The 2010-2011 World Series of Poker Circuit has really seen a positive outcome to the changes that were made by the WSOP. The biggest reflection is on the field sizes, which have shown an average of 380 players through the first six $1,500 Main Events on the schedule. That’s over three times the average field size of 125.6 from last season and an amazing accomplishment. Although the average first-place prize is down because the events have a smaller entry fee, more players are seeing action on the felt and the tour is alive again.
The completion of the second $10,000 Regional Championship along the 2010-2011 tour at Harrah’s Atlantic City in December marks somewhat of a halfway point in the tour’s season. We say "somewhat" because the WSOP has added two more stops in Palm Beach, Florida, and Chester, Pennsylvania, that give the second half of the schedule more events than the first. Still, there are four Regional Championship events and the second one has recently wrapped up.
Six Main Events and two Regional Championships are in the books. That means that six players have locked up spots in the National Championship for winning a stop’s Main Event and another six have locked up seats for capturing the Casino Champion title at a respective stop. There have been no duplicates. On top of those 12 winners, all nine players from the Midwest Regional Championship final table and another nine from the Northeast Regional Championship final table have clinched seats in the National Championship.
Shown below is a list of players who have locked up seats already and how they did it.
That puts the total number of locked-up seats at 30. With only 100 seats allotted for the National Championship, 70 more can still be won. Pending no duplicates, 36 more seats will be automatically granted during the second half of the schedule. Because there are only 100 seats allotted for the National Championship, 34 remain up for grabs for the top cumulative point getters using the WSOP Circuit’s scoring system.
Kevin Calenzo leads the way on the National Championship points leaderboard with 165 points earned. Following not too far behind him are Jeremy Scwartz with 162.5 points and Shiva Dudani with 152.5 points. Here is the leaderboard with the top 10 point getters.
That’s only the top 10, and there are 24 more spots still to claim from this leaderboard. As it stands right now, 72.5 points is good enough to get a player through to the National Championship, but that won’t be the case at the end of the season when it’s time for the National Championship to take place. Many of the players along the Circuit feel that the bar will be set at 150-175 points to make it. The current leader, Calenzo, said: “Most of my poker friends believe the 165 points that I currently have will be enough to qualify me into the National Championship without getting an automatic bid. I would tend to agree with them, but it's not going to stop me from trying to win my seat automatically.” The entire points leaderboard is on the 2010-2011 WSOP Circuit leader board page.
The WSOP Circuit is off to an amazing, blazing start to this new-look season. With nine more stops on tour and two more regional championships, it’s only going to get better from here, especially when the race really begins to heat up and things come down to the last few stops on tour.
Be sure to catch all the live coverage from every stop along the WSOP Circuit right here on PokerNews. Our Live Reporting Team will be at every stop covering all of the action, and you won’t want to miss it. If you happen to be in the neighborhood of one of the stops, don’t be shy. Stop in and say hello.
Our staff will be giving away passes for three-day free trials to PokerNews Strategy. We’ve got some of the best players in the business showing you how to unlock your potential and it’s a great way to improve your game.