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The Greater Chicago Area's Poker Scene Delivers

The Greater Chicago Area's Poker Scene Delivers 0001

The World Series of Poker Circuit hit Hammond, Indiana, this month, and the turnout was absolutely amazing. The numbers for all of the events were huge, and massive prize pools were distributed. Just take a look at how each event fared in the table below.

EventBuy-inEntrantsPrize Pool*

Event 8 was the $1,600 Main Event and crushed the record for largest WSOP Circuit Main Event in history. Back in 2008, the WSOP Circuit Main Event in Las Vegas attracted 334 players to Caesars. This stop’s Main Event numbers were over 2.6 times the size of the old record. That’s an amazing increase.

All of the other events have fared extremely well, also. The first event on the schedule, a $350 No-Limit Hold’em event, attracted 1,611 players. That event set a record of its own by becoming the largest Circuit event in history.

The news around the poker community was that the Hammond Main Event was going to be huge. People were saying 400, maybe 500, would show up and blow the first two stops in Council Bluffs and Southern Indiana out of the water. Well, the actual number of 872 blew the numbers people were saying out of the water after 872 players showed up. Mind you this is done without the help of internet qualifiers. Could you imagine if online qualifiers were sent to this event? The numbers would be staggering.

The big event in Hammond that everyone had their eyes on was the $10,000 Regional Championship. Rumors of Phil Ivey showing up circulated and plenty of other big-name players were tossed around including November Niners Joseph Cheong, John Racener and Michael Mizrachi. None of these four showed up, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t plenty of well-known faces in the field.

In fact, the event was packed with some of the biggest names in poker. Barry Greenstein, Chad Brown, Jason Mercier, Bernard Lee, Brandon Adams, Justin Smith, Vanessa Selbst and David Williams are just a handful of the players who came out to play the event, and there were plenty more on hand.

One big reason that a lot of these players came out was the amount of “dead money” available in the form of satellite winners and amateur players. The poker room in Hammond ran some great satellites and awarded an average of five extra seats each time. They also were raffling off event entries down in the poker room. That surely makes for some juicy fish in the game that wouldn’t otherwise buy in for $10,000.

The final number for the Regional Championship was 226. That number isn’t massive, but it’s quite an excellent turnout for a $10,000 buy-in event, which proves that the great-Chicago area is no slouch when it comes to the poker scene. Once again, this area of the country showed that there is plenty of players to go around and that it is one of the best markets for action in the country. If you have a chance to get to an event or series in that area, you should do what you can to make it. You won’t be disappointed.

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