The 2016/2017 WSOP Circuit season concluded this week at Harrah's New Orleans, replete with all the requisite drama. With the season-long points race and two automatic entries into the Global Casino Championship hanging in the balance, there was plenty to sweat as the week built toward its climax.
Previous ring winners fared particularly well during the 12-day series. Caufman Talley and Brandon Fish both won their fifth-career gold rings, Talley in the big re-entry and Fish in one of the four one-day events on the calendar for this stop. Only 11 players have won more times on the Circuit than they have.
Talley wasn't done making noise, either. A week after his win in Event #4, the local pro found himself at the final table of the $1,675 Main Event on home turf. There were big points implications, too, as he needed to finish eighth or better to climb into qualification for the WSOP Global Casino Championship. He did just that; despite falling short of a second win in NOLA, Talley's third-place run in the Main gave him another 45 points to bring his total to 165 for the season — easily enough to secure his seat in the Championship.
Talley wasn't the only one to cross that important threshold in New Orleans, either. Brett Bader won Event #8 to collect another 50 points, and he needed every single one of them. A second-place finish would have shut him out, but his win allowed him to end the season with 157.5 and punch his Championship ticket. The victory was his second of the Circuit season.
Ben Keeline earned his seat by the skin of his teeth, too. Keeline entered the final day with 125 points, needing to finish in sixth or better in the last ring event of the season to vault into contention. He finished in sixth place. That moved him to 147.5 points on the season, putting him right on the number to qualify in 50th place on the leaderboard. His total earnings give him the tie-breaker over Enrique Melguizo, so it's Keeline who sneaks in as the last at-large entry into the Championship field.
Josh Mammon, Tony Lay, and Bob Beck also posted results during the series that gave them enough points to qualify for the Championship.
Not a factor in the season-long race, Jason Baldridge decided to take the shortcut to Harrah's Cherokee next August. The 34-year-old cash game player snapped off the $1,675 Main Event, breaking through for a $227,614 score and his first ring. Baldridge is good friends with Jose Anaya, who had accumulated 130 points entering the final stop of the season. Anaya was unable to post a result to get over the hump, but he'll likely be on his friend's rail as he was for the duration of Baldridge's run to the Main Event title.
This property also hosted a $2,200 High Roller event, won by the nomadic Michael Lech. See below for the complete list of winners.
North Carolina pro Marshall White ran away with the Casino Champion race at Harrah's New Orleans after thanks to an incredible stretch of results.
White, 32, won his third gold ring during his trip, arriving midweek just in time to take down Event #5. He finished as the runner-up in Event #7 the very next day, then as the runner-up once again in the High Roller two days after that. He tacked on a 30th-place finish in the Main Event, bringing him to a total of $113,303 in earnings and 135 points for the series.
The Casino Champion title is the second of the season for White, who won the honors at Harrah’s Cherokee, as well.
Click here to view the final leaderboard.
Event #1: Curtis Terry wins $365 No-Limit Hold'em (One-Day) Story | Results
Event #2: Brian Grier wins $365 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Story | Results
Event #3: Scott Adams wins $365 No-Limit Hold'em (One-Day) Story | Results
Event #4: Caufman Talley wins $365 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry Story | Results
Event #5: Marshall White wins $580 No-Limit Hold'em Story | Results
Event #6: Steve Dees wins $365 No-Limit Hold'em Story | Results
Event #7: Brandon Fish wins $365 No-Limit Hold'em (One-Day) Story | Results
Event #8: Brett Bader wins $365 Monster Stack Story | Results
Event #9: Michael Lech wins $2,200 High Roller Story | Results
Event #10: Jason Baldridge wins $1,675 Main Event Story | Results
Event #11: Bubba Dukes wins $365 Turbo Story | Results
Event #12: Todd Elliott wins $365 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo Story | Results