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Previewing the 2012-2013 World Series of Poker Circuit IP Biloxi

John Dolan

The 2012-2013 World Series of Poker Circuit presented by Southern Comfort 100 Proof kicked off on Aug. 9 with the first of 20 stops — the WSOP Circuit IP Biloxi at the IP Resort Casino and Spa in Mississippi. The stop will run through Aug. 20, in which time 12 rings events will be held including the $1,675 Main Event.

The stop kicked off in a big way when a WSOP Circuit regular finally laid claim to his first gold ring. We’re talking about 23-year-old Blake Barousse from Lafayette, Louisiana, who is also a student at McNeese College. Barousse conquered a field of 202 players, earned $15,757, and took an early lead in the Casino Champion race.

“It’s good to get it at the beginning of the Circuit for the [WSOP National Championship] points,” Barousse said. “That’s what I was trying to do last year even though I didn’t pursue it much. Now that I’m starting off with 50 points, I will definitely grind more.”

He went of to add: "It feels pretty good. It has been a while since I've won a tournament. I haven't won one in about a year and I've played a lot of them — especially WSOP Circuit events. Last year I think I played 35 or 40 events and cashed in maybe two or three of them."

In Event #2: $580 No-Limit Hold'em, Elisa Burkett made history by besting a field of 103 players in just over 10 hours, the fastest ring event in WSOP Circuit history. "The ring lasts forever and money doesn't," Burkett said. "I have something to look at and know I made an accomplishment. This feels awesome. I'm very, very excited."

A couple of days later, Event #4: $365 No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry began and attracted a field of 461 entrants, the second largest Circuit event ever held at IP Biloxi, trailing the 477 players in the same event last year. It took some time, but eventually Caufman Talley of Lafayette, Louisiana, emerged victorious and laid claim to the $29,743 first-place prize.

In Event #6, a familiar face made the final table — 2010 November Nine participant and Gulf Coast poker regular John Dolan. If you recall, Dolan finished sixth at the 2010 WSOP Main Event for nearly $1.8 million.

“I have more freedom in life and in poker,” said Dolan about life after the Main Event. “I can play when I want to for the most part and if I feel like taking a month off it isn’t that big of a deal anymore. It’s really nice in that sense.”

Dolan made the most of his latest WSOP final table appearance and bested the field to capture the $12,265 first-place prize. “It always feels good to final table something and especially win something, even if it is small,” Dolan said after his win. “I’ve always been pretty competitive and I like $12,000 just as much as anyone else.”

Here's a look at the WSOP Circuit IP Biloxi events completed thus far:

Blake Barousse, winner of Event #1.
Blake Barousse, winner of Event #1.

WSOP Circuit IP Biloxi Ring Event #1: No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$300+$65202$60,600
PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Blake BarousseLafayette, LA$15,757
2Josh EvansPlano, TX$32,317
3Cory WoodMurfreesboro, TN$7,028
4Somphone SengsouvanhIrvington, AL$5,161
5Corbett McdonaldBaton Rouge, LA$3,856
6Carl AdkinsMendenhall, MS$2,930
7Edward KupiheaNew Iberia, LA$2,263
8Daniel NoblesMobile, AL$1,777
9Eric WilkinsonNew Orleans, LA$1,418

Elisa Burkett, winner of Event #2.
Elisa Burkett, winner of Event #2.

WSOP Circuit IP Biloxi Event #2: No-Limit Hold'em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$500+$80103$51,500
PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Elisa BurkettBraselton, GA$15,449
2Joel WattsOcean Springs, MS$9,549
3Chris ConradTampa, FL$6,799
4James ChoquetteAustin, TX$4,939
5James JohnsonTifton, GA$3,659
6Bertel LadnerBiloxi, MS$2,762
7Michael HallenTampa, FL$2,124
8Charles McDanielOrange Beach, AL$1,664
9Ed BridgesSpanish Fort, AL$1,327

Travis Johnston, winner of Event #3.
Travis Johnston, winner of Event #3.

WSOP Circuit IP Biloxi Event #3: Pot-Limit Omaha

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$300+$6578$23,400
PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Travis JohnstonLafayette, LA$7,956
2John AshleyOxford, AL$4,923
3Donna MurrayGautier, MS$3,240
4Tim BurtGrenada, MS$2,268
5Kirk ShelmerdineWinston-Salem, NC$1,681
6Tony HatleyMobile, AL$1,315
7Michael MckuinFisk, MO$1,082
8Justin TruesdellFt. Thomas, KY$935

Caufman Talley, winner of Event #4.
Caufman Talley, winner of Event #4.

WSOP Circuit IP Biloxi Event #4: No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$300+$65461$138,300
PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Caufman TalleyLafayette, LA$29,743
2Patrick HorriganNew Orleans, LA$18,384
3Matthew KeetonHampton Cove, AL$13,430
4Bryan McmullinPoplar Bluff, MO$9,956
5Kamran ShahlaeiWiggins, MS$7,488
6Ronald LeeSan Antonio, TX$5,712
7N/AN/AN/A
8Alexander DebelleGulfport, MS$3,467
9James JohnsonTifton, GA$2,759

Ashly Butler, winner of Event #5.
Ashly Butler, winner of Event #5.

WSOP Circuit IP Biloxi Event #5: No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$300+$65171$51,300
PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Ashly ButlerNew Orleans, LA$13,850
2Charles “Woody” MooreLas Vegas, NV$8,560
3Chris ConradTampa, FL$6,162
4Steven GiddingsRuston, LA$4,516
5Rodney ShowsHattiesburg, MS$3,368
6Douglas GambelPonchatoula, LA$2,556
7Robert IversenGulf Breeze, FL$1,973
8Michael McCroanAtlanta, GA$1,548
9Kip JonesDenham Springs, LA$1,234

John Dolan, winner of Event #6.
John Dolan, winner of Event #6.

WSOP Circuit IP Biloxi Event #6: No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$300+$65146$43,800
PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1John DolanBonita Springs, FL$12,265
2Cory WoodMurfreesboro, TN$7,580
3Aaron GaminoNashville, TN$5,471
4Jay MartinSaraland, AL$4,020
5Ronald ColeSour Lake, TX$3,006
6Ryan TepenChesterfield, MO$2,285
7Daniel RiveraBaton Rouge, LA$1,766
8Lacy WillsPort St Lucie, FL$1,388
9Austin BuchananWinter Park, FL$1,108

Rondal Givens, winner of Event #7.
Rondal Givens, winner of Event #7.

WSOP Circuit IP Biloxi Event #7: No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$300+$65139$41,700
PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Rondal GivensMonteagle, TN$11,675
2Benton BlakemanDaphne, AL$7,217
3Chris ParsonsMentor, OH$5,209
4Peter SullivanRoscoe, IL$3,828
5David FoxKerrville, TX$2,861
6Rodney ShowsHattiesburg, MS$2,175

Jonathan Taylor, winner of Event #8.
Jonathan Taylor, winner of Event #8.

WSOP Circuit IP Biloxi Event #8: No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$300+$65148$44,400
PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Jonathan TaylorPhil Campbell, AL$12,434
2Ashly ButlerNew Orleans, LA$7,684
3Linda FredericksBaton Rouge, LA$5,546
4Hoyt LanceRinggold, GA$4,075
5Joseph MupoTavernier, FL$3,047
6Mihail KarasoulisMetairie, LA$2,316
7Somphone SengsouvanhIrvington, AL$1,791
8David KrugerSlater, MO$1,407
9James BeetzHouston, TX$1,123

Ben Mintz, winner of Event #9.
Ben Mintz, winner of Event #9.

WSOP Circuit IP Biloxi Event #9: No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$1,000+$125100$100,000
PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Ben MintzNew Orleans, LA$30,000
2Bruce SchlichtingRockford, IL$18,542
3Joshua ReichardBeloit, WI$13,202
4Austin BuchananWinter Park, FL$9,590
5Dwyte PilgrimBrooklyn, NY$7,104
6Aaron MasseyChicago, IL$5,363
7Aaron GaminoNashville, TN$4,125
8Mohammad MoeiniGulfport, MS$3,231
9Charles “Woody” MooreLas Vegas, NV$2,576

Patrick Smith, winner of Event #10.
Patrick Smith, winner of Event #10.

WSOP Circuit IP Biloxi Event #10: No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
$300+$65169$50,700
PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Patrick SmithMontgomery, AL$13,689
2Rex ClinkscalesLas Vegas, NV$8,460
3Somphone SengsouvanhIrvington, AL$6,090
4Brian KlingmanLoganville, GA$4,463
5Michael SandersLas Vegas, NV$3,329
6Joshua PalmerDaphne, AL$2,526
7Miguel BorreroJersey City, NJ$1,950
8Valentin VornicuSan Diego, CA$1,530
9William StanfordAmory, MS$1,220

With several events yet to be determined, the race for the WSOP Circuit IP Biloxi Casino Champion is wide open. Whoever captures that title, along with the eventual winner of the Main Event, will automatically qualify for the Third Annual National Championship. In addition to the qualifiers, the top 60 point earners on the National Leaderboard will earn a seat into the National Championship:

*Photos courtesy of Eric Harkins and ImageMasters.

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