TUNICA, MS. – Hundreds of players flocked to Harrah’s Tunica over the past weekend to play in this year’s WSOP Circuit Events from all over country. Players from Chicago; Little Rock, AR; Palm Beach, FL and even some from as far away as San Diego have convened in the events center here at Harrah’s to try their hand at taking down a WSOP Circuit Event. 

However it was an area local, Brad Clay, an engineer from nearby Southaven, MS, who represented for the mid-south, taking down the $345 buy-in, no limit hold’em ring event #2 late Monday night.

Clay outlasted 447 opponents to take down first place prize, worth $28,090 and the coveted gold WSOP Circuit Event ring.

The two-day tournament generated a total prize pool of $130,368 and paid out 46 spots. Day one play ended just after the money bubble burst late Sunday with the remaining players returning Monday to play it out for the win. By 7:30 pm, it was down to a final table of nine players, each with their eye on WSOP Circuit gold. 




Chip Count

Nicholas Willie

Mayfield, KY



Brad Clay

Southaven, MS



Charles Belcher

Rowlett, TX



Justin Kruger

Denison, TX



Trent Bennett

Fulton, MS



Luther Lewis

Goodlettsville, TN



Leonard Rodgers

Paragould, AR



David Jacobs

West Palm Beach, FL



Roger Foley

Thayer, MO




Ninth Place                 

Blinds and antes were at the 10,000/20,000/5,000 level when final table play began at about 7:30 pm local time. Early in play, Luther Lewis, Roger Foley and Leonard Rodgers each managed to double up at the expense of Trent Bennett.

Soon afterward, Justin Kruger made his own all-in bid preflop with   . It was bad timing however, as Rodgers made the call with pocket aces which held through a jack-high board, making Kruger the first casualty of the night. Kruger, who made a final table in a $555 buy-in ring event at the WSOP Circuit Events in Choctaw, took home $2,656 for ninth.

 Eighth Place

Lewis, a country musician who took down event #10 at last year’s Circuit Event here at Tunica, got his remaining 70,000 chips in the middle preflop with   . Brad Clay, who had limped in earlier, made the call for 50,000 more before tabling   .

Lewis stayed ahead after a     flop, but was left needing a ten or one of his pocket cards on the river after the   hit the turn. The river brought the   which was no help to Lewis, ending his bid for ring #2. Eighth place paid $3,325

Seventh Place

Down to less than half his starting final table stack, Bennett found new life after doubling through Rodgers. Rodgers recouped some his losses from Nicholas Willie, who down to about 90,000 moved his stack into the pot with   . Rodgers called, tabling a dominating   .

Two kings and an ace on the board were more than enough for Rodgers to take the pot and eliminate Willie. Willie, a 27-year-old insurance salesman from Mayfield, KY headed to the payout table to make good on a claim of $4,221 for seventh place.

Sixth Place

Blinds and antes were now at 15,000/30,000/4,000. Rodgers, who saw more than his share of final table action, made a succession of all-in moves. The first resulting in him raking in 69,000 in blinds and antes, the second resulting in him doubling up Charles Belcher and the third and final ending with Rodgers’ elimination after his A-5 failed to improve on Foley’s A-10.

Rodgers is from Paragould, AR where he works in construction. The 55-year-old pocketed $5,435 for his effort.

Fifth Place

David Jacobs, a poker dealer from West Palm Beach, FL was able to make a much needed double up through Bennett, but returned the chips a few hands later to said player before finding himself all in again for his tournament life.


Jacobs re-raised Brad Clay all-in for 272,000 total with   . Clay made the call with pocket deuces and the flop came down    . The board double paired on the turn, putting Jacobs in the lead, but the   on the river, filled Clay’s boat and sent Jacobs to the rail. Fifth place paid $7,101.


Fourth Place

Blinds and antes were at the 20,000/40,000/5,000 level when Belcher saw his exit from the final table stage. All-in preflop with   , Belcher’s hand was dominated by the    of Bennett who made the call. The board was dealt out jack-high, ending Belcher’s run.


Belcher is 61 years old from Rowlett, TX. He has worked in the rock and roll music business for 28 years touring the nation. He collected $9,417 for fourth.


Third Place

A few hands later, Foley opened fro 120,000 and got a call from Clay. The flop came down    . Clay fired out 200,000, Foley raised all-in and Clay made the call. Foley turned over K-10 for top pair, but Clay was far ahead after tabling 6-7 for a straight. Foley was unable to improve over his opponent and was eliminated. Foley is from Thayer, MO where he works in the insurance industry. Third place was worth $12,683.


Second Place

Play got down to heads up around 12:15 am with Clay holding a 2-1 lead over Bennett. The two players went to battle with the chip lead changing hands multiple times over the course of the nearly two-hour matchup.


The final hand of the night saw Bennett all-in with    vs. Clay’s   . The board played out       giving Clay the win, worth $28,090 and the coveted gold WSOP Circuit ring.


It was a disappointing finish for Bennett, who experienced a roller coaster of a final table. The 24-year-old sales manager from Fulton, MS can find comfort however in that he made a strong showing in this event, worth $17,357 in runner-up prize money.


Clay who final tabled a circuit event here at Tunica during the 2007 Circuit Events said after the tournament that his experience at the final table that year was an asset to helping him secure his win.  

Still to come are 46 events and 8 ring events. See the complete Harrah’s Tunica Circuit schedule and previous results here.  The WSOP Circuit at Tunica runs through February 15th. You can find the complete 2010/2011 WSOP CIRCUIT SCHEDULE here.