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Previewing the 2011-2012 World Series of Poker Circuit Hammond

Aaron Bieck

For the past week, the Horseshoe Hammond has played host to the World Series of Poker Circuit. The stop features 12 ring events, culminating the $1,600 Main Event that begins Friday, Oct. 20. The stop has proved to be a tremendous success thus far, with record fields and massive prize pools, and has even attracted pros like Owais Ahmed, Josh Brikis, Chris Tryba, and Dennis Phillips.

This weekend, the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be making its way to the venue to provide coverage of the Main Event. Here's a look at the preliminary events of WSOPC Hammond in a bit more detail.

Event #1 Breaks Attendance Record

The WSOP Circuit Hammond is notorious for drawing large fields. With a huge player base to draw from throughout the Midwest, the stop has been among the most successful every year. Historically, the first event of the stop has kicked off with a bang. In 2009, Event #1 drew 1,412 players, and almost 200 entries more in 2010. This year, those numbers were blown out of the water when an astonishing 3,001 players forked over the $350 buy-in for a shot at a gold ring.

The event was a reentry, meaning players who busted on Day 1a were allowed to buy in again on Day 1b, and after three long days of play, Aaron Bieck (25) emerged victorious and laid claim to the $124,438 first-place prize. Bieck, who resides in Plymouth, Wisconsin, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2008 with a degree in finance and had the following to say after winning the largest WSOP Circuit event in history:

“Amazing. I’ve only played like 10 live tournaments so to take one down with 3,000 runners is something very special. It’s the first live tournament I’ve ever won and it’s very important that it was a WSOP Circuit event. To win something that big, that prestigious. To have the opportunity to even play in a tournament that big, and to take it down — it’s amazing.”

Regarding his plans for the money, Bieck explained: “I don’t exactly know what I’m going to do with it. Like everything else, like poker, you analyze it, you make a decision and you take things as they come.”

WSOP Circuit Hammond Ring Event #1 No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
1Aaron BieckPlymouth, WI$124,438
2David SchonbackGeneva, IL$76,911
3Jeffrey ManzaNaperville, IL$58,982
4Peter NighSt. Louis, MO$45,691
5Javier FigueroaChicago, IL$35,875
6Jason ZellerPeoria, IL$28,129
7Daniel AcevedoBelvidere, IL$22,208
8Leo WhittLouisville, KY$17,649
9Jenchwen ChangAtlantic City, NJ$14,200

More Winners from Hammond

Here’s a look at the rest of the WSOP Circuit Hammond results through the first five ring events. Keep in mind, there are 12 events total, including the $1,600 Main Event:

WSOP Circuit Hammond Ring Event #2 NLHE

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
1David CostainSt. Clairsville, OH$64,416
2Andrew BarfieldMt. Sterling, IL$39,866
3Alin CotolanChicago, IL$29,241
4Joel CasperChicago, IL$21,745
5Thomas MatteucciBerwyn, IL$16,390
6Joshua PenderRockhill, SC$12,518
7Joseph StarkLawrenceville, GA$9,686
8Michael SarmientoChicago, IL$7,593
9Scott CarrollPekin, IL$6,028

WSOP Circuit Hammond Ring Event #3 NLHE

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
1Valentin VornicuSan Diego, CA$50,943
2Duy TranBrentwood, TN$31,470
3Michael SouzaSan Diego, CA$22,723
4Scott SchwalichWest Carrollton, OH$16,688
5Nachman BerlinBrooklyn, NY$12,468
6Mark KroonMadison, WI$9,474
7Kyle CartwrightBartlett, TN$7,318
8Chad HahnWestfield, IN$5,747
9Pradeep BuddharajuHouston, TX$4,585

WSOP Circuit Hammond Ring Event #4 Pot-Limit Omaha w/$100 Rebuys

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
1Charles TonneChina, MI$37,560
2Michael SchneiderCovington, GA$23,214
3Zachary EstesAlton, IL$16,710
4Nick GuagentiWesterville, OH$12,247
5Richard HoffmanChicago, IL$9,135
6Joshua FieldVilla Park, CA$6,932
7Frederic WinterLa Grange, IL$5,351
8Mark ProvenzanoMelrose Park, IL$4,197
9Gary LisowskiNot Available$3,347

WSOP Circuit Hammond Ring Event #5 NLHE

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
1Navin KamalNaperville, IL$42,369
2Michael WarringtonChipley, FL$26,121
3Nicholas FerroWinnebago, IL$19,257
4Bradley LipseyFranklin, TN$14,353
5Eric EdelmanHammond, IN$10,850
6Bill VargaParis, KY$8,294
7Alexander SafinHighland, IN$6,425
8Francesco BarbaroWillow Springs, IL$5,040
9Corey SoutherBiloxi, MS$4,002

With seven events yet to be determined, the race for the WSOP Circuit Hammond Casino Champion is wide open. Whoever captures that title, along with the eventual winner of the Main Event, will automatically qualify for the Second Annual $1 Million National Championship. That event is limited to 100 players, and so far only four have qualified:

National Championship Qualifiers

David NicholsonHorseshoe Bossier City Main Event Winner
Chris GamboaHorseshoe Bossier City Casino Champion
Robert CastoireHorseshoe Southern Indiana Main Event Winner
Mark “Pegasus” SmithHorseshoe Southern Indiana Casino Champion

In addition to the qualifiers, players who earn enough points on the National Leaderboard will be able to buy-in to the National Championship:

WSOPC National Leaderboard Top Ten*

Scott Schwalich8013$34,846
Robert Newman77.513$29,930
Thomas Cronin77.503$18,891
Felicia Johnico77.512$16,060
Kevin Davis7013$16,831
Matthew Chang7013$9,724
Russell Ivy6502$49,948
Jennifer Parrish6505$20,098
Gregory Joslyn62.513$24,345
Oran Haynes62.502$19,747

*Leading up to the WSOP Circuit Hammond stop.

Don’t miss your chance to qualify for the National Championship. There are still plenty of opportunities to play, including any of the remaining stops on the WSOP Circuit schedule.

Remaining 2011-2012 WSOPC Schedule

Circuit EventIP Casino Resort & Spa BiloxiOct. 27 - Nov. 7, 2011
Circuit EventHarveys Lake TahoeNov. 10 - 21, 2011
Circuit EventHarrah’s Atlantic CityDec. 1 - 12, 2011
Circuit EventChoctaw DurantJan. 12 - 23, 2012
Circuit EventCaesars Palace (Las Vegas)Jan. 19 - 30, 2012
Circuit EventHarrah’s TunicaFeb. 2 - 13, 2012
Circuit EventPalm Beach Kennel ClubFeb. 16 - 27, 2012
Circuit EventCaesars Atlantic CityMarch 1 - 12, 2012
Circuit EventHarrah’s RinconMarch 15 - 26, 2012
Circuit EventHorseshoe Council BluffsMarch 29 - April 9, 2012
Circuit EventHarrah’s St. LouisApril 12 - 23, 2012
Circuit EventHarrah’s ChesterApril 26 - May 7, 2012
Circuit EventHarrah’s New OrleansMay 10 - 21, 2012

Get all the latest PokerNews updates on your social media outlets. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook today! In the meantime, see who qualifies for the National Championship this weekend by following our Live Reporting Team’s coverage from Hammond.

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