WSOP Circuit $1M Guaranteed Main Event continues with Day 1b on Saturday at 11AM at Harrah's Cherokee

Cherokee, NC (December 5, 2021) - Day 1b of the World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event at Harrah's Cherokee exceeded expectations as 812 entries took their shot at what has become a record-breaking prize pool of $2,083,125, the largest ever in the history of the Cherokee Circuit stop.

Ending the day as chip leader was WSOP Circuit champion Jesse Jones of Missouri. The 'Show Me State' native bagged a whopping 756,500 chips, which is by far and away the largest stack across both starting flights.

Second in chips is Jong Kim of Atlanta, Georgia who ended with 646,500. Right behind him in third place is the well-known Eric Fields. Fields has won three WSOP circuit rings in his career and wasted no time putting himself in a position for a potential run at a fourth as he bagged 610,500. 

A grand total of 131 players survived Day 1b and among those advancing to Day 2 were; Sanjay Gehi (497,000), Stanislav Angelov (475,000), Brad Albrinck (220,500), Ronnie Bardah (138,500) and Warren Sheaves (58,500).

The 131 survivors from Day 1b will join the 91 from Day 1a to create a remaining total of 222 who will all take to the felt on Day 2 today at 12:00 p.m. local time. 

Coming into Day 2, Jones, Kim and Fields make up the top three from Day 1b, followed by Forrest Clardy (592,000) and Day 1a chip leader and WSOP bracelet and Circuit champion Ryan Eriquezze (504,500) to round out the top five.

A total of 207 players will make the money fairly quickly on Sunday, with a min-cash worth $2,546. First place will pay $329,828, which is the biggest prize given out here at Harrah's Cherokee. The top four spots will pay out six figures, with 10th place at the final table paying out $28,577.

Day 2 will play 10 levels, with Day 3 coming back on Monday, December 6 at 12:00 p.m. to play down to a winner. 

Stay locked in to for Live Updates on the way to crowning a champion.

Prize Pool

Day 2 Seating Assignments by Chip Count

Day 2 Seating Assignments by Last Name

Day 2 Seating Assignments by Seat


Event #12: $400 No-Limit Hold'em just wrapped up and it was attorney Alan Felts who won $29,278 and his first ever WSOP Circuit ring. Not only was this his biggest cash, but it was also the first ever WSOP event he has entered. Felts also earned himself a seat into the Tournament Of Champions in 2022.

Official Report | Results

Event #13: $400 No-Limit Hold'em with $50,000 guaranteed begins at 2:00 p.m. and is a two-day event with unlimited re-entries. Players begin with 15,000 chips and will play 30-minute levels until the end of Level 24 and 45-minute levels thereafter. Day 1 ends after Level 20, and Day 2 picks back up on Monday, December 6 at 1:00 p.m. to play until a winner is crowned. Late registration closes at 6:30 p.m. before the start of Level 9. This is an official WSOP Circuit ring event.

Event #13 Structure

The second $300 Senior's Event is on Sunday at 9:00 a.m. with unlimited re-entries, and is an unofficial ring event. Players begin with 12,000 in chips playing 30-minute levels. Late registration closes before the start of Level 9 at 1:30 p.m.

Senior's Event Structure

A new addition to the WSOP Circuit is the 'Tournament of Champions'. Each gold ring winner across the entire Circuit will qualify for the annual $1 million freeroll, giving all winners a shot at glory at the end of the season. There are currently 13 stops that have been announced, with more to come in the near future.

There will also be two Seniors Events on November 28th and December 5th at 9:00 a.m. These are both one-day tournaments and are also unofficial WSOP events. In addition to these, there will also be nightlies, satellites into various events and a final deepstack event on December 6th at 11:00 a.m.

The full schedule along with structure sheets can be found here.

Sunday's Schedule of Events

9:00 AM - Senior's Event #2: $300 No-Limit Hold'em - $50,000 GTD (Unofficial, Single-Day Ring Event)

  • 12,000 starting stack
  • 30-minute levels
  • Unlimited re-entries
  • Late registration closes before the start of Level 9 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Play concludes once a winner is crowned
  • Structure

12:00 PM - DAY 2 MAIN EVENT #10: $1,700 No-Limit Hold'em - $1M GTD (Three-Day Event)

  • 222 players come back for Day 2
  • 207 players will make the money for a min-cash of $2,356
  • 60-minute levels 
  • Day 2 begins at Noon and will play for 10 levels
  • Day 3 is on Monday, December 5 at 12:00 p.m. and will play down to a winner
  • Prize Pool
  • Seating Assignments
  • Live Updates
  • Structure

2:00 PM - Event #13: $400 No-Limit Hold'em - $50,000 GTD (Two-Day Event)

  • 15,000 starting stack
  • Levels 1-24: 30 minute levels
  • Levels 25+: 45 minute levels
  • Unlimited re-entries
  • Late registration closes before the start of Level 9 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Day 1 concludes after Level 20
  • Day 2 is on Monday, December 6 at 1:00 p.m.
  • Structure

Completed Events

Event #1: $400 NLH Double Stack - Brandon Sowers topped a field of 254 entries to win $18,798
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event #2: $400 NLH Multi-Flight - Matt Higgins topped a field of 2,437 entries to win $111,858
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event #3: $400 NLH $100K - William Davidson topped a field of 577 entries to win $35,362
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event #4: $600 NLH $100K - Jason DeSha topped a field of 411 entries to win $43,057
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event #5: $400 NLH Six-Max - Russell Sullivan topped a field of 692 entries to win $43,132
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event #6: $600 Pot Limit Omaha - Pablo Crump topped a field of 217 entries to win $26,249
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event #7: $400 NLH Monster Stack - Norman McKeldin topped a field of 2,356 entries to win $109,140
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event #8: $400 No-Limit Hold'em - Shane Bissinger topped a field of 286 entries to win $20,593
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event #9: $1,100 No-Limit Hold'em - Blake Whittington topped a field of 423 entries to win $85,574
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event #11: $400 No-Limit Hold'em - John Petty topped a field of 381 entries to win $26,030
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

Event #12: $400 No-Limit Hold'em - Alan Felts topped a field of 447 entries to win $29,278
Official Report | Winner's Photo | Results

About the Winners

Event #1: Brandon Sowers - Sowers has been playing poker since he was 16, more than half of his life, and specifically enjoys tournament poker because of the mental grind. He also does this for his two daughters. “Playing poker for about half my living definitely makes me able to hang out with them and enjoy my little sales career as well.”

While this isn’t Sowers’ biggest score, he views this as his biggest achievement in poker. “This is definitely my most exciting accomplishment in terms of outlasting the field,” smiled Sowers. “I’m ready for a six-figure score.”

Event #2: Matt Higgins -  Higgins made it to heads up play against his best friend and six-time WSOP Circuit champion Blake Whittington. “Me and Blake have talked about playing heads up for a long time. It was nice to get to finally do that against one of my best friends,” he explained. The trio of Higgins, Whittington and four-time ring winner Eric Salazar have been playing together for five years and became best friends along the way. “I used to play cash, and then I started playing tournaments and he (Whittington) started coaching me.”

“I prayed about this all night long,” said an emotional Higgins. “It’s just been a bad six months. It’s a blessing. It’s just a blessing."

Event #3: William Davidson - “It feels great. I play quite a bit here, probably about twice a week playing just tournaments,” smiled Davidson. “This is the most I’ve ever won at once that’s for sure.” The newly crowned champion has been playing off and on since he was in high school. “Growing up I used to work at Kroger, and I would pay people to work for me so I could play poker,” laughed Davidson.

The 33-year-old has no other plans except to keep playing poker and winning more rings.

Event #4: Jason DeSha - “It’s pretty exciting. It’s been a long time coming,” smiled Jason DeSha, winner of Event #6: $600 No-Limit Hold’em. This is the Tennesee-native’s biggest score by far, tripling his lifetime earnings after winning $43,057 in this event. DeSha has been playing poker since before the Moneymaker boom and has transitioned from home games to playing in casinos. The part-time poker player plans to keep grinding. “I’m not a professional poker player like these guys. Maybe retire and grind, but I’ve still got 10 more years before that,” laughed DeSha. 

Event #5: Russell Sullivan - “It feels amazing. Feels great. Just keep playing and keep winning. Play good, run good – win!” exclaimed Sullivan, when discussing future plans for poker. The business owner and active poker player had a big rail behind him. It’s clear that Sullivan’s drive to do well has a lot to do with friendly competition amongst his peers. “Just to outdo Matt Higgins. I just wanna outdo Matt. That’s my dream,” laughed Sullivan. Higgins also recently won his third ring here at Harrah’s Cherokee.

Event #6: Pablo Crump“Awesome feeling. I just got into tournaments in the last year, so I’m thrilled to get my first,” said Crump. “In the past year I started traveling a bit more and taking it (poker) more seriously,” explained the youth soccer coach from Georgia. “I’ll just keep chasing rings. I like to travel to different stops and just enjoy the game.”

Event #7: Norman McKeldin - After a hard-fought battle, Normal McKeldin is victorious in the $400 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack for $109,140 and his first ever World Series of Poker Circuit ring. “It feels great,” said the humble winner. “I’ve always wanted to win one, and I had fun. It’s a good feeling.”

McKeldin was backed up by a massive rail, clearly a favorite among the regulars at Harrah’s Cherokee. Looking ahead, McKeldin is only really thinking about one thing. “I wanna win another one. How about that?” he laughed.

Event #8: Shane Bissinger - After a whirlwind final table, Shane Bissinger was in shock as he won his first World Series of Poker Circuit ring in Event #8: $400 No-Limit Hold’em. “It feels absolutely great. Absolutely!” This is his biggest score and first ever WSOP cash. Bissinger played the WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas last month, and that inspired him to take poker more seriously. “I learned how to play poker when my Dad had a car lot when I was five. They played five-card draw and from that point I loved it,” explained Bissinger. “My next goal is to win the Main Event tomorrow.” 

Event #9: Blake Whittington - “It feels f*cking awesome. I had a really tumultuous last few months. I went and visited family for a couple of weeks before coming here and it really help me reset. I came here with a clear mind. I’m really grateful for all of the success I’ve had here. I’ve run so super hot it’s ridiculous. That’s what you gotta do to win these. I feel really blessed,” said the humble winner.

Whittington credits his family for his competitiveness and drive to compete. “When I was little we were always playing games. Card games, board games. My family really was instrumental in my interest in competitive games. They’ve stood by me when they shouldn’t have.” In addition to his family, Whittington says he was also inspired by the Moneymaker era when he was 13 years old. “Moneymaker! I was like damn, that was sick. I wanna do that. All the chips and the money - that was baller.”

Event #11: John Petty - John Petty has taken down one of the last few events at Harrah’s Cherokee, winning Event #11: $400 No-Limit Hold’em for $26,030, a gold World Series of Poker Circuit ring and a seat into the Tournament of Champions in 2022. This is also Petty’s biggest career score.

“It feels great. I play whenever I get a chance. I work all over the United States so whenever I’m close I play as often as I can,” explained Petty. Going forward, Petty plans to continue adding to his trophy case. “Absolutely another ring or maybe even a bracelet,” smiled Petty.

Event #12: Alan Felts“It feels awesome! I’m really just an amateur. I’ve been playing since college, so the 2003 era, back when it got popular,” explained Felts. The newly crowned champion is an attorney and practices civil litigation, playing poker whenever he has time.

Felts has never really thought about chasing titles in poker, but that all might change now. “It’s hard for me to play as much as I want to, but hopefully this gives me some incentive,” smiled Felts.