Previewing the 2011-2012 World Series of Poker Circuit Hammond

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For the past week, the Horseshoe Hammond has played host to the World Series of Poker Circuit. The stop features 12 ring events, culminating the $1,600 Main Event that begins Friday, Oct. 20. The stop has proved to be a tremendous success thus far, with record fields and massive prize pools, and has even attracted pros like Owais Ahmed, Josh Brikis, Chris Tryba, and Dennis Phillips.

This weekend, the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be making its way to the venue to provide coverage of the Main Event. Here’s a look at the preliminary events of WSOPC Hammond in a bit more detail.

Event #1 Breaks Attendance Record

The WSOP Circuit Hammond is notorious for drawing large fields. With a huge player base to draw from throughout the Midwest, the stop has been among the most successful every year. Historically, the first event of the stop has kicked off with a bang. In 2009, Event #1 drew 1,412 players, and almost 200 entries more in 2010. This year, those numbers were blown out of the water when an astonishing 3,001 players forked over the $350 buy-in for a shot at a gold ring.

The event was a reentry, meaning players who busted on Day 1a were allowed to buy in again on Day 1b, and after three long days of play, Aaron Bieck (25) emerged victorious and laid claim to the $124,438 first-place prize. Bieck, who resides in Plymouth, Wisconsin, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2008 with a degree in finance and had the following to say after winning the largest WSOP Circuit event in history:

“Amazing. I’ve only played like 10 live tournaments so to take one down with 3,000 runners is something very special. It’s the first live tournament I’ve ever won and it’s very important that it was a WSOP Circuit event. To win something that big, that prestigious. To have the opportunity to even play in a tournament that big, and to take it down — it’s amazing.”

Regarding his plans for the money, Bieck explained: “I don’t exactly know what I’m going to do with it. Like everything else, like poker, you analyze it, you make a decision and you take things as they come.”

WSOP Circuit Hammond Ring Event #1 No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-in Entrants Prize Pool
$300+$50 3,001 $873,291
Place Player Hometown Prize
1 Aaron Bieck Plymouth, WI $124,438
2 David Schonback Geneva, IL $76,911
3 Jeffrey Manza Naperville, IL $58,982
4 Peter Nigh St. Louis, MO $45,691
5 Javier Figueroa Chicago, IL $35,875
6 Jason Zeller Peoria, IL $28,129
7 Daniel Acevedo Belvidere, IL $22,208
8 Leo Whitt Louisville, KY $17,649
9 Jenchwen Chang Atlantic City, NJ $14,200

More Winners from Hammond

Here’s a look at the rest of the WSOP Circuit Hammond results through the first five ring events. Keep in mind, there are 12 events total, including the $1,600 Main Event:

WSOP Circuit Hammond Ring Event #2 NLHE

Buy-in Entrants Prize Pool
$500+$60 648 $314,280
Place Player Hometown Prize
1 David Costain St. Clairsville, OH $64,416
2 Andrew Barfield Mt. Sterling, IL $39,866
3 Alin Cotolan Chicago, IL $29,241
4 Joel Casper Chicago, IL $21,745
5 Thomas Matteucci Berwyn, IL $16,390
6 Joshua Pender Rockhill, SC $12,518
7 Joseph Stark Lawrenceville, GA $9,686
8 Michael Sarmiento Chicago, IL $7,593
9 Scott Carroll Pekin, IL $6,028

WSOP Circuit Hammond Ring Event #3 NLHE

Buy-in Entrants Prize Pool
$1,000+$100 202 $195,940
Place Player Hometown Prize
1 Valentin Vornicu San Diego, CA $50,943
2 Duy Tran Brentwood, TN $31,470
3 Michael Souza San Diego, CA $22,723
4 Scott Schwalich West Carrollton, OH $16,688
5 Nachman Berlin Brooklyn, NY $12,468
6 Mark Kroon Madison, WI $9,474
7 Kyle Cartwright Bartlett, TN $7,318
8 Chad Hahn Westfield, IN $5,747
9 Pradeep Buddharaju Houston, TX $4,585

WSOP Circuit Hammond Ring Event #4 Pot-Limit Omaha w/$100 Rebuys

Buy-in Entrants Prize Pool
$300+$50 153 $139,123
Place Player Hometown Prize
1 Charles Tonne China, MI $37,560
2 Michael Schneider Covington, GA $23,214
3 Zachary Estes Alton, IL $16,710
4 Nick Guagenti Westerville, OH $12,247
5 Richard Hoffman Chicago, IL $9,135
6 Joshua Field Villa Park, CA $6,932
7 Frederic Winter La Grange, IL $5,351
8 Mark Provenzano Melrose Park, IL $4,197
9 Gary Lisowski Not Available $3,347

WSOP Circuit Hammond Ring Event #5 NLHE

Buy-in Entrants Prize Pool
$300+$50 728 $211,848
Place Player Hometown Prize
1 Navin Kamal Naperville, IL $42,369
2 Michael Warrington Chipley, FL $26,121
3 Nicholas Ferro Winnebago, IL $19,257
4 Bradley Lipsey Franklin, TN $14,353
5 Eric Edelman Hammond, IN $10,850
6 Bill Varga Paris, KY $8,294
7 Alexander Safin Highland, IN $6,425
8 Francesco Barbaro Willow Springs, IL $5,040
9 Corey Souther Biloxi, MS $4,002

With seven events yet to be determined, the race for the WSOP Circuit Hammond Casino Champion is wide open. Whoever captures that title, along with the eventual winner of the Main Event, will automatically qualify for the Second Annual $1 Million National Championship. That event is limited to 100 players, and so far only four have qualified:

National Championship Qualifiers

Player Qualified
David Nicholson Horseshoe Bossier City Main Event Winner
Chris Gamboa Horseshoe Bossier City Casino Champion
Robert Castoire Horseshoe Southern Indiana Main Event Winner
Mark “Pegasus” Smith Horseshoe Southern Indiana Main Event Winner

In addition to the qualifiers, players who earn enough points on the National Leaderboard will be able to buy-in to the National Championship:

WSOPC National Leaderboard Top Ten*

Player Points Rings Cashed Earnings
Scott Schwalich 80 1 3 $34,846
Robert Newman 77.5 1 3 $29,930
Thomas Cronin 77.5 0 3 $18,891
Felicia Johnico 77.5 1 2 $16,060
Kevin Davis 70 1 3 $16,831
Matthew Chang 70 1 3 $9,724
Russell Ivy 65 points 0 2 $49,948
Jennifer Parrish 65 points 0 5 $20,098
Gregory Joslyn 62.5 1 3 $24,345
Oran Haynes 62.5 0 2 $19,747

*Leading up to the WSOP Circuit Hammond stop.

Don’t miss your chance to qualify for the National Championship. There are still plenty of opportunities to play, including any of the remaining stops on the WSOP Circuit schedule.

Remaining 2011-2012 WSOPC Schedule

Event Location Dates
Circuit Event IP Casino Resort & Spa Biloxi Oct. 27 – Nov. 7, 2011
Circuit Event Harveys Lake Tahoe Nov. 10 – 21, 2011
Circuit Event Harrah’s Atlantic City Dec. 1 – 12, 2011
Circuit Event Choctaw Durant Jan. 12 – 23, 2012
Circuit Event Caesars Palace (Las Vegas) Jan. 19 – 30, 2012
Circuit Event Harrah’s Tunica Feb. 2 – 13, 2012
Circuit Event Palm Beach Kennel Club Feb. 16 – 27, 2012
Circuit Event Caesars Atlantic City March 1 – 12, 2012
Circuit Event Harrah’s Rincon March 15 – 26, 2012
Circuit Event Horseshoe Council Bluffs March 29 – April 9, 2012
Circuit Event Harrah’s St. Louis April 12 – 23, 2012
Circuit Event Harrah’s Chester April 26 – May 7, 2012
Circuit Event Harrah’s New Orleans May 10 – 21, 2012

Get all the latest PokerNews updates on your social media outlets. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook today! In the meantime, see who qualifies for the National Championship this weekend by following our Live Reporting Team’s coverage from Hammond.