WSOPC kicks off season at the IP in Biloxi

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The World Series has just barely finished and already the buzz has started about the first WSOP Circuit event of the new season. Kicking off Aug. 9 at the IP Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Miss., circuit grinders can look forward to 12 days of non-stop events. Whether you’re looking to get a jump on the 2012-13 points race for the national championship or just get your feet wet in circuit play, this is one of the best events to attend. Historically, the fields are a bit smaller than comparable events in other cities, making the IP an excellent place to snag a WSOPC ring.

The IP resort, which the Boyd Gaming family recently acquired, had a lengthy renovation. The property is absolutely stunning, waterfront and offers poker players the chance to rack up cashes in WSOP-sanctioned events while enjoying the amenities and liberal comps/discounts typical of Boyd properties.

The events in Southern Mississippi always draw some of the best players in the Gulf Coast region, but also lure plenty of tourists for cash games. This is one of many stops with the Poker Tournament Consultants crew, and after Jimmy Sommerfeld’s retirement in January, Bill Bruce now serves as tournament director. Players can expect the same experienced tournament staff they’ve come to expect for this event.

Though details are still emerging, the main event will feature a $1,620 buy-in. Ring events range from $365 to $1,125. As usual, nightly tournaments and a variety of satellites (single-table and mega) will be available. Special room rates will be offered, with contact information and details available at ipbiloxi.com.

While you’re in Biloxi playing, be sure to congratulate local pros Tim Burt and David Nicholson. Both met with significant success at this year’s 43rd annual WSOP in Las Vegas. Burt cashed in eighth place for $20K in Event 42 (O/8-stud/8). This was his third cash for the series. Nicholson also had three cashes, with his best being sixth in Event 33 (no-limit hold’em, $75K).

You might as well make your visit an extended stay. Just a few days after the Aug. 20 close of the WSOPC event, the Beau Rivage follows with its Gulf Coast Poker Championship. Beginning Aug. 23 and running through Sept. 3, this tournament is part of the Mississippi MGM tour that begins and ends with the Million Dollar Heater in January at the Beau. Each of these events features impressive guarantees this year. The GCPC offers $1 million in guaranteed prize pools. The main event ($2,600) is guaranteed to pay $500K.

On Aug. 24-26, the $340 NLHE event guarantees $250K and a $230 event on Aug. 28 guarantees $75K. Anyone who attended the Million Dollar Heater in January knows these events draw a crowd. The standard nightly tournaments take on a higher competitive edge this year with added value thrown into the mix. Each 7 p.m. event is $100, and tallies repeat victors on a tournament leaderboard. At the end of the series, the winner of the 7 p.m. leaderboard receives a main-event seat. As always with the Beau, special room rates are available. Find more information at beaurivage.com.

With so much to look forward to in Mississippi, there’s hardly time to waste.Hopefully, as the weather nears cooling off a bit and the children are back to school, I can look forward to seeing you at the poker tables. It looks like most of the fall will be spent at the Southern end of the state, with back-to-back excellent tournaments. If last year was any indication, rooms and restaurant reservations will fill up quickly, so start making your plans now.

— Jennifer Gay is Ante Up’s Mississippi Ambassador. She can be contacted at facebook.com/aceofjewels or at jennifergay80@hotmail.com.