Hammond, IN – Everyone knew this year’s World Series of Poker Circuit stop at Hammond, Indiana would be big.  The question everyone seemed to be asking was, “just how big?”

Well, big – as in H-U-G-E.

The first event on this year’s schedule at Horseshoe Hammond attracted a whopping 1,611 poker players, making it the largest poker tournament ever held in the seven-year history of the WSOP Circuits.  In fact, this was that largest poker event ever held in the Chicago area.  The enormous turnout shattered the previous record set here at Horseshoe Hammond almost a year to the day of this historic occasion.  Last year’s number was 1,412 entrants who participated in Event #1, which took place on October 14, 2009.  Accordingly, this tournament, a $350 buy-in No-Limit Texas Hold'em event, not only eclipsed the previous mark, it obliterated the old record by 200 players.

Perhaps “huge” is not the right word after all.  Make that COLOSSAL.

When this tournament began promptly at noon on Friday, October 15th, every single seat and poker table was filled to capacity.  Attendance was so large that nearly 200 alternates were seated as players were eliminated.  The competition took place inside the expansive tournament arena called “The Venue.”  The gigantic events center is accustomed to hosting the biggest names in music and entertainment.  But today -- and over the next two weeks -- poker tables will replace theater seats and stage lights.  Indeed, the brightest spotlight will be on poker players who will be competing in ten WSOP Circuit gold ring events, plus the first-ever Nationally Televised Regional Championship which takes place October 25-28.

“I’m thrilled that we broke our own record that was set last year at Horseshoe Hammond,” said Jason Newman, Poker Room Manager.  “But I am not at all surprised since the Chicago poker scene is one of the strongest in the country.  We’re absolutely ecstatic with the turnout so far and we expect huge fields in coming events over the next few weeks.”

Last year’s number broke the previous record set which had been set three years ago at Caesars Atlantic City.  The winner and defending champion was Joshua Shmerl, from Wauconda, IL.  He turned a $345 investment into $70,107.

This year’s champion will receive an even bigger cash payout -- amounting to $77,438 for first place.  The top 171 players collect prize money from a total pool which totals $462,368.  The winner will also take an early lead in the points race to qualify for the $1,000,000 WSOP Circuit National Championship, to be held May 27-29, in Las Vegas.

To view the complete schedule of events taking place at Horseshoe Hammond from October 15-28, please click HERE.

This is the third consecutive year that Horseshoe Hammond has hosted a WSOP Circuit stop.  Horseshoe Hammond is conveniently located just a short distance from the Illinois-Indiana border and is about a 20-minute commute from Downtown Chicago. 

This is the third WSOP Circuit stop of the 2010-2011 season.  To see the complete schedule including all upcoming WSOP Circuit dates, please click HERE.

Horseshoe Hammond
777 Casino Center Drive
Hammond, IN  46312
Telephone:  (219) 473-6065 
Toll-Free: 1 (866) 711-SHOE