Photo Credit: Image Masters Poker
Caption: With second and third-place finishes, Cory Wood leads the Casino Championship at IP Biloxi through the series' first six events. Wood is a 27-year-old poker pro from Murfreesboro, TN. His WSOP Circuit resume includes three runner-up finishes, but he is still chasing the elusive first victory.
Biloxi, MS (August 15, 2012) — The 2012-13 WSOP Circuit presented by Southern Comfort 100 Proof began at IP Casino Resort and Spa in Biloxi, MS last Thursday. Six new champions have been crowned in the time since and six more are to be awarded gold rings over the next six days.
Additionally, two seats will be awarded to the WSOP Circuit National Championship scheduled to take place in New Orleans May 21-23, 2013. Those two seats will go to the IP Biloxi Main Event champion as well as the Casino Champion (the player who earns the most points over the course of the 12 ring events schedule to take place at this stop).
Through six events, Cory Wood leads the Casino Championship with second and third place finishes totalling 67.5 points. He is trailed closely by Christopher Conrad (60). Event #6 champion John Dolan and Event #1 champion Blake Barousse are tied for third (52.5). This contest has seen numerous lead changes so far this series, so while Wood may lead at the moment, there is plenty of room for one of the other contenders to pass him in the standings by the time the series wraps on Monday evening.
The Main Event begins August 18 and will conclude August 20.
The first few days of WSOP Circuit action in Biloxi, MS saw three champions take their thrones. Opening weekend at IP Biloxi concluded with a thrilling end to Event #4. The $365 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry event drew 461 entrants, making it the second largest poker tournament ever held at IP Biloxi. The largest came at last year's WSOP Circuit when 477 players ponied up the $345 buy-in in a similar re-entry event. Then-pharmaceutical student Thomas Wilkie won last year's re-entry event. This year, the title went to Caufman Tally, who beat the mammoth-sized field and took home his second WSOP Circuit gold ring along with the biggest payday of the Circuit stop so far, worth almost $30,000.
Also concluding early Monday morning was Event #5, a $365 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo event. It took Ashly Butler just 12 hours to best the 171-person field and cash in on $13,850 and his first WSOP Circuit gold ring. Conrad also made a run in Event #5, taking third place. That showing matches his third place finish in Event #2 and briefly gave him the lead in the Casino Champions race. Through six events, Conrad, Wood and James Johnson are the only players to record multiple final table appearances at IP Biloxi.
The most recent championship performance came Tuesday evening and saw a familiar face in the winner's circle -- John Dolan.
The 2010 November Nine participant won Event #6 after two days of play. He made short work of 146 players in the $365 No-Limit Hold'em tournament. The $12,265 payday was nowhere near Dolan's largest, but the Gulf Coast pro realizes the value of getting a win.
“It always feels good to final table something and especially win something, even if it is small,” Dolan said. “I’ve always been pretty competitive and I like $12,000 just as much as anyone else.”
WSOP Circuit events run at IP Biloxi through August 20, but if you're looking for other ways to occupy your time or if poker just isn't your thing, the IP is a 1,088-room property with more than 70,000 square feet of gaming space and eight different restaurants to wet your palette. Additionally, the IP and Shell Landing Golf Club have joined forces to offer hotel guests the opportunity to play one of the country's "most geographically perfect" golf courses.
The IP also boasts Senses Spa & Salon, a full-service spa and salon open from 8:00 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday through Saturday.
The Gulf Coast's 62 miles of shoreline is comprised of some of the country's best beaches and the freshest seafood in the world is served nightly at a variety of local Biloxi restaurants.