Season-Opening Event Wraps at IP Biloxi. 239 New Champions Remain to be Crowned in the 2012-13 WSOP Circuit.

Biloxi, MS (August 10, 2012) — The first of 240 new champions to be crowned during the 2012-13 WSOP Circuit season presented by Southern Comfort 100 Proof took his throne Friday night in Biloxi, MS.

The first of his kind, Blake Barousse, bested the rest in Event #1 at IP Resort Casino and Spa and took home $15,757 for his efforts.

“It’s good to get it at the beginning of the Circuit for the (WSOP National Championship) points,” Barousse said of his breakthrough victory. “That’s what I was trying to do last year even though I didn’t pursue it much. Now that I’m starting off with 50 points, I will definitely grind more.”

The newest WSOP Circuit season began Thursday on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. Between now and August 20th, 12 champions will be crowned and two tickets will be punched to the WSOP National Championship.

The most recent WSOP Circuit season is bigger and better than ever, boasting more prize money, and more stops as well as the first-ever WSOP Circuit event on foreign soil when River Rock Casino in Vancouver, British Columbia hosts a stop toward the end of October.  Each stop will crown 12 new champions and award two pre-paid seats to the season-ending WSOP Circuit National Championship to take place in New Orleans May 21-23, 2013.

This was the first of 12 gold ring events on the WSOP Circuit schedule at IP Biloxi. Officially listed as Event #1, the $365 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 202 entries. The total prize pool came to $60,600. The top 21 players were paid. All players who cashed received WSOP Circuit National Championship ranking points.

With the win, Barousse is on top of the Casino Champion leaderboard at IP Biloxi.

Barousse is a 23-year-old student at McNeese College in Louisiana. He resides in Lafayette, LA and has more than $140,000 in career tournament earnings, but this was his first WSOP Circuit victory.

The tournament was played over two consecutive days, starting on Thursday, August 9. Only 11 survivors took seats on the second day of action, played on Friday. It took about one hour on Day 2 to reach the nine-handed final table. The final playing session began at 4:20 p.m. local time. Play finished at 10:20 p.m. making the total duration of the final table six hours.

Notes On The Event

  • This was the first event of the 2012-13 WSOP Circuit presented by Southern Comfort 100 Proof. WSOP Circuit action will run virtually non-stop from now until the season concludes with the WSOP National Championship taking place May 21-23, 2013 in New Orleans, LA. In all, there will be 20 different Circuit stops throughout the country and in Canada.
  • The final table featured no WSOP Circuit champions. With more than $150,000 in career earnings and three WSOP final tables, including a runner-up finish at the 2010-11 WSOP National Championship, Cory Wood was the most experienced player at the table. He finished third. Barousse was the second most accomplished.
  • Valerie Hutchinson started things out right for the ladies in 2012-13, making a deep run in the opening event. She narrowly missed the final table, finishing 11th.

With his victory, Barousse becomes the early leader in the IP Biloxi Casino Championship standings. The player who accumulates the most overall points in IP Biloxi’s twelve combined gold ring tournaments earns the title “Casino Champion” and receives an automatic entry into the $1 million 2012-2013 WSOP Circuit National Championship, as will the winner of the IP Biloxi Main Event. All players who cash in ring events will receive points that apply to both the Casino Champion race and the season-long race to claim one of the 60 at-large National Championship bids awarded to the top point earners throughout the season. More information on the points system is available on