Last Call for Tournament Entries in New Orleans – One Big Weekend Still to Go!

New Orleans, LA (May 17, 2012) – The 2011-2012 World Series of Poker Circuit season is nearing the end.  The national tour which began last September and included 17 stops, now approaches the final weekend.  With two more gold ring events completed today, there are only four more tournaments remaining on the schedule.

Event #7 – a $355 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em competition – was held over two days, ending on a Thursday night.  The tournament attracted another sizable field size -- 395 entries.  The turnout at Harrah’s New Orleans has been big and enthusiastic, as many players have flown into the Crescent City from all over the country in a last-gasp effort to gain enough points to qualify for the WSOP Circuit National Championship, coming in July.  

The total prize pool for Event #7 came to $114,945.  The top 45 players were paid.  All players who cashed received WSOP Circuit National Championship ranking points.  A full list of all players who cashed can be seen at WSOP.COM.

The winner was Jimmy Calcagno, a 23-year-old part-time poker player from San Antonio, TX.  On the same night when his beloved NBA Spurs took an early lead in the West Conference Semi-Finals, Calcagno won his first WSOP gold ring.  It was also the first time Calcagno had cashed in a WSOP-related event.  First place paid $25,287.

Calcagno was proudly decked out in a Tim Duncan jersey.  While his team, the Spurs were dominating the hardwood, Calcagno pretty much dominated the green felt.  He arrived at the final table with an average stack size, and then played his best poker for the final five hours en route to an exciting victory.

The runner up was Joshua Schon, from Colleyville, TX.  He is a 26-year-old student.  Schon collected $15,626 as his consolation prize.

Third place went to George Bursavich, a 23-year-old self-described “grinder” from Baton Rouge, LA.

Thomas “Tomcat” Manning, from Waco, TX finished in fourth place.  He is a former WSOP Circuit gold ring winner (Harrah’s Rincon, 2012).

Fifth place went to 21-year-old Raymond Luong, from Tucker, GA.  This was his first time to cash in a WSOP-related event.

La Sengphet, from Dallas, took sixth place – a disappointment given her status as chip leader when the final table began.  She hoped to finish just a bit higher, since she’s so close to qualifying for a National Championship seat.  But Sengphet will have to make at least one more final table here in New Orleans in order to have a chance to outdo her third-place showing in last year’s National Championship finale.  As it stands now, Sengphet remains the all-time female wins leader in WSOP Circuit history – with three gold rings.

Josh Pender, from Rock Hill, SC finished in seventh place.  This marked his 12th time to cash on the WSOP Circuit.  

Eighth place went to Raphael E. Latson, from Pearland, TX.  He is an AT&T technician who was playing in his first-ever WSOP Circuit event.

The final table included three women.  Two were among the first to bust out from the top ten.  Sue Kim, from Ocean Springs, MS took ninth place.  Tenth place went to longtime tournament veteran Patty Till, from Brownsburg, IN.  She has made numerous cashes and final tables in WSOP Circuit events.  Till also finished third in the 2007 Ladies World Championship, at the WSOP.

With his victory, Calcagno moves into serious contention as one of the leaders in this WSOP Circuit’s “Best All-Around Player” standings.  The (one) player who accumulates the most overall points in Harrah’s New Orleans’ twelve combined gold ring tournaments receives a pre-paid entry into the 2011-2012 WSOP Circuit National Championship.  

At least two players from this tournament series will qualify for the WSOP Circuit National Championship, which is classified as a WSOP gold bracelet event.  The other automatic qualifier will be the winner of Main Event championship (to be held May 19-22).

Here are the winners from the first seven events:

Event 1 – Andy Hwang (Houston, TX) defeated 945 players in $355 buy-in NLHE
Event 2 – John Fagg (Terre Haute, IN) defeated 320 players in $565 buy-in NLHE
Event 3 – John Harris (Dallas, TX) defeated 167 players in $355 buy-in PLO
Event 4 – Loni Harwood (Staten Island, NY) defeated 345 players in $355 NLHE
Event 5 – Jonathan Tamayo (Humble, TX) defeated 440 players in $355 NLHE
Event 6 – Alex Foxen (CSH, NY) defeated 335 players in $355 buy-in Six-Handed NLHE
Event 7 – Jimmy Calcagno (San Antonio, TX) defeated 395 players in $355 buy-in NLHE



The 17th and final World Series of Poker Circuit stop of the 2011-2012 season is taking place at Harrah's New Orleans, conveniently located right next to the famous French Quarter.  This year’s tournament series runs May 10-21.

New Orleans has become a favorite destination for poker players and regulars on the WSOP Circuit.  For each of the past eight seasons, Harrah’s New Orleans has been the last waltz of a long poker symphony.  This year, New Orleans wraps up seventeen WSOP Circuit event stops, which have attracted tens of thousands of poker players from all over the United States, and beyond.  

The current season began last September at Horseshoe Bossier City (Shreveport), and now comes full circle back to the state of Louisiana for what promises to be a thrilling conclusion to what has been a record-breaking poker tour.
There's a lot at stake for poker players who will make their way to the Crescent City over the next two weeks.  Not only are nearly a dozen gold rings up for grabs, as well as lots of prize money.  What seems to be driving attendance is the wildly-popular WSOP Circuit National Championship rankings.  New Orleans is the last chance players will have to earn points to qualify for this year’s National Championship.
Since the season began, all tournament players have been in the running for 100 guaranteed pre-paid seats in the $1 million WSOP Circuit National Championship finale.  In a sense, every National Championship seat is valued at $10,000 -- since that’s the proportion of the million dollar-plus prize pool each player represents.  Another 100 players are eligible to buy into the tournament (top ranked players from each of the past two WSOPs in Las Vegas), which means the event will cap out with well over a million dollars at stake.

This marks the second straight season that the WSOP Circuit has utilized a national ranking system based on accumulated points.  All players earned their points by finishing in-the-money in one or more of the 204 total gold ring tournaments which are being offered this season.

What awaits the fortunate 100 players who will advance to the National Championship?  First, there is the chance to win a lot of money.  Second, is the opportunity to appear on national television, since the tournament held at the Rio Las Vegas will be broadcast nationally on ESPN – one of only three events this year to be covered in full by the network.  Third, all players will be competing for the most coveted prize in the game of poker – the WSOP gold bracelet.  This is the second time that a gold bracelet has been tied to the WSOP Circuit.  Last year, Sam Barnhart, from Little Rock, AR won the inaugural WSOP National Championship title.
So, the final opportunity for most players to be crowned the 2012 “WSOP Circuit National Champion” will take place at Harrah’s New Orleans.  Over 12 consecutive days – through May 21st – tournament players will be jockeying for position in what will be the final chance to earn ranking points.  

At the conclusion of the Harrah’s New Orleans tour stop – on May 21st -- the final official list of 100 players who qualify will be announced.