Elizabeth, IN--With three tables left, Vito Casullo Jr. is the leader with 139,900 chips after the first day's play in the $5,000 WSOP Circuit championship event at Caesars Indiana. Casullo, of Covington, Kentucky, has one prior cash, placing 22nd in an earlier $300 event here.

The 144 entrants were scheduled to play to 2 a.m. or 27 players, whichever came first.  Play went fast, and we were down to 27 not long after midnight. The finalists will return on Day 2 until a final table of 9 is left for the final day. It shouldn't take long. .

Bryan Sapp, who placed third in the championship event here last year, was in second place with 105,900. Also in good shape, in third place with 97,400 chips, was Tom Schneider, winner of this year's first annual WSOP Player of the Year award. He also had the most spectacular hand of the day when he made quad kings to beat a set of aces.

Hanging in with 25,000 chips was Denny Crum, the former University of Louisville men's basketball coach, and host of the annual Denny Crum Poker Open here, where a portion of all buy-ins is donated to the Denny Crum Scholarship Foundation

Tunica Circuit champion Mark "Pegasus" Smith was down to only 27,400 chips, but he wasn't discouraged. He pointed out when he won the championship last year, he was down to 10,000 with a million chips on the table at one point, started his comeback with quad 9s, and went on to victory.

This being Halloween, Amanda Baker, winner of the $1,000 no-limit event, showed up in a witch's hat, but couldn't do any black magic and was eliminated. Also busting out was Chad "Lilholdem" Batista. After a couple of earlier disputes, he had withdrawn from this event, but later changed his mind and re-registered well after the tournament had started.  Overall, the Circuit event here has been a big success, with a number of records being set,

   •A total of 6,941 players registered for tournaments, including WSOP events, daily cash tournaments and mega satellites.

   •Total prize pool for all events was $2,854,050, including $720,000 for the main event.

   •Some 983 single-table satellites ran during this two-week period.

   •All-time records were set in event #2, which drew 459 players, the most ever for a $500 event at Caesars Indiana; and in event #10, which drew 290 players, a record field for any $1,000 tournament here.

   •Some 1,390 players turned out for a $40,000 freeroll tournament on October 17, the largest field for any single tournament at Caesars Indiana. --Max Shapiro


Here are the chip counts:


Table #701

SEAT 1Vito Casullo Jr.            Covington, KY             139,000  

SEAT 2 Denny Crum               Louisville, KY              25,000

SEAT 3 John Hegele                Beckley, WV               23,900

SEAT 4 Terry Ogle                  Gatlingburg, TN            34,700            

SEAT 5 Kou Vang                   Woodbury, MN           60,200

SEAT 6 Jim Bugg                     Paducah, KY               49,800

SEAT 7 Steve Miller                Bedford, IN                 28,800

SEAT 8 Marc Fratter               McKinney, TX             64,900

SEAT 9 Matt Sterling               Indiana                         77,100


Table #702

SEAT 1 Carlos Uz                   Miami Lakes, FL          55,900

SEAT 2 Randall Swope            Zanesville, OH              32,100

SEAT 3 Jim Karambinis           Park Ridge, IL              13,100

SEAT 4 James Lindsay             Hayesville, NC             32,100

SEAT 5 Bryan Sapp                 Louisville, KY              105,900

SEAT 6 Frank Schinco             Saginaw, MI                 46,000

SEAT 7 Thomas Hover            Las Vegas, NV             48,700

SEAT 8 Tom Schneider           Scottsdale, AZ              97,400

SEAT 9 Antonio Spansera         Logan, WV                   24,800


Table #703

SEAT 1 Michael Dolan             Nashville, TN               87,500

SEAT 2 Mark "Pegasus" Smith  Georgetown, KY        27,400

SEAT 3 Chris Viox                   Glen Carba, IL             56,700

SEAT 4 Terry Quinn                Powell, OH                  85,100

SEAT 5 Russell James              Punta Gorda, FL          68,800

SEAT 6 Chris Moore               Chicago, IL                  38,300

SEAT 7 Wilbur Futhey             Crossville, TN              70,900

SEAT 8 Kevin Stammen           Coldwater, OH            26,300

SEAT 9 Robert Starkey           Anderson, IL                20,700



For more information, please contact: 

Max Shapiro -- WSOP Media Director at (323) 356-3303

Or visit our official website:  www.worldseriesofpoker.com


World Series of Poker Commissioner – Jeffrey Pollack

World Series of Poker Tournament Director -- Jack Effel

Caesars Indiana Poker Room Manager – Jimmy Allen

Caesars Indiana Tournament Directors -- Andy Cunningham and Chris Reason