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Previewing the 2011-2012 World Series of Poker Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club

Anh Lu

The World Series of Poker Circuit has returned to West Palm Beach, Florida, for one of the biggest stops of the year. The 12-event series kicked off on February 16 and will culminate in a $1,600 Main Event on Saturday, Feb. 25. Of course the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be providing coverage of the Main Event, but we thought we’d set the stage with a look back at the preliminary events.

Without a doubt, the most notable preliminary tournament was Event #1: $555 No-Limit Hold’em, which drew an astounding 2,607 players, the second-largest turnout in WSOP Circuit history, and created a prize pool of $1,250,345, the largest-ever outside of Main Events.

Caesars Interactive Entertainment Media Director, Nolan Dalla described the scene during Event #1: “There were unavoidable lines. There were scalpers — yes, selling places in line to get a seat in the tournament. There was a near riot during one of the opening days. There was also a calm and cozy peace that prevailed over the sprawling tournament area once cards finally flew into the air and competition began, with poker tables terraced along the atrium-like windows facing out towards circling greyhounds and throngs of horseplayers screaming for their favorite ponies, appearing on simulcast.”

It took five days of play, including three separate starting days, for the tournament to finish, but before that happened, the final 30 players had to play down to a winner. One man who was looking for his first piece of WSOP gold was Harrison Gimbel, whom you may recall won the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Unfortunately, Gimbel’s run came up a bit short in seventh place, for which he earned $32,214, and his first WSOP Circuit cash.

When all was said and done, a 50-year-old nail technician by the name of Anh Lu emerged victorious to capture the $182,750 first-place prize, which was the biggest payout for a WSOP Circuit prelim event. In what would be the final hand of the tournament, Lu held a 2:1 chip lead over Charles Flett in heads-up play, which lasted just 10 minutes. Flett was all-in with {K-Spades}{Q-Spades}, but was behind the {J-Hearts}{J-Diamonds} of Lu. The {J-Spades}{10-Clubs}{3-Clubs} flop gave Lu a set, and it held as neither the {7-Clubs} turn nor {4-Diamonds} river completed Flett’s open-ended straight draw.

Here's a look at the WSOP Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club events completed thus far:

Anh Lu, Winner of Event #1
Anh Lu, Winner of Event #1

WSOP Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club Ring Event #1: No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$500+$552,607$1,250,345
PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Anh LuBradenton, FL$182,750
2Charles FlettPonca City, OK$113,759
3Jerry ArdMoticello, MS$86,611
4Josh KayWest Bloomfield, MI$66,874
5Jose SilvermanSan Juan, PR$52,014
6Phong NguyenBristow, VA$40,772
7Harrison GimbelJupiter, FL$32,214
8Devon GarbusTampa, FL$25,648
9Michael CoxSumter, SC$20,594

Loni Harwood, Winner of Event #2
Loni Harwood, Winner of Event #2

WSOP Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club Ring Event #2: No-Limit Hold'em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$300+$45500$144,150
PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Loni HarwoodStaten Island, NY$30,994
2Anne AmatoSarasota, FL$19,162
3Amanda MusumeciPhiladelphia, PA$13,998
4William BuckmasterAtlanta, GA$10,377
5Frank MainadeMiami, FL$7,804
6Eric BrenesSan Jose, Costa Rica$5,953
7Christopher LambertCarmichael, CA$4,606
8Michael PalumboFort Myers, FL$3,614
9Calvin SmithGastonia, NC$2,876

Jason Reep, Winner of Event #3
Jason Reep, Winner of Event #3

WSOP Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club Event #3: H.O.R.S.E.

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$300+$45247$70,527
PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Jason ReepJupiter, FL$17,279
2Steve AllenBradenton, FL$10,676
3Ryan GelsominoDeerfield Beach, FL$7,714
4David FriedLas Vegas, NV$5,677
5Joseph PalmaLanghorne, PA$4,253
6Christopher BrownMiami, FL$3,241
7Chris BiglerLas Vegas, NV$2,511
8Ralph BroderickBoynston Beach, FL$1,977

Adam Cook, Winner of Event #4
Adam Cook, Winner of Event #4

WSOP Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club Ring Event #4: No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$300+$45413$118,833
PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Adam CookPasadena, MD$26,142
2Ralph RobinsonStone Mountain, GA$16,155
3Christopher CristilloNantucket, MA$11,805
4Alberto FonsecaMoravia, Costa Rica$8,765
5Eddie UeharaWaldo, FL$6,609
6Mstr LynchLewisville, TX$5,509
7Drazen IlichLincoln, NE$3,929
8Steven CostaCoconut Creek, FL$3,094
9Michael SmithOlive Branch, MS$2,472

Jacob Schindler, Winner of Event #5
Jacob Schindler, Winner of Event #5

WSOP Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club Event #5: No-Limit Hold'em Six Handed

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$300+$45391$112,431
PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Jacob SchindlerPhiladelphia, PA$24,736
2Abbey DanielsCoral Springs, FL$15,285
3Patricia TillAvon, IN$11,169
4Andrew PrioreUnion, NJ$8,293
5Roman ValersteinNewtown, PA$6,253
6Michael AlmeroodOrlando, FL$4,786

Joseph Casella, Winner of Event #6
Joseph Casella, Winner of Event #6

WSOP Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club Ring Event #6: No-Limit Hold’em Six Handed

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$300+$45353$101,373
PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Joseph CasellaRoyal Palm Beach, FL$23,315
2Aaron BermanWest Bloomfield, MI$14,414
3Steven TabbNewton, MA$10,515
4Jamey JohnsonTifton, GA$7,800
5Austen JohnsonWoodsboro, MD$5,876
6Yonisander RamirezMiami, FL$4,494
7Douglas LangDelmer, NY$3,487
8Christopher ChoyEast Brunswick, NJ$2,745
9Christopher AshleyMartinez, GA$2,192

James Henson, Winner of Event #7
James Henson, Winner of Event #7

WSOP Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club Ring Event #7 No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$500+$55290$139,300
PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1James HensonLake Jackson, TX$33,749
2Drew DumanskiRichardson, TX$20,861
3John HarrisBakersfield, CA$11,168
4John DeviaWest Palm Beach, FL$11,168
5Chad BatistaHenderson, NV$8,376
6Jerry PayneCenterville, OH$6,383
7Stuart McMahenSpringhill, LA$4,940
8Lou StadlerMiami, FL$3,845
9Glenn PooleMemphis, TN$3,067

Brian Odonoghue, Winner of Event #8
Brian Odonoghue, Winner of Event #8

WSOP Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club Ring Event #8 No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$300+$45279$81,189
PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Brian OdonoghueBayside, NY$19,487
2Jonathan MarksWeston, FL$12,042
3Ira SchwartzWeston, FL$8,738
4James BiehlMancelona, MI$6,446
5Chris ParsonsMentor, OH$4,835
6Chris TrybaLas Vegas, NV$3,684
7Michael CarlsonGainesville, GA$2,851
8Joseph OpieFair Haven, NJ$2,241
9Robert GoldbaumChappaqua, NY$1,788

Joseph Patalano, Winner of Event #9
Joseph Patalano, Winner of Event #9

WSOP Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club Ring Event #9 No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$1,000+$80149$144,530
PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Joseph PatalanoWellington, FL$40,467
2William CriegoPrior Lake, MN$25,012
3Julian SacksRidgewood, NJ$18,055
4Paul SokoloffToronto, ON$13,266
5Blake IdleWest Palm Beach, FL$9,918
6Lee ChildsAlexandria, VA$7,540
7Jovan SudarOmaha, NE$5,829
8Katherine BowenJudson, TX$4,579
9Tom DobrilovicWest Nyack, NY$3,655

With several events yet to be determined, the race for the WSOP Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club Casino Champion is undecided. 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 a handful of players have qualified:

National Championship Qualifiers

PlayerQualified
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
Gary BoldenCaesars Palace Casino Champ
Kevin CalenzoCaesars Palace Main Event Winner
Matthew WeberHarrah’s Tunica Casino Champ
Kurt JewellHarrah’s Tunica Main Event Winner

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*

PlayerPointsRingsCashedEarnings
David Clark16517$56,209
Russell Ivy13007$72,703
Benjamin Kramer13018$58,600
Daniel Lowery122.506$240,522
Matthew Chang122.517$25,468
Alexandru Masek117.515$125,015
Jeremy Burleson117.523$48,474
Jeremy Drewery117.506$47,275
Oran Haynes11505$56,220
Robert Newman11514$45,619

*Leading up to the WSOP Circuit Palm Beach Kennel Club 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

EventLocationDates
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 week by following our Live Reporting Team’s coverage from the Palm Beach Kennel Club.

*Photos courtesy of Eric Harkins and ImageMasters.

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