Hammond, IN (Thursday, October 28, 2010) – The winner of the first-ever World Series of Poker Circuit Regional Championship is Jim Anderson, from Wooster, Ohio.
 
Anderson collected $525,449 in prize money, plus the coveted gold ring, presented to all WSOP Circuit champions.  This marked Anderson's first major poker tournament victory.  He is a former bartender who has been playing seriously for only about a year.  This is his first season to play poker on the WSOP Circuit.  He cashed 242nd in this year's WSOP Main Event, held in Las Vegas.

Anderson pulled off a masterful performance over four full days, including a well-focused and determined effort on the final day.  His final table experience went from cautious optimism at the start to a surprising upset in the end, against some very formidable competition.  He began as one of the lowest stacks at the final table and made his move late en route to a stunning victory.

This was the first WSOP Circuit Regional Championship ever held.  The $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Texas Hold’em tournament attracted 226 players, a figure which surpassed the expectations of many.  The big turnout was encouraging on several levels.  This was the biggest buy-in poker tournament on the WSOP Circuit since 2007.  It was also the richest poker tournament ever held in the Chicago area.     

The 226-player field created a total prize pool amounting to $2,101,800.  That is the biggest prize pool in more than three years.  The payout nearly quadrupled the size of the average WSOP Circuit Main Event last year, which averaged just under $600,000.

Tournament play began on Monday.  Nearly half the field was eliminated on that day.  Day Two played to the money, which was reached at 24 players.  Day Three played to the final nine.  The winner was determined at midnight on Day Four.

Many of game’s top players played in this first-time event.  Among the well-known names which entered the Nationally Televised Regional Championship were – Barry Greenstein, Gavin Smith, David Baker, Chris Bell, Chad Brown, Nick Binger, Matt Brady, Doug “Rico” Carli, Eric Froehlich, Matt Glantz, Blair Hinkle, Frank Kassela, Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler, Kathy Liebert, Jeff Madsen, Jason Mercier, Brock Parker, Sorel Mizzi, Tony Rivera, Vanessa Selbst, Dan Shak, Shannon Shorr, Justin Smith, Matt Stout, Bernard Lee, and Steve Zolotow.  However, most of those names are now long gone.

The nine survivors were each guaranteed a seat in the $1 million freeroll National Championship tournament next May in Las Vegas – to be held just prior to the start of the 2011 WSOP.  Only 100 players overall will qualify to participate in what will be a Gold Bracelet event, making it one of the most attractive overlays ever in poker.
 
This concludes the third consecutive successful year of the WSOP Circuit in Chicago.  The overall attendance numbers at the Horseshoe Casino were impressive.  The first tournament (Event #1) set an all-time record for the biggest turnout in the entire history of WSOP Circuits, with a whopping 1,611 entrants.  Next, the Main Event Championship not only shattered the old record set three years ago, it more than doubled the previous high mark at 872 players.
 
There’s no doubt that the 2010-2011 WSOP Circuit season is going to be a smashing success.  In fact, it already is.  All three Circuit stops held so far have enjoyed a dramatic rise in attendance, not just for preliminary tournaments, but for Main Events, as well.  Overall prize pools are also up at all three WSOP Circuit stops, thus far.

The next WSOP Circuit stop will take place at the IP Resort and Spa, in Biloxi, MS.  The ten-event schedule will take place October 28 through November 10.

The next Nationally Televised Regional Championship is set to take place at Harrah’s Atlantic City.  The tournament runs December 4-22.  The $10,000 buy-in Regional Championship runs December 19-22.