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Previewing the 2011-2012 World Series of Poker Circuit Caesars Palace

Jeff "Dobie" Dobrin

For the last week, the World Series of Poker Circuit has been taking place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The 12-event stop kicked off on Thursday, Jan. 19, and will be headlined by the $1,600 Main Event beginning on Friday, Jan. 27.

"Caesars Palace has always carried with it a special aura — whether we’re talking about gambling, entertainment, or poker,” said Andy Rich, Director of Poker Operations for Caesars Palace. “We’ve always been the 'where it’s at' in Las Vegas. Over the next 12 days, we’re rolling out the red carpet for thousands of poker players who are expected enter our events and play for a gold ring. As the saying goes, ‘you can’t get a hit if you don’t stand up to the plate and take swing.'"

While the stop has played host to the normal variety of tournaments — such as the popular no-limit hold’em re-entry, pot-limit Omaha, and six-handed variants — a new event premiered on the Las Vegas strip this week. Event #5, the $350 Ante-Only No-Limit Hold’em tournament, attracted 203 entrants to create a prize pool of nearly $60,000.

So, what is an ante-only event? Here's how the WSOP explains it:

“The game is relatively easy to both understand and play. Instead of two players always posting orbits of forced bets (the small blind and big blind), all players are required to post an ante on every single hand. Then, prior to the flop, the first player to the left of the button is required to bet what usually amounts to the smallest denomination chip in play. Action then flows around the table and players may fold, call, or raise. Thereafter, the game proceeds as usual, with the usual rounds of betting after the flop, turn, and river.”

The winner of the first-ever WSOPC Ante-Only tournament was Jeff “Dobie” Dobrin, who captured a gold ring in addition to the $15,357 first-place prize. Dobrin, 40, lives in Portland, Oregon, and plays poker full time. He defeated well-known poker personality Bryan Micon in heads-up play to capture the title.

This week, the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be providing coverage of the Main Event. Here's a look at the WSOP Circuit Caesars Palace events completed thus far:

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

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
1Daniel DizenzoSussex, NJ$30,151
2Andrew YoungbloodLas Vegas, NV$18,645
3Benjamin PalmerLas Vegas, NV$13,621
4Robert WhalenCudahy, WI$10,097
5John CarrenoLos Angeles, CA$7,594
6Steven MorganSomerdale, NJ$5,793
7Jonathan GerrickLas Vegas, NV$4,481
8Matthew PetersLake Stevens, WA$3,516
9Kenika TerlepHonolulu, HI$2,798

WSOP Circuit Caesar Palace Ring Event #2 No-Limit Hold'em Re-Entry

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
1Aaron KlausmanBirmingham, AL$50,329
2Paul GibbonsMiddleton, WI$31,103
3Richard DuggerCoronado, CA$22,910
4Doug LeeCalgary, AB, Canada$17,098
5Robert MercerLas Vegas, NV$12,926
6Edilberto PinaLa Quinta, CA$9,899
7Larry WrightMcQueeney, TX$7,676
8Daniel WojcikNewark, NJ$6,027
9Richard JacksonKey West, FL$4,791

WSOP Circuit Caesar Palace Event #3 No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
1Gregory HartwickBolton, ON$26,106
2Kevin CalenzoNew Hartford, NY$16,124
3Grantland HillmanOakland, CA$11,643
4Andrew RudnikJohnstown, PA$8,551
5Jason KinderCarrollton, TX$6,388
6Ricky CrandellOverland Park, KS$4,854
7Daniel SavasTemecula, CA$3,750
8Adel ParvanehgoharChandler, AZ$2,945
9Stuart PfeiferLos Angeles, CA$2,349

WSOP Circuit Caesar Palace Ring Event #4 Pot Limit Omaha

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
1Gary BoldenLas Vergas, NV$10,477
2Tom ChristopherRocheport, MO$6,475
3Jonathan TamayoHumble, TX$4,610
4Chris BackVancouver, BC$3,349
5Scott DaviesLas Vegas, NV$2,481
6Scott SilvermanLone Pine, CA$1,873
7Brian SwinfordHoopeston, IL$1,440
8Brent CarterOak Park, IL$1,128

WSOP Circuit Caesar Palace Event #5 Ante Only No-Limit Hold'em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
1Jeffrey DobrinPortland, OR$15,357
2Bryan MiconLas Vegas, NV$9,488
3David DelaneyLong Lake, MN$6,851
4David NealMaple Valley, WA$5,031
5Jackson KimballClarkston, MI$3,759
6Carlos HerrejonMexico$2,856
7Conrad MonicaHemet, CA$2,206
8Ferdinand QuelleBrandon, MB, Canada$1,733
9Scott PermannTampa, FL$1,383

WSOP Circuit Caesar Palace Ring Event #6 No-Limit Hold’em Six Handed

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
1Dale BeaudoinBar Harbor, ME$25,391
2Robert NewmanBossier City, LA$15,689
3Everett CarltonSt. Paul, MN$10,888
4Yeping ShanSherwood Park, AB, Canada$7,648
5Brett KodetClay, MI$5,436
6Dwight JohnsonSan Diego, CA$3,909
7Addy LitfinSaratoga Springs, NY$2,843
8Robert BlandKamuela, HI$2,843
9Steve GrossLas Vergas, NV$2,091

WSOP Circuit Caesar Palace Ring Event #7 No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
1Blake KelsoLas Vegas, NV$23,583
2Ho Suk LeeHonolulu, HI$14,567
3Sam BarnhartLittle Rock, AR$10,518
4David CurreFairport, NY$7,724
5Oliver FeldmannFrankfurt, Germany$4,385
6Brian BumpasLong Beach, CA$4,385
7George SacaSacramento, CA$3,387
8Jeremy BurlesonStanley, NC$2,660
9Barry WashingtonCorvallis, OR$2,122

With several events yet to be determined, the race for the WSOP Caesars Palace Casino Champion is still up for grabs. 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 the following players 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
Bob ChowHorseshoe Hammond Main Event Winner
Drazen IlichHorseshoe Hammond Casino Champion
Gene DudekIP Biloxi Casino Champion
Jerry MonroeIP Biloxi Main Event Winner
Michael RosenbachLake Tahoe Casino Champ
Bryan SchultzLake Tahoe Main Event Champion
Tuan PhanHarrah’s AC Main Event Winner
Hao LeHarrah’s AC Casino Champ
Freddy DeebBicycle Casino Main Event Winner
Huy QuachBicycle Casino Champ
Raja KattamuriChoctaw Casino Champ
Abraham ArayaChoctaw Main Event 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*

David Clark137.516$47,015
Daniel Lowery12005$238,921
Alexandru Masek117.515$125,015
Robert Newman11514$45,619
Matthew Chang112.516$23,149
Orna Haynes11004$53,349
Felicia Johnico11015$22,620
Justin Gardenhire107.513$120,243
Russell Ivy107.505$68,208

*Leading up to the WSOP Circuit Caesars Palace 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 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

*Photo courtesy of Eric Harkins and ImageMasters.

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 week by following our Live Reporting Team’s coverage from Caesars Palace.

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