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Recapping the 2012-2013 WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant Prelims

Choctaw Durant

For the past week, the 2012/2013 World Series of Poker Circuit, presented by Southern Comfort 100 Proof, has been taking place at the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma. The stop, which is in its third year, features 12 ring events, many of which are over, which will culminate this weekend with the $1,675 Main Event. There are sure to be some interesting story lines that emerge out of that tournament, and we thought we’d set the stage by taking a look at the Choctaw Durant winners thus far.

The second event of the stop was a $580 No-Limit Hold’em Re-entry tournament that featured four starting days. That meant players had the option of re-entering up to four times! The tournament had a $500,000 guaranteed prize pool, which was smashed as 2,209 players turned out—the fourth largest turnout in WSOP Circuit history—and created a robust $1,104,500 prize pool.

Flight 1A during the day drew an impressive 576 entrants, and later another 354 players took to the felt for Flight 1B, which began at 5 p.m. On Saturday, Flight 1C attracted a massive 745 players, and Flight 1D drew 534 players. That brought the total to the aforementioned 2,209 entrants, 225 of whom would earn a payday and positioning for a run at the $168,433. The field was so large that an extra day had to be added to the schedule, but after more than 30 hours of tournament play, 37-year-old poker pro Ross Bybee of McKinney, Texas, emerged victorious after defeating Michael Downing in heads-up play.

“[It feels] amazing; spectacular; wonderful. Everything you can think of and then some,” Bybee told WSOP officials after the win. “I have no trophies. I’ve won a lot of events and I’ve gotten little tokens, but this is my first real trophy. For it to be a ring means a lot.”

“Poker is what I’ve wanted to do for a long time and anything to get my name out there makes it all the better,” Bybee concluded. It’s also worth noting that Doug “Rico” Carli took 161st in the event, extending his WSOP Circuit cash record to 69, more than double Mark “Pegasus” Smith’s 32 cashes.

Here's a look at the WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant events completed thus far:

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

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

James Henson, winner of Event #1.
James Henson, winner of Event #1.

1James HensonLake Jackson, TX$31,021
2Royce Prude Jr.Dallas, TX$19,182
3Josh PenderRockhill, SC$14,013
4Jacob McFarlandSan Antonio, TX$10,388
5Theresa HoffmanPflugerville, TX$7,812
6Vivian BelcherRowlett, TX$5,960
7Michael HopeDallas, TX$4,610
8Andrew ChubickDallas, TX$3,618
9Michael HopkinsElkland, MO$2,879

WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant Ring Event #2 No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

Ross Bybee, winner of Event #2.
Ross Bybee, winner of Event #2.

1Ross BybeeMckinney, TX$168,433
2Michael DowningHouston, TX$104,419
3Matthew BrayMagnolia, TX$78,685
4Predeep BuddharajuHouston, TX$60,085
5Jonathan HiltonChattanooga, TN$46,345
6Nicolas Vaca-RondonBogota, Colombia$36,095
7Christopher RauscherDickinson, TX$28,386
8Abraham MontenegroChicago, IL$22,543
9Jay DiazBrownfield, TX$18,081

WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant Ring Event #3 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

Erin Slaughter, winner of Event #3
Erin Slaughter, winner of Event #3

1Erin SlaughterRowlett, TX$23,660
2Mehmet AkbsN/A$14,631
3Drazen IlichLincoln, NE$10,674
4Mark StreckfusHouston, TX$7,917
5Stephen MurphyFrankston, TX$5,964
6William BrannenCrowley, TX$4,526
7Jason HallGainesville, TX$3,540
8Benjamin ReasonWhitehouse, TX$2,787
9Michael DumasAbilene, TX$2,225

WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant Ring Event #4 No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

Aaron Ruppert, winner of Event #4.
Aaron Ruppert, winner of Event #4.

1Aaron RuppertNorman, OK$23,326
2Herman ToneySpring, TX$14,418
3Alexander MendozaConroe, TX$10,518
4Jeremy CookJefferson City, MO$7,802
5Pavlin KarakikovHarwood Heights, IL$5,877
6Billy TaylorDurant, OK$4,495
7Darin BrockIrving, TX$3,488
8Alex GyrDallas, TX$2,746
9Wesley ParnellDallas, TX$2,192

WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant Ring Event #5 No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

Michael Hahn, winner of Event #5.
Michael Hahn, winner of Event #5.

1Michael HahnBloomington, IN$22,276
2Lynn AcheySheldon, MO$13,774
3Maurice GreenMesquite, TX$10,004
4Austin BuchananWinter Park, FL$7,390
5Weldon HymanClinton, OK$5,548
6Craig SternFort Lauderdale, FL$4,231
7Robert Murphy Jr.Lexington, TX$3,277
8Rogelio SalinasSan Antonio, TX$2,577
9Deborah PhillipsOzark, MO$2,056

WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant Ring Event #6 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed

Kevin Eyster, winner of Event #6.
Kevin Eyster, winner of Event #6.

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

1Kevin EysterLafayette, LA$27,573
2Isaac DoMurphy, TX$17,032
3Walter BellSan Antonio, TX$11,920
4Sean SmallDouglasville, GA$8,429
5Wayne BrownNewberry, MI$6,027
6Austin ApicellaFair Oaks Ranch, TX$4,355

WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant Ring Event #7 No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

Michael “Carwash” Schneider
Michael “Carwash” Schneider

1Michael “Carwash” SchneiderCovington, GA$20,374
2Andrew RobinsonHutto, TX$12,592
3Stephen VogelMuenster, TX$9,137
4Neal DesaiAustin, TX$6,741
5Glen GoldsmithPalestine, TX$5,056
6William AustinMarietta, GA$3,853
7Bruce HoytGilbert, AZ$2,982
8Daniel WatkinsWaco, TX$2,343
9Allen KesslerHuntington Valley, PA$1,869

WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant Ring Event #8 No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

Allan Faber, winner of Event #8.
Allan Faber, winner of Event #8.

1Allan FaberMetairie, LA$24,569
2Matthew AlexanderSt. Paul, MN$15,186
3Rex ClinkscalesLas Vegas, NV$11,078
4Michael VarnellTulsa, OK$8,217
5Edward CorradoNaples, FL$6,190
6David HendricksonGrand Prairie, TX$4,734
7Darin BrockIrving, TX$3,674
8Phillip HuiSan Antonio, TX$2,892
9Kyle MilamLittle Rock, AR$2,309

With several events yet to be determined, the race for the WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant Champion is undetermined. Whoever captures that title, along with the eventual winner of the Main Event, will automatically qualify for the National Championship. Here's a look at the players who have qualified:

National Championship Qualifiers

Jonathan ChehanskeHarrah’s Rincon Main Event Champion
Valentin VornicuHarrah’s Rincon Casino Champion
Adam TeasdaleHarrah’s Atlantic City Main Event Champion
Brandon FishHarrah’s Atlantic City Casino Champion
Cary MarshallHarveys Lake Tahoe Main Event Champion
Daniel GilmerHarveys Lake Tahoe Casino Champion
John CrncicRiver Rock (Vancouver) Main Event Winner
Sandra WongRiver Rock (Vancouver) Casino Champion
Josh WilliamsHorseshoe Horseshoe Hammond Main Event Winner
Mike LeahHorseshoe Hammond Casino Champion
Dan HeimillerHorseshoe Southern Indiana Main Event Winner
Jonathan TaylorHorseshoe Southern Indiana Casino Champion
Quan NguyenBossier City Casino Champion
Jeff GibralterBossier City Main Event Champion
Kyle CartwrightIP Biloxi Main Event Winner
Cory WoodIP Biloxi Casino Champion

In addition to the qualifiers, players who earn enough points on the National Leaderboard will earn a seat into the National Championship:

WSOPC National Leaderboard Top Ten*

Rex Clinkscales167.507$38,368
Yossi Azulay165012$79,218
Wendy Freedman15015$55,755
Charles “Woody” Moore15007$46,997
Caufman Talley142.525$82,963
Aaron Massey142.515$55,252
Trevor Deeter127.518$37,898
Alex Masek127.526$37,163
Carter Myers12516$49,713
Joshua Pender12517$44,657

*Leading up to the WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant stop.

Here's a look at the remaining schedule for the 2012-13 WSOP Circuit:

DateEvent Location
Jan. 24 - Feb. 4, 2013Harrah’s Tunica (Mississippi)
Feb. 7-18, 2013Caesars Palace (Las Vegas)
Feb. 14-25, 2013Palm Beach Kennel Club (Florida)
Feb. 28 - March 11, 2013Caesars Atlantic City
March 14-25, 2013Lodge Casino Black Hawk (Colorado)
March 27 - April 8, 2013Foxwoods (Connecticut)
April 4-15, 2012Harrah’s Cherokee (North Carolina)
April 11-April 22, 2013Horseshoe Council Bluffs (Iowa)
April 25 - May 6, 2013Harrah’s Philadelphia
May 9 - May 20, 2013Harrah’s New Orleans
May 21-23, 2013Harrah’s New Orleans (National Championship)

For more information on the 2012-13 WSOP Circuit season, visit Also, be sure to follow our live updates from the WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant in our Live Reporting Section.

*Photos courtesy of

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