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2011 WSOP National Championship

Friday, May 27, 2011 to Sunday, May 29, 2011


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  • Buy-in: $0
  • Prizepool: $1,000,000
  • Entries: 100
  • Remaining: 23


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Sunday, May 29, 2011 9:10 PM Local Time

Sam Barnhart, Champion of the WSOP-Circuit National Championship!

After three days of non-stop poker action and a long final day that underlined the highs and lows of any final table, the inaugural 2010-11 WSOP-Circuit National Championship has been run and won by Little Rock, Arkansas native Sam Barnhart.

On a weekend where many opt to party hard and enjoy life in a commemoration of U.S Service Members who died in the military service, 100 individuals chose to celebrate their Memorial Day weekend by partaking in the WSOP-Circuit National Championship.

With the tournament only allowing 100 qualified players to take a seat, 97 managed to journey out to Las Vegas to see if they could snag a piece of the $1,000,000 prizepool. Day 1 saw many heated battles on the felt as players with WSOP-Circuit resumes longer then this wrap-up post looked to give them the best opportunity at sitting atop the super-talented field. Only 35 players managed to survive for a day two berth, and when the penultimate day of the tournament was over, our final table of nine was set with everyone breathing a sigh of relief knowing that they were returning to the bright lights of the final table with their bankroll guaranteed of some extra padding.

A rivered outdraw would force Matthew Lawrence to commit his short-stack a few hands later, and consequently he would be first out the door before Adam Hui was unable to outdraw top set with his two-pair and backdoor flush-draw. Following the elimination of Drazen Ilich in seventh, chips would circle round the table for nearly three hours before Charles "Woody" Moore would be unable to snag a third lucky river as he exited in sixth. Unfortunately for majority tournament chip leader Jonathan Poche, he wasn't able to capitalise on his earlier run good as he bowed out next before La Sengphet's galliant run ended in fourth. Ninety minutes would pass before Josh Evans was unable to outdraw a pair of ladies as heads-up play was reached after nine hours of play.

Staff, railbirds and the media row all expected a very heated heads-up battle between Sam Barnhart - WSOP-Circuit Tunica Champion - and James Anderson - WSOP-Circuit Hammond Champion as both began the battle just a few big blinds apart. Surprisingly however a massive all-in preflop pot would develop just several hands in when Barnhart's    outdrew Anderson's    after spiking two-pair to leave Anderson decimated with just ten big blinds. Anderson would fight hard to try and get himself back in the match, but inevitably he would see his dream of become a multiple WSOP-Circuit Champion in the same season (for now) end when his    was outdrawn by the    of Barnhart.

For Barnhart, this win here not only earns him a coveted gold bracelet and $300,000, but also puts him on the path to becoming one of the great WSOP-Circuit players with a resume that now includes seven cashes and two titles for close to $500,000 in prizemoney. Congratulations to Sam Barnhart for playing an excellent tournament here with an exciting mix of aggression, control, timing and a desire to win the 2010-11 WSOP-Circuit National Championship!

For the PokerNews Live Reporting Team, our focus will now be switched to the 2011 World Series of Poker where our hard-working team will be on the floor of the Rio Hotel & Casino providing extensive live coverage of every event as we look to unearth the next World Champion.

Until Tuesday when the action kicks off, PokerNews would like to wish you all good luck in chasing your poker dream like Sam Barnhart did today while also sending out a huge thank-you to Ceasars Palace and the WSOP-Circuit staff for their wonderful hospitality and assistance in the inaugural WSOP-Circuit National Championship.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 9:03 PM Local Time

James Anderson - 2nd Place

With the action on Sam Barnhart on the button, he looked up and eyed James Anderson's chip stack before announcing he was all-in. Anderson peeled back his hand before nodding in accordance and making the call to be at risk.


With Anderson a slight favorite he remained seated awaiting his tournament fate while Barnhart stood nervously over his imposing chip stack hoping that within a few moments he would be crowned champion.

The     flop gave Barnhart the lead but left Anderson with outs to his ace, a queen for a straight or running diamonds or tens. When the   was flipped over on the turn, Anderson would need to spike one of his six outs if he was to remain in this heads-up battle.

Unfortunately for the Berea, Ohio native, the river landed the   to end his tournament in a very respectable 2nd place for a $200,000 payday as Sam Barnhart is crowned the inaugural WSOP-Circuit National Championship Champion for 2010-11.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 8:55 PM Local Time

James Anderson limped in and Sam Barnhart bumped it up to 70,000.

Anderson made the call, but when faced with Barnhart's all in shove on the     flop, he quickly mucked.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 8:53 PM Local Time

Sam Barnhart limped in and James Anderson checked his option before they saw the turn for free with the board reading     .

Anderson checked and Barnhart tossed out 50,000 which Anderson called before both players checked the   on the river.

Anderson tabled his    to claim the pot and move his stack close to the 350,000-chip mark.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 8:50 PM Local Time

From the button, James Anderson pushed all in for slightly over 200,000.

"How much is it roughly?" asked Sam Barnhart.

As Anderson began cutting his chips out, Barnhart eventually tossed his cards casually at the muck to give Anderson some much-needed chips.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 8:48 PM Local Time

James Anderson opened his button to 50,000 only to have Sam Barnhart shove all in for 860,000. Anderson immediately made the call.


With Barnhart trailing in chips and in hand strength, the sweat-tastic     flop gave Barnhart a great chance of staying alive in the tournament.

"Not a bad flop!" stated Barnhart before the   rolled off on the turn and Barnhart continued by saying, "throw an ace out there!"

And the dealer would deliver by dropping the cruel   on the river to give Barnhart aces-up and send him soaring to over 1,700,000 as Anderson plummets down to just over ten big blinds.

Sam Barnhart1,726,000749,000
James Anderson272,000-749,000
Sunday, May 29, 2011 8:41 PM Local Time

Sam Barnhart limped the button only to fold following a James Anderson raise to 65,000.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 8:40 PM Local Time

James Anderson opened his button to 50,000 and Sam Barnhart made the call to see a     flop.

Barnhart checked to Anderson who opted to fire out a 60,000-chip continuation-bet which was met with a fold from Barnhart.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 8:39 PM Local Time

Sam Barnhart folded his small blind and James Anderson found a walk on one of the very early hands of play.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 8:36 PM Local Time

With just under 22 minutes remaining in this level, the cards are back in the air for heads-up play.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 8:19 PM Local Time

As the two remaining players head on a break, here is how the chip counts sit.

James Anderson1,021,000500,000
Sam Barnhart977,00057,000
Sunday, May 29, 2011 8:17 PM Local Time

Josh Evans - 3rd Place

From the small blind James Anderson popped it up to 50,000 only to have Josh Evans three-bet all in for roughly 400,000. Anderson immediately made the call to put the Texan at risk.


With Evans in desperate need to spike, the     flop gave him no additional outs, and as the   landed on the turn, Evans would be left with just three aces in the deck.

Unfortunately it would be the   on the river that would ensure his exit in 3rd place for a $135,000 payday as the remaining two players went on a short break as the television crew set-up for heads-up play.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 7:56 PM Local Time

After James Anderson raised to 45,000 from the button, Josh Evans moved all in from the small blind to win the pot.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 7:52 PM Local Time

Sam Barnhart completed from the small blind and James Anderson checked in the big blind to see the flop come down    . Both players checked and the turn brought the   to pair the board. Both checked again.

The river completed the board with the   and Barnhart checked. Anderson fired 31,000 and Barnhart quickly called. He showed the    and won the pot as Anderson mucked his hand.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 7:46 PM Local Time

Sam Barnhart raised to 60,000 from the small blind and James Anderson called in the big blind to see the flop come down    . Barnhart fired 80,000 and Anderson quickly mucked.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 7:44 PM Local Time

Josh Evans limped in from the small blind and Sam Barnhart raised from the big blind to 50,000. Evans made the call.

The flop came down     and Evans checked. Barnhart stayed on the gas with a bet of 75,000. Evans gave it up and Barnhart won the pot.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 7:38 PM Local Time

James Anderson opened the button to 45,000 only to have Josh Evans move all in for 516,000 from the small blind. Sam Barnhart immediately made the call from the big blind and Anderson folded.


With Evans in dominated shape, he was fortunate enough to see the dealer spread a       flop to keep him alive.

Sunday, May 29, 2011 7:34 PM Local Time

As the tournament staff conducted a color-up, we were able to quickly jump onto the set to grab some up-to-date chip counts.

Sam Barnhart920,000250,000
James Anderson521,000121,000
Josh Evans519,000-331,000
Sunday, May 29, 2011 7:33 PM Local Time
Level: 21
Blinds: 10000/20000
Ante: 3000
Sunday, May 29, 2011 7:32 PM Local Time

On the final hand of the level we found Sam Barnhart opening with a button raise which Josh Evans called in an effort to defend his big blind.

On a flop of     Evans check-called a Barnhart bet before the   on the turn saw Barnhart hold all his chips in the middle.


With Barnhart needing one of eight cards to stay alive in the tournament, the   would spike on the river to ensure him the double to roughly 800,000 as Evans slipped down to half a million.