The 2012-13 World Series of Poker Circuit presented by Southern Comfort 100 Proof returns once again to The Bicycle Casino on Thursday, January 3rd.  This marks the second consecutive season the world's most prestigious name in poker has paid a visit to the Los Angeles area.

Indeed, last year's inaugural visit to the Bicycle Casino attracted a big turnout.  Last year's opener drew 748 entrants, which nearly packed the tournament venue to full capacity.  The Main Event also attracted one of the biggest Main Event fields of the season, as 549 entrants competed for coveted title.

The Bicycle Casino is one of the world's most famed poker venues.  It's the world's second-biggest poker room measured by total number of tables.  Dating back nearly 30 years, the poker palace was one of the first mega-casinos ever built.  Located in the Bell Gardens section of Los Angeles, it's been going strong for nearly three decades.  However, bringing the WSOP Circuit to the property certainly gave The Bicycle Casino special bragging rights in Southern California's highly-competitive poker market.

Most serious poker players likely know about The Bicycle Casino and its rich heritage.  For those less familiar with “The Bike,” it's easy to get to right off the 710 (Long Beach Freeway). The casino and surrounding hotels provide visitors easy access to all of the popular attractions located throughout Los Angeles.  It's also less than an hour away from three major airports – including LAX, Burbank, and Long Beach.

Downtown Los Angeles is less than a half-hour away, depending on traffic.  And of course, Southern Califoria always has plenty of other tempting attractions when it comes to great weather, entertainment, and excitement.  Indeed, this is perhaps the best place to hold a poker tournament in the United States during this time of year, when much of the country is freezing.

Of course, those coming to The Bicycle Casino will have plenty of poker options as well.  Not only are live games spread 24-hours-a-day, but multiple tournaments, turbos, and satellites will be offered.  And, there's always the chance to win a gold ring, which makes this truly a special enticement.

This year's tournament schedule begins with a $365 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em gold ring tournament, which starts on Thursday (January 3rd).  Then, there's a similar event held the next day.  But the biggest event of the series is expected to be this weekend's special re-entry tournament, which includes two playing sessions – starting on Saturday and Sunday.

Other notable events several “Quantum Reload” sessions, with a $50,000 guaranteed prize pool.  The buy in is only $150 for these special non-gold ring events taking place on January 7-9 – starting at 3 pm daily.  The schedule includes an Omaha High-Low Split gold ring event on January 10th.  The Ladies Championship takes place on Sunday, January 13th, which is part of the LIPS tour.  The three-day re-entry Main Event Championship, runs January 12-14.  

There are also nightly $235 buy-in “$1,000 Bounty” No-Limit Hold'em tournaments starting at 5 pm.  Then, there's $150 buy-in No-Limit Turbos starting at 8 pm during the first week of the tournament series.  The full Circuit schedule for the Bike is available on WSOP.com.

On Monday, December 14th the championship final table will be streamed with hole cards on  30-minute delay ESPN3 with commentary by WSOP Circuit host Bernard Lee.  This broadcast is becoming increasingly popular since it features comprehensive coverage and analysis from Lee and an array of guest pros offering their insights on the table.

Last year’s Main Event Champion was living poker legend Freddy Deeb, who won his first WSOP Circuit gold ring after earning two gold bracelets.  He collected $171,810 for first place.  Deeb defeated five-time gold ring winner Alexandru Masek in heads-up play.

Once again, the tournament series runs January 3-14 and will crown 12 gold ring champions.  In addition, two players will win seats to the season-ending $1 million WSOP National Championship presented by Southern Comfort 100 Proof.  The grand finale is to take place at Harrah's New Orleans in May 2013.  No doubt, many players will simply be attending this Circuit stop to accumulate ranking points, which will be critical to secure on eof the 40 at-large bids to the bracelet event.

The Bicycle Casino has played host to the WSOP Circuit event since 2011.  The poker palace is one of just five non-Caesars Entertainment venues, which will host a stop this season (Choctaw Durant, Palm Beach Kennel Club, River Rock Vancouver, and Foxwoods are the four others).

More on The Bicycle Casino can be found on their website.