated a 2,712 player field in the $500,000 guaranteed no-limit hold’em re-entry event to collect 50 more points and a huge payout of $117,991. It was the largest cash of Pack’s short career. Although Pack was still without an automatic bid from a Main Event win or Casino Championship title, he was a shoe-in to earn an at-large bid as one of the top point earners on the season. He had three gold rings, and five final tables through the first half of the season.
Pack could have coasted to a GCC seat the second half of the season, but he was determined to finish as the top point earner, so he kept grinding away. The second half was not as spectacular for Pack as the first half, but he still had a strong showing. At Chochtaw he recorded a third place finish, he finished runner-up in a Bally’s Las Vegas event, and he scored an eighth place finish in the six-max event at Harrah’s New Orleans.
“I fought all season for that top spot. It was my first year as a full-time poker player and there were two main objectives I found that kept me near the top,” said Pack. “Number one was making final tables for the big points, and number two was consistently cashing. Consistent cashes are key for poker players to stay in business and continue the grind full-time.”
He was unable to become the first player ever to win four gold rings in a season, but he did finish as the Circuit’s top point earner. Although he receives the same prize as 52nd place (a seat to the GCC), he has bragging rights as the Circuit’s top grinder for the 2015/16 season.
Pack followed his incredible Circuit season with an impressive performance at this summer’s WSOP. He made the final table of the $1,500 Monster Stack event, besting over 6,900 competitors. He eventually finished in ninth place, earning another six-figure payday.
Pack is still in his first year as being a full-time poker player. He has never experienced a field as tough as the one he will on August 9 in Cherokee, but he has more than proved he belongs in this event and he will be one of the many great players to keep an eye on in this star studded event.
“As for the upcoming Global Championship, [I’m] so stoked,” said Pack. “If you take a look at all the players that have a seat, they are some tough company...they all are great players and have been the most consistent.”
He is already in the discussion for having one of the best single Circuit seasons of all-time, and now has the chance to cap it off by winning his first career gold bracelet.
Live updates of the Global Casino Championship will be available on WSOP.com for the entire event. Day 1 begins Tuesday, August 9 at noon and the tournament is scheduled to conclude Thursday, August 11.