Valley Center, CA – At the start of any poker tournament, the dream of most players is to make to the final table.

Nine dreams remain alive in the World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event Championship, taking place at the Harrah’s Rincon Resort-Casino, near San Diego.  The $1,600 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament began on Thursday with 188 players.  Following two days of play and nearly 19 hours of intense competition, only nine players remain.

Final Table action will begin Saturday, at 12 noon PST.  Here are the nine finalists:

Seat 1:  Patrick Karschamroon
Hometown:  Los Angeles, CA
Chip Count:  358,000

Patrick Karschamroon is a 29-year-old professional poker player from Los Angeles, CA.  Prior to turning pro, he worked in retail sales.  Karschmaroon has previous tournament wins at the Bicycle Club and Commerce Casino (California State Poker Championship).  With this cash, Karschamroon will surpass $250,000 in career tournament earnings.  He also cashed twice at last year’s WSOP in Las Vegas.

Seat 2:  Michael Simon
Hometown:  Champlin, MN
Chip Count:  337,000

Michael Simon is a 54-year-old baker from Champlin, MN.  He is married with two children.  Simon is perhaps best known for winning the World Poker Tour Main Event Championship in Reno in 2006.  He has more than $1 million in career tournament winnings.  This marks his first time to make it to a final table in a WSOP-related event.

Seat 3:  Seneca Easley
Hometown:  Fort Worth, TX
Chip Count:  732,000

Seneca Easley is a 33-year-old former fry cook at Burger King who is now trying to make it big in poker.  His favorite poker player is the new phenomenon, two-time gold ring winner Mstr Lynch.  Easley’s previous accomplishments include a cash earlier in this year’s Harrah’s Rincon series, as well as several cashes in various tournaments included the Deep Stack Extravaganza and the Heartland Poker Tour.

Seat 4:  Lori Nunes
Hometown:  Crowley, TX
Chip Count:  185,000

Lori Nunes is a 25-year-old medical professional from Crowley, TX who is now playing poker.  She is the mother of four boys.  Nunes has five previous tournament final table appearances.  But this marks her best showing to date in a WSOP-related event.  Her favorite poker player is Scotty Nguyen.

Seat 5:  Alexandru Masek
Hometown:  San Diego, CA
Chip Count:  172,000

Alexandru Masek is a 26-year-old law school student.  He is attending the University of San Diego.  Masek owns three WSOP Circuit gold rings – including a win at Harrah’s Rincon last week.  Incredibly, Masek’s tournament victories all came on spring break.  He actually plays relatively few tournaments, but has already enjoyed great success.  If Masek wins this tournament, he would be tied for the most WSOP Circuit gold ring career victories in history, with four.

Seat 6:  Paul A. Hails
Hometown:  Gig Harbor, WA
Chip Count:  110,000

Paul A. Hails is a 55-year-old compliance analyst from Gig Harbor, WA.  He is married and has four children.  In fact, Hails’ goal in poker is to appear on television so his children and grandchildren can see him play.  Hails is a veteran who proudly served in the U.S. Navy.  This marks his first time to appear at a WSOP-related final table.

Seat 7:  Hayden Fortini
Hometown:  Vero Beach, FL
Chip Count:  794,000

Hayden Fortini is a 21-year-old student and poker instructor from Florida.  Fortini provides instruction at a poker site called Deep Stacks University.  His goal is to receive a major sponsorship deal with one of the poker sites so he can tour and play.  Fortini has two tournament wins in Florida, where the legal age to play poker in most casinos is 18.  Now that he’s 21, we expect to see Fortini making more final tables around the country.  He starts play at the final table within a few thousand chips of the chip leader.

Seat 8:  Shaun Walker
Hometown:  Huntington Beach, CA
Chip Count:  186,000

Shaun Walker is a 29-year-old poker player from Huntington Beach, CA.  He has a number of cashes in various tournaments in Southern California and Las Vegas.  This is his first time to cash in a WSOP-related tournament.

Seat 9:  Narinder Khasria
Hometown:  Milton, ON (Canada)
Chip Count:  796,000

Narinder Khasria is a 39-year-old poker player from Milton, Ontario (Canada).  He is married.  Khasria’s career tournament earnings currently total more than $330,000.  Among his cashes are four in-the-money finishes at the 2010 WSOP in Las Vegas.  He has three second-place finishes in major tournaments, but has yet to achieve a victory.  That may change in this tournament however, as Khasria arrives at the final table as the chip leader.
 
Live updates and full tournament coverage starts HERE at Noon PST (Saturday) at WSOP.COM.