West Palm Beach, FL (Feb. 28) – The World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event championship continued today at the Palm Beach Kennel Club, in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The $1,600 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Championship attracted a huge field totaling 712 players.  About half of the field was eliminated on Day One.  That left 663 players remaining, who all returned and started play on Day Two.

Nearly 15 hours later, the field is now down to just 24 players. 

The new chip leader is Jesse Okonczak, from Destin, FL.  He holds an impressive chip lead with 1,717,000 currently in his stack.  His closest threat is Ryan Lenaghan, from Mobile, AL with 1,438,000.  Only four players are above the 1,000,000 mark, which means the leaders have managed to separate themselves from the pack as the tournament rounds the proverbial final turn and heads into the homestretch.

Yesterday’s chip leader was Ryan Sponaugle, from Palm Harbor, FL.  He final tabled a previous event here at Palm Beach.  Sponaugle did not fare well on this day and did not survive.

At stake is $1,035,960, which will be divided up amongst the top 72 finishers.  About two-thirds of the pay spots have already been filled.  The list of in-the-money finishers so far can be seen here.

This final event (except for Event #10 which also concludes tomorrow) caps a nearly two-week poker festival during which old poker records have been shattered and several new records have been set in the state of Florida.  The turnout for the Main Event was so large that two starting sessions were required – a rarity for big buy-in tournaments.

The third and final day begins on Tuesday at 12 noon EST.  Play is expected to continue until very late when a new WSOP Circuit champion will be crowned.  Competition will take place on the main stage near the racetrack grandstand, appropriately called “The Finish Line.”

The champion receives a top prize totaling $210,180.  He or she will also be awarded a WSOP Circuit gold ring, the coveted prize awarded to all winners in poker’s biggest and most prestigious national tournament series.

This is the final gold ring event at this year’s inaugural WSOP Circuit Palm Beach series.  In fact, this is the first time any Circuit series has ever taken place in Florida.  Based on the big turnout not only for this tournament but all events so far, one can expect more big-time tournaments coming to Florida in the future.

Also at stake is the “Best All-Around” point leader for this year’s Palm Beach series.  The poker player who accumulates the most overall points for all ten gold ring events receives a pre-paid entry into the $1 million 2010-2011 WSOP Circuit National Championship, to be held in May at Caesars Palace Las Vegas.

For live updates of the Main Event championship, please visit