2009-2010 marks the sixth season of World Series of Poker Circuit Events. Over the years, the Circuits have brought the high-level of tournament play and prestige of the WSOP to nearly every region of the continental United States. WSOP.com takes a look back at some of the interesting highlights of the WSOP Circuits over the past few years:
The first-ever Circuit Event took place at Harrah's Atlantic City in January 2005 and attracted 875 entrants over the course of eight days and seven events.
Nghi Van Tran was the first to earn the title of World Series of Poker Circuit Event Champion, besting a star-studded table featuring the likes of Chad Brown, Erick Lindgren, Mimi Tran and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson. Tran went on to defeat Erick Lindgren heads-up to obtain the title of Harrah's Atlantic City Circuit Event champion along with a $780,615 first prize.
At the time, the buy-in for the WSOP Circuit Event Championship was $10,000. With the start of the 2006/2007 season, the buy-ins were reduced to $5,000 to allow for broader participation in the event.
Before the World Series of Poker was moved from Binion's Horseshoe to the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, the Rio hosted one of the first circuit events back in 2005. Doug Lee took down the championship event, defeating pro Jennifer Harman-Traniello heads up for the title. The circuit has not since returned to the Rio after it began hosting the annual WSOP event, solidifying Leeís legacy as the indefinite reining Rio WSOP Circuit champion
In 2005, the Paris Hotel and Casino was host to a World Series of Poker Circuit event. The 14-tournament event was wildly popular and ended with Kido Pham defeating J.C. Tran heads-up for the Circuit Event Championship. The highly-decorated final table featured a slew of talent: Joe Hachem, Scotty Nguyen, Lee Watkinson, and Minh Ly were all in contention for the title. The circuit has since not returned to the Paris, and like Doug Lee, Kido Pham is the indefinite reining Paris/Bally's Circuit Event Champion.
Three months after the success of its first WSOP Circuit Event in May of 2005, Harrah's New Orleans suffered the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. Thousands of New Orleans residents were profoundly impacted by the disaster, hundreds of whom were regular guests and employees of Harrah's New Orleans. Nonetheless, the property held fast, reflecting the strong will and determination of New Orleans' residents as it hosted its second Circuit Event the following year. Though down in numbers, the event was a marginal success with notable pros such as Gavin Smith and Phil Ivey in attendance.
Unlike the annual World Series of Poker, which presents its winners with a bracelet, the WSOP Circuit events award a gold ring to its Main Event champion.
To date, many accomplished poker pros frequent the World Series of Poker Circuit events. 5-time bracelet winner Chris "Jesus" Ferguson holds three Circuit Event Championship rings and has cashed six times earning a record $1.3 million at the circuits.
What are you waiting for? Check out the WSOP Circuit schedule here and take your seat at the table.