CHESTER, PA – Poker pro and coach Ari Engel knows how to pick his spots. However, to say that he picked his spot at the World Series of Poker Circuit Events at Harrah’s Philadelphia is an understatement.

You see, with just 32.5 points, well below the cutoff for earning a seat into the $1 million WSOP National Championship, Engel made sure to play in an event that he knew he would have a good chance in at earrning points toward a qualifying seat.

Unfortunately for the 94 other players who registered, that tournament was the $345 buy-in Mixed Pot-Limit Hold’em/Omaha event.

And just like that, Ari did what he set out to do.

“We’ve been grinding all week and (explicative) Ari comes here, plays in one event and takes it down, unreal,” an anonymous player was heard grumbling after Engel’s win.

For some players, it’s like that.

With the win, Ari picked up 50 points putting him at a total of 82.5. While Ari's seat to the National Championship is now in sight, three others who joined him at the final table  stormed their way to the top of the WSOP National Championship points leader board.  

Dejuante Alexander, a 27-year-old semi professional poker player from Houston, TX, finished third in this event. Alexander, who had 105 points going into this event is now well into the “safe zone” with a total of 142.5.

While a low projection at the start of the Harrah’s Philadelphia WSOP Circuit Series was set at 102.5, that number is now completely null and void. With six more events here and another 12 at Harrah’s New Orleans, the magic number can well go into the one hundred and teens or higher.

Event #6 generated a total prize pool of $27,645. In addition to the points, Engel was awarded $8,292 and his third-career WSOP Circuit Gold ring.

Omaha specialist Brent Carter joined Engel and Alexander at the final table and further solidified his spot in the points leader board with a fifth place finish, worth $1,964 and 25 points, which puts his total at 157.5. Pro Everett Carlton also came into this event with 132.5. He finished in 10th place, putting him at 142.5 total points.

Engel joins four previous Ring Event winners in second place for the Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino Championship. Ryan Gentry, winner of Event #4, sits at the top of the points leader board at 60 after cashing in another event.

The Casino Champion is the player who earns the most points through the 12 events at Harrah’s Philadelphia. This player will earn an automatic seat to the $1 million WSOP Circuit National Championship to be held in late May. More information about the WSOPC National Championship can be found here. An explanation of the points system can be found here.

Still to come are 6 events. See the complete Harrah’s Philadelphia Circuit schedule and event results here. The WSOP Circuit Events at Harrah’s Philadelphia runs through May 7th. You can find the complete 2011/2012 WSOP CIRCUIT SCHEDULE here.

*100 top WSOP and WSOP Europe qualifiers have been invited to buy into the WSOP National championship, resulting in a potential prize pool of upwards of $2,000,000. More info at:


Harrah’s Philadelphia is a casino and racetrack located in Philadelphia, PA -- about 15 minutes south of Philadelphia International Airport. It is the 16th (of 17) WSOP Circuit host properties. Harrah’s New Orleans is the last remaining stop of the 2011-2012 WSOPC season.

This marks the second season that the WSOP Circuit has visited Harrah’s Philadelphia.

Harrah’s Philadelphia first opened in 2007, offering slot games and horse racing. Table games were introduced to the casino in 2010 after they were legalized by the state of Pennsylvania.

Harrah’s Philadelphia originally opened as Harrah’s Chester, but is currently in the process of rebranding itself as Harrah’s Philadelphia, which is expected to be complete on May 1st.

Harrah’s Philadelphia’s “12 Rings in 12 Days” series is taking place April 25-May 7.  Tournaments are held in the ballroom located on the second floor of the casino. Cash games can be found in the poker room next to the race book also located on the second floor.

Each Ring Event Final Table will be streamed live from the final table stage area in the ballroom. The live stream can be accessed at: Because final table start times are tentative, viewers should follow the WSOP on Twitter @wsop to be notified when live streams begin. 

Media Contact:

Alan Fowler

WSOP/Caesars Interactive Entertainment