Mizrachi, Lamb Lead List of Eligible Players for 2012 WSOP National Championship



On Monday, the World Series of Poker announced the list of players eligible to buy into the second annual World Series of Poker Circuit National Championship. The event, which rewards the top 100 performers on the 2011-12 WSOP-C with a $1 million freeroll, will now allow the top 100 performers from WSOP and WSOP Europe events during the past two calendar years to buy in for $10,000, as was announced before the start of the WSOP Circuit season.

The 100 players who accumulated the most points during the 2010 WSOP, 2010 WSOP Europe, 2011 WSOP and 2011 WSOP Europe will be eligible to post a $10,000 entry fee to join the 100 qualifiers from the 2011-12 WSOP Circuit season. The event will be capped at 200 players, and all additional buy-in entries will be added directly to the prize pool.

Among the players eligible to take part in the event are Michael Mizrachi, Ben Lamb, Phil Hellmuth, Jason Mercier, Euegene Katchalov, Jonathan Duhamel, Bertrand Grospellier and Pius Heinz.

“This marks the first time we will take the best of the best from all our events to compete against one another to determine a true WSOP National Champion,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart.

The 100 qualifiers from the WSOP Circuit won’t be required to pay an entry fee, but the $1,000,000 added by Caesars Interactive Entertainment will now be shared by any of the newly eligible players who choose to buy in.

The 2012 WSOP National Championship will get under way on Friday, July 6 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Day 2 will be played on July 7, and the final table will take place on Wednesday, July 11 in front of ESPN cameras. The event will be included as part of the 2012 WSOP coverage on ESPN.

Last year, Sam Barnhart collected added a WSOP bracelet to his WSOP Circuit ring by winning the WSOP National Championship. Barnhart won a WSOP Circuit event in Tunica to earn his seat to the WSOP National Championship and turned it into a $300,000 payday in Las Vegas.

So far, 22 players have secured seats to the 2012 National Championship. With six more events on the slate, 12 more players will earn automatic bids into the event, and another 66 players will qualify by accumulating the most points across the 17 WSOP Circuit stops.

Here’s a look at the players who have already won seats:

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 Casino Champion
Bob Chow Horseshoe Hammond Main Event Winner
Drazen Ilich Horseshoe Hammond Casino Champion
Gene Dudek IP Biloxi Casino Champion
Jerry Monroe IP Biloxi Main Event Winner
Michael Rosenbach Lake Tahoe Casino Champ
Bryan Schultz Lake Tahoe Main Event Champion
Tuan Phan Harrah’s AC Main Event Winner
Hao Le Harrah’s AC Casino Champ
Freddy Deeb Bicycle Casino Main Event Winner
Huy Quach Bicycle Casino Champ
Raja Kattamuri Choctaw Casino Champ
Abraham Araya Choctaw Main Event Champion
Gary Bolden Caesars Palace Casino Champ
Kevin Calenzo Caesars Palace Main Event Winner
Matthew Weber Harrah’s Tunica Casino Champ
Kurt Jewell Harrah’s Tunica Main Event Winner
Charles Flett Palm Beach Casino Champ
James Harnden Palm Beach Main Event Winner

For a look at the list of players eligible to pay the $10,000 buy-in for the WSOP National Championship, visit wsop.com.

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