TUNICA, MS – Since hosting its first WSOP Circuit back in 2005, much history has been made over the years at Harrah’s Tunica. Bracelet legends such as Daniel Negreanu and Juan Carlos Mortensen have staked claim to WSOP Circuit glory at Harrah’s. 2006 WSOP Main Event runner-up Paul Wasicka found redemption here after winning the Circuit Main Event in 2010 while up-and-comers such as former WSOP National Champion Sam Barnhart, and multi-ring champions Kyle Cartwright and Kurt Jewell have each cemented their legacies at the Circuit Events held at Harrah’s Tunica. 

History continued to be made as the 2012-2013 WSOP Circuit Events kicked off Thursday at Harrah’s for an eighth straight year with Event #1, $365 No-Limit Hold’em. 

435 players took their seats inside the Event Center, the 13,000 sq. ft. concert and entertainment venue that will house the 12 days of WSOP Circuit action scheduled at Harrah’s Tunica. 

Adding to the $32 million in WSOPC prize money awarded to date at Harrah’s, the opening event generated a prize pool of $130,500 of which 45 players would claim a portion. 

The winner of Event 1, John Holley, a 51-year-old fisherman and semi-professional poker player from Destin, FL came away with the lion’s share of the prize pool, worth $28,707 and the first gold ring of the series. The win marked Holley’s second WSOP Circuit gold ring. 

It was a well-earned victory for Holley, who endured over eight hours at the final table before overcoming his final opponent just after 3:00 am local time.           

Holley started final table play with the chip lead, which he held for much of the night.

 

Name

Hometown

Seat

Chip Count

Douglas MacKinnon

East Amherst, NY

1

340,000

Richard McCrary

Huntsville, AL

2

735,000

Mark Maletic

Jackson, MI

3

920,000

Kory Kilpatrick

Athens, GA

4

450,000

Ray Green

Pleasantville, TN

5

160,000

Carl Brewington

Philadelphia, PA

6

260,000

John Prather

Nashville, TN

7

200,000

John Holley

Destin, FL

8

950,000

John Malone

Memphis, TN

9

300,000

 

In addition to the five-figure score and the ring, Holley also earned 50 points toward the Harrah’s Tunica Casino Championship, giving him an early lead in the race to the WSOP National Championship.

The Casino Champion is the player who earns the most points through the 12 events at Harrah’s Tunica. This player will earn an automatic seat to the WSOP Circuit National Championship to be held May 21 – May 23 at Harrah’s New Orleans. More information about the WSOPC National Championship can be found here. An explanation of the points system can be found here. 

11 events are still to come. See the complete Harrah’s Tunica Circuit schedule and event results here. The WSOP Circuit Events at Harrah’s Tunica runs through February 4th. You can find the complete 2012-2013 WSOP Circuit schedule here. 

Final table results

1

John Holley

DESTIN, FL, US

$28,707

2

Mark Maletic

CANTON, MI, US

$17,741

3

Richard McCrary

HUNTSVILLE, AL, US

$12,964

4

Ray Green

PLEASANT VIEW, TN, US

$9,626

5

John Malone

MEMPHIS, TN, US

$7,258

6

Carl Brewington

NASHVILLE, TN, US

$5,555

7

Douglas Mackinnon

EAST AMHERST, NY, US

$4,314

8

Kory Kilpatrick

ATHENS, GA, US

$3,398

9

John Prather

NASHVILLE, TN, US

$2,714

 

Tournament Notes

·         This was the opening event of the Harrah's Tunica Series.

·         Day one began with 435 players and played 21 levels. 20 players remained by the end of play at 2 am.

·         Five-time WSOP Circuit champion, Kyle Cartwright was eliminated in the final hand of play on day 1.

·         The final table began at around 6:00 pm local time and ended at xxxx for a total of 7 hours of play.

ABOUT HARRAH’S TUNICA

Harrah’s Tunica is located 20 minutes south of Memphis, Tennessee and was originally opened in 1996 as Grand Casino. On May, 23, 2008 Paula Deen cut the official grand opening ribbon at Harrah’s Tunica featuring the first of its kind Paula Deen Buffet and an interactive gaming floor that is the largest in the region. Spanning over 2,000 acres Harrah’s Tunica features the Links at Cottonwoods championship golf course designed by Hale Irwin, Willows Sporting Clays and Hunting Center, the Mid-South Convention Center offering over 65,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, three elegant hotels totaling 1356 hotel rooms, the 200-space Mid-South RV Resort, Bellissimo Spa and Salon, and a 2,400 seat event center that features headline entertainment.

 

ABOUT THE WSOP

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world awarding millions of dollars in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet, globally recognized as the sport's top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker's longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970. In 2012, the event attracted 74,766 entrants from 101 different countries to the Rio in Las Vegas and awarded over $222 million in prize money. In addition, the WSOP has formed groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent in 2007 of the World Series of Poker Europe. The WSOP Circuit Tour is entering its ninth season in 2012-13. For more information on the World Series of Poker, please visit www.WSOP.com.

 

ABOUT SOUTHERN COMFORT

Southern Comfort®, a fruit, spice, and whiskey flavored liqueur, was created in New Orleans by bartender M.W. Heron in 1874. Today, it is enjoyed by friends in over 100 countries around the world and continues to grow as an icon brand. Please visit us at SouthernComfort.com and facebook.com/southerncomfort.

 

Media Contact:

Alan Fowler

WSOP/Caesars Interactive Entertainment

afowler@caesars.com