Posts Tagged ‘Circuit’

2017-2018 WSOP International Circuit Schedule Released

 2017 2018 WSOP International Circuit Schedule Released

As if the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event hasn’t been big enough news for the past week, the WSOP recently gave players outside of the United States something to look forward to, releasing the schedule for the 2017-2018 WSOP International Circuit.

The schedule consists of thirteen events, though the WSOP says that more stops are expected to be added for the part of the slate that will take place in 2018. The first stop will kick off shortly after the WSOP Main Event ends, August 2-8 in Iguazu, Argentina. Next year’s tour stops do not have set dates as of yet, but are rather listed as “January,” “March,” “Spring,” and “TBA.”

“Our partner casinos have done a terrific job bringing the WSOP brand and experience to their properties,” said WSOP Director Gregory Chochon in a press release. “The WSOP International Circuit is here to stay and we look forward to continually improving the experience and prize pools for the players.”

Just like with the United States “domestic” Circuit, each International Circuit stop will allow players the opportunity to qualify for the season-ending WSOP Global Casino Championship, and invitation-only, $ 1 million minimum prize pool tournament. The first qualifier from each WSOP International Circuit stop will be the person who win’s that stop’s Main Event. The second will be the player who earns the most points across of that tour stop’s ring events.

On the U.S. Circuit, there will be 50 “at-large” qualifiers to the Global Casino Championship, which are the top 50 points earners during the entire season (obviously, there may be overlaps with the automatic qualifiers). There are no at-large qualifiers on the International Circuit.

$ 1 million is guaranteed for the Global Casino Championship’s prize pool, but the top 100 players in the 2017 World Series of Poker Player of the Year standings will be permitted to buy-in to the tournament for $ 10,000, thus potentially increasing the prize pool.

The current released schedule for the 2017-2018 WSOP International Circuit is as follows:

1. August 2-8, 2017 – CASINO IGUAZU, Iguazu, Argentina
2. August 25 – September 2, 2017 – HOLLAND CASINO ROTTERDAM, Rotterdam, Holland
3. September 1-11, 2017 – CASINO CAMPIONE, Campione, Italy
4. September 27 – October 4, 2017 – BIENAL PAVILION, Sao Paolo, Brazil
5. September 28 – October 18, 2017 – KING’S CASINO – Rozvadov, Czech Republic
6. November 1-15, 2017 – SONESTA MAHO BEACH RESORT & CASINO, St. Marteen, Caribbean
7. November 17 – December 4, 2017 – CERCLE CLICHY MONTMARTRE, Paris, France
8. November 28 – December 18, 2017 – THE STAR CASINO, Sydney, Australia
9. December 7-17, 2017 – ENJOY CONRAD PUNTA DEL ESTE, Punta del Este, Uruguay
10. January, 2018 – CASINO DE MARRAKECH, Marrakech, Morocco
11. March, 2018 – CASINO CAMPIONE, Campione, Italy
12. Spring, 2018 – KING’S CASINO – Rozvadov, Czech Republic
13. TBA, 2018 – CASINO ADJARABET, Tbilisi, Georgia

Last year’s WSOP International Circuit schedule had 14 stops, though with the note that more stops are expected, one would think that the 2017-2018 schedule will end up topping that. This will be the fourth season for the WSOP International Circuit.


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WSOP Circuit Champion Sentenced to Prison for Fraud

 WSOP Circuit Champion Sentenced to Prison for Fraud

Instead of facing a trial that could have sent him to prison for 20 years, a champion of the World Series of Poker Circuit and smaller tours plea bargained his way down to only an eight-year sentence after pleading guilty.

Poker player Travell Thomas stood in the courtroom of U. S. District Court Judge Katherine Polk Failla on Thursday and received his punishment after pleading guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud charges in November 2016. According to U. S. News and World Report, Thomas tearfully stood in front of the judge and spoke about how his “gambling was out of control” as he operated the $ 31 million debt scam. “I would spend days at the casinos,” the site reports him as saying, “I wouldn’t even change my clothes.” He also said that federal authorities “saved his life” when they arrested him because he couldn’t gamble anymore.

The story, as well as Thomas’ clean record, had an impact on the sentence, but Judge Failla stated that Thomas “preyed on financially distressed people.” “A lot of the money that was taken went to him and his enjoyment,” Failla stated in court as she handed down the sentence. Assistant U. S. Attorney Edward Imperatore added in more evidence, citing greed as the factor that saw the profits from the business go to benefit Thomas, including season tickets to the Buffalo Bills, trips, jewelry, cars, gambling and other casino entertainment.

Failla did go easy on Thomas with the sentence, but stated that she needed to “send a message” to others who might want to try the same tactics. He could have faced up to 16 years because of the plea bargain with prosecutors, a slight reduction from the 20 he could have faced if he had gone to trial. Instead of the maximum, Failla sentenced Thomas to eight years and four months.

Where Thomas and his company seemed to have gone astray was in the methods they employed to get people to pay off their debts. Thomas taught his employees to threaten them with lawsuits or other crimes that the customers had allegedly committed, even lying to the customers by saying they would be federally prosecuted and that “their conversations” on the phone could be used as evidence. Additionally, according to court documents presented during Thomas’ arrest, he told employees of the company not to show their scripts to anyone outside the office as they “weren’t legal” to use.

It is a rather sorry end for one of the more colorful characters who ever came to the poker tables. He first struck on the tournament poker stage in 2006 in a $ 100 tournament at the Seneca World Poker Classic, but by 2009 he was playing on larger stages. At the 2009 United States Poker Championship, he made two $ 500 tournament final tables. With that success in his pocket, he moved up once again.

In December 2009, Thomas earned his first cash on the WSOPC in Atlantic City, which drove him into more events in 2010. Thomas won a Heartland Poker Tour preliminary event in May 2010 and, in August, won a $ 500 preliminary tournament during the Empire State Hold’em Championships. 2010 was also significant because it was, according to law enforcement, about the same time that Thomas’ company began employing their questionable tactics and Thomas began taking chunks of money that eventually totaled $ 1.5 million out for his personal usage.

In 2011, Thomas would win his first WSOPC ring in taking down an event in Atlantic City and captured his second in 2013 in Las Vegas. Those two victories surprisingly were the largest wins on his resume despite being only five-figure cashes. All totaled, Thomas cashed 87 times in his tournament poker career, earning slightly more than $ 510,000 (thanks to the Hendon Mob for the statistical information). Now, Thomas is a convicted felon who will head to prison in September and, perhaps the least of his concerns, a tournament poker career in shambles.

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Maurice Hawkins Ties Record, Wins Ninth WSOP Circuit Ring

 Maurice Hawkins Ties Record, Wins Ninth WSOP Circuit Ring

I have a great life, no doubt about it, but damn if I’m not looking at Maurice Hawkins right now and feeling a bit envious. Hawkins may not be a household name in the poker world, but few players can match what he has been doing over the last few years. On Monday, Hawkins tied the all-time record by winning his ninth World Series of Poker Circuit ring, taking the title in a $ 365 buy-in event at the Palm Beach Kennel Club.

Hawkins is now tied with Alexandru Masek for the all-time WSOP Circuit ring lead, but Hawkins dominates in prize money, $ 1,366,228 to $ 711,761.

Hawkins is also the kind of poker player that people either love or hate. He is a talker at the tables, to put it lightly. He’s the kind of guy that would be perfectly cast as a character in a poker movie. But he doesn’t care what people think; he is who he is and he loves playing poker.

“I’m a good dude,” he told in an interview after his latest win. “Most people are pompous assholes. And I really don’t give a damn if they like me or not. We’re from two different places. I’m not taking anything from them, but I’ve earned everything I’ve gotten in my life. If they don’t like me, they can really kiss my ass. I would rather be under-respected and overpaid than over-respected and underpaid.”

Damn, man. I need to live my life by that last sentence. That’s some insightful shit right there.

He continued, “People didn’t like (Charles) Barkley on the court. People didn’t like Dennis Rodman on the court. I’m not here to be your friend on the felt. Now if I catch you at a bar, it’ll be a different scenario, you know?”

This isn’t the first record Maurice Hawkins has set, either. He has been on a sick roll lately. In 2016, he became the first person to win three WSOP Circuit Main Events in a single year.

In April of last year, he won a $ 365 Monster Stack No-Limit Hold’em tournament at the WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Council Bluffs (Iowa) stop, earning his fifth ring. He entered the Main Event the next day and won. That same month, he won the Main Event at Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina. Then, in November, Hawkins won the Palm Beach Kennel Club Main Event for his third Main Event victory of the year and eighth overall WSOP Circuit ring.

Only two other players have ever won three WSOP Circuit Main Events, but they didn’t do it all in the same calendar year: Blair Hinkle and Chris Ferguson.

Hinkle won his in 2010, 2013, and 2014, all, interestingly, at Council Bluffs. Ferguson won two Main Events in 2005 and one in 2007 and against much smaller fields than Hawkins did.

Hawkins and Ferguson are also the only two players to have earned more than $ 1 million on the WSOP Circuit.

In Maurice Hawkins style, Hawkins explained that no write-up of his third Main Event win was necessary, saying afterward, “We don’t need to explain who won. We all know when he got to the final table he was going to take it down.”

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WSOP Announces New Stops for International WSOP Circuit

 WSOP Announces New Stops for International WSOP Circuit

The World Series of Poker has announced the addition of seven stops to the WSOP International Circuit schedule, bringing the total number of stops on the non-U.S. portion of the Circuit to 14. The first six additions, announced a couple weeks ago, are:

Sydney, Australia – November 22 through December 12, 2016 – The Star, Sydney
Marrakech, Morocco – January 14 through January 22, 2017 – Casino de Marrakech
Campione, Italy – March 6 through March 20, 2017 – Casino Campione D’Italia
Cannes, France – April 17 through April 24, 2017 – Casino Barriere Cannes le Croisette
Estoril, Portugal – May 1 through May 7, 2017 – Casino Estoril
Brussels, Belgium – May 19 through May 28, 2017 – Grand Casino Brussels VIAGE

Additionally, the U.S. Circuit event that was scheduled for Bally’s Las Vegas from February 23rd through March 6th has been moved to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. It will now be February 16th through February 27th, 2017.

At the time the above six Circuit stops were announced, a seventh was foreshadowed. Another World Series of Poker International Circuit stop HAS been revealed this week, but it is not the seventh to go with the above six on the 2016-2017 schedule. The WSOP announced that a new WSOP International Circuit stop will for the 2017-2018 season will be in the Netherlands at the Holland Casino Rotterdam. No date specifics have been revealed, as the schedule for that season has not been set yet.

“We are proud of the collaboration between Holland Casino and the largest poker brand in the world. The WSOP is a wonderful addition to our already broad range of poker, and it has national and international allure,” said Holland Casino CEO Erwin van Lambaart in a press release.

“As a European, I know Holland Casino to be a party that is capable of organising large and prestigious poker events, such as the historic Master Classics of Poker,” added WSOP Director of Events Gregory Chochon. “We are very proud that the WSOP can work together with such an iconic casino chain and we are looking forward to seeing more Dutch players take part in the WSOP in Vegas.”

As is the case with the WSOP Circuit stops in the United States, two players will qualify at each international stop for the WSOP Global Casino Championship. The Main Event winner will earn an automatic seat in the season-ending Championship, as will the “casino winner.” Each official ring event at a Circuit stop awards players points based on how they finish. The player that earns the most points in total at a particular stop is dubbed the casino winner.

The international portion of the WSOP Circuit has been quite successful lately. According to a press release, the recent stop in Brazil saw 2,981 entries for the opening event, a WSOP record for an event outside of the United States. The tournament was a R$ 580 (USD $ 170) re-buy event, so it wasn’t, 2981 actual players, but rather a combined number of initial entries and re-buys.

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2016-2017 World Series of Poker Circuit Schedule Released

 2016 2017 World Series of Poker Circuit Schedule Released

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) released the schedule for the thirteenth season of the World Series of Poker Circuit Tuesday, a schedule which features 22 tour stops in the United States plus six more international stops.

The centerpiece of the schedule appears to be Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina. The WSOP Circuit season begins August 4, 2016 at Harrah’s Cherokee and concludes there, as well, with the WSOP Global Casino Championship. The dates have yet to be determined for the Championship. AND THEN…in the middle of the schedule – spanning the end of November and beginning of December – is a third date at Harrah’s Cherokee (well, technically second, as the Championship is the third date).

Two new tour stops have made the schedule: Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in February 2017 and Hard Rock Tulsa in March 2017. IP in Biloxi, Mississippi isn’t quite a “new” Circuit stop, but it was off the schedule last year, so let’s count it.

As usual, every tour stop will consist of a number of $ 365 buy-in ring events and a $ 1,675 Main Event. The winners of each Circuit Main Event will automatically qualify for the season-ending Global Casino Championship. In addition, the players who earn the most points across the dozen ring events at single tour stop will be named Casino Champions and also earn entry into the Global Casino Championship. Finally, the top 50 points earners over the entire season that didn’t already gain automatic entry punch their ticket into the season finale. Players can also qualify by winning a ring event or being one of the top 100 ranked players in the previous year’s WSOP Player of the Year standings, but they must pay the $ 10,000 buy-in. The other automatic qualifiers get to freeroll.

2016-2017 World Series of Poker Circuit United States Tour Schedule

August 4-16, 2016 – Harrah’s Cherokee (North Carolina)
August 18-29, 2016 – Foxwoods Resorts (Connecticut)
August 25 – September 5, 2016 – Planet Hollywood (Las Vegas Strip)
September 8-19, 2016 – IP (Biloxi, Mississippi)
September 29 – October 10, 2016 – Horseshoe S. Indiana (Louisville)
October 13-24, 2016 – Horseshoe Hammond (Chicago)
October 27 – November 7, 2016 – Harveys Lake Tahoe (Nevada)
November 10-21, 2016 – Palm Beach Kennel Club (Florida)
November 24 – December 5, 2016 – Harrah’s Cherokee (North Carolina)
December 1-12, 2016 – The Bicycle Casino (Los Angeles)
January 5-16, 2017 – Choctaw Durant (Dallas/Oklahoma)
January 19-30, 2017 – Horseshoe Tunica (Mississippi)
February 2-13, 2017 – Potawatomi (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
February 9-20, 2017 – Palm Beach Kennel Club (Florida)
February 23 – March 6, 2017 – Bally’s Las Vegas
March 4-15, 2017 – The Bicycle Casino (Los Angeles)
March 9-20, 2017 – Harrah’s Atlantic City (New Jersey)
March 16-27, 2017 – Hard Rock (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
March 30 – April 10, 2017 – Horseshoe Council Bluffs (Omaha/Iowa)
April 13-24, 2017 – Harrah’s Cherokee (North Carolina)
April 27 – May 8, 2017 – Horseshoe Baltimore (Maryland)
May 11-22, 2017 – Harrah’s New Orleans (Louisiana)
TBD – WSOP Global Casino Championship

2016-2017 World Series of Poker Circuit International Tour Schedule

September 8-20 – Casino Campione (Campione, Italy)
September 29 – October 9 – Spielbank Berlin (Berlin, Germany)
October 27 – November 14 – King’s Casino (Rozvadov, Czech Republic)
November 3-16 – Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino (St. Maarten, Caribbean)
November 11-27 – Cercle Clichy Montmartre (Paris, France)
December 2-11 – Enjoy Conrad Punta del Este (Punta del Este, Uruguay)

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