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Recapping the 2012-2013 WSOP Circuit Harrah's Tunica Prelims

Harrah's Tunica

The 2012/2013 World Series of Poker Circuit presented by Southern Comfort 100 Proof has been rolling along here in the first month of 2013. The Bicycle Casino and Choctaw Durant stops are already in the books, and since Jan. 24, Harrah’s Tunica in Mississippi has been playing host to several ring events. The stop will culminate this weekend with the $1,675 Main Event. There are sure to be some interesting story lines emerging from that tournament, and we thought we’d set the stage by taking a look at the Harrah’s Tunica winners thus far.

One of the feel-good stories that emerged early on was Sean Maurer’s win in Event #2 $365 No-Limit Hold’em for $43,880. The 22-year-old Illinois factory worker, who has only played cash games, was playing his first live tournament and managed to top a field of 611.

Maurer began the final table second in chips, and he seemed to stay toward the top as play progress. One by one his opponents fell, including final table chip leader Ben DeForrest, who was eliminated in sixth place. After three-and-a-half hours of play, only Maurer and Mark Bell, a 43-year-old poker player from Louisville, Kentucky, remained. The heads-up battle lasted only 30 minutes before Maurer clinched victory after his {6-}{6-} held up against his opponent’s {4-}{4-}.

“I’m speechless right now. I can’t even describe how I feel right now,” Maurer told WSOP officials after his win. “My job doesn’t pay big money, but it's steady, and I don’t have the stress of playing professionally,” he added when asked what the win means for his future. “I’ll keep playing tournaments like this one but I’m going back to work on Monday. But I’ll be walking in with a big smile.”

Here's a look at the WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Tunica events completed thus far:

WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Tunica Ring Event #1 No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

John Holley, winner of Event #1.
John Holley, winner of Event #1.

1John HolleyDestin, FL$28,707
2Mark MaleticCanton, MI$17,741
3Richard McCraryHuntsville, AL$12,964
4Ray GreenPleasant View, TN$9,626
5John MaloneMemphis, TN$7,258
6Carl BrewingtonNashville, TN$5,555
7Douglas MackinnonEast Amherst, NY$4,314
8Kory KilpatrickAthens, GA$3,398
9John PratherNashville, TN$2,714

WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Tunica Ring Event #2 No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

Sean Maurer, winner of Event #2.
Sean Maurer, winner of Event #2.

1Sean MaurerGrayville, IL$43,880
2Mark BellJeffersonville, IN$23,809
3Kevin PraytorOdenville, AL$17,410
4Ryan TurnerRochester, IL$12,919
5Ber XiongLawrenceville, GA$9,720
6Benjamin DeforrestBallwin, MO$7,414
7Donna HeardTruman, AR$5,734
8Calvin SimpsonNashville, IN$4,495
9Paul MckannaNashville, TN$3,571

WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Tunica Ring Event #3 No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

Lee Sawyer, winner of Event #3.
Lee Sawyer, winner of Event #3.

1Lee SawyerKennett, MO$67,681
2Sean SmallDouglasville, GA$41,943
3Daniel RiveraBaton Rouge, LA$30,782
4Justin BrownBloomington, IN$23,259
5Duy TranBrentwood, TN$17,750
6Robert NorrisRichland, WA$13,662
7Brandon ShaneSagamore Hls, OH$10,638
8Michael BozarthHawesville, KY$8,381
9Jeff HuffmanNoblesville, IN$6,680

WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Tunica Ring Event #4 No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

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

1Aaron KernsSullivan, IN$21,571
2David ReedOntario, CA$13,339
3Jeffrey HoffmanWichita Falls, TX$9,688
4Ronald BrassardNashua, NH$7,156
5Steven WilliamsLittle Rock, AR$5,372
6Sean McDonaldSt. Louis, MO$4,097
7Peter SullivanRoscoe, IL$3,174
8Stuart BreakstoneMemphis, TN$2,495
9Bobby ByramOsceola, AR$1,991

WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Tunica Ring Event #5 No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool
1John LoiacanoMooresville, NC$21,595
2Carter MyersBreckenridge, MI$13,349
3Marc NellistLoganville, GA$9,686
4Robert HankinsMurfreesboro, TN$7,146
5Nicholas MelvilleN/A$5,360
6Erin SlaughterRowlett, TX$4,084
7Nicolas Vaca-RondonBogota, Colombia$3,161
8Ricky StantonBolivar, MO$2,484
9Ronald BowersCape Girardeau, MO$1,982

WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Tunica Ring Event #6 NLHE Six-Handed

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

Shawn Fakhimi, winner of Event #6.
Shawn Fakhimi, winner of Event #6.

1Shawn FakhimiFayetteville, AR$22,071
2John HolleyDestin, FL$13,640
3Douglas AshmoreHouston, TX$9,470
4Calvin KincadeParagould, AR$6,644
5Kat BowenGladewater, TX$4,712
6Philip BoydHigh Ridge, MO$3,377

WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Tunica Ring Event #7 No-Limit Hold’em

Buy-inEntrantsPrize Pool

Thomas Zenthoefer, winner of Event #7.
Thomas Zenthoefer, winner of Event #7.

1Thomas ZenthoeferEvansville, IN$23,389
2Samuel PriceChattanooga, TN$14,461
3Robert WardSaint Charles, MO$10,549
4Henry MontgomeryLexington, KY$7,825
5Michael WisslerSt. Louis, MO$5,895
6Harold MahaffeyAnderson, SC$4,508
7Robert ManleyFort Worth, TX$3,498
8Richard MoonRowlett, TX$2,754
9Ronald BowersCape Girardeau, MO$2,199

With several events yet to be determined, the race for the WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Tunica 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

Jeff FielderChoctaw Durant Main Event Champion
Andrew RobinsonChoctaw Durant Casino Champion
Baptiste ChavaillazBicycle Casino Main Event Champion
Nathan BjernoBicycle Casino Casino Champion
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 spot into the National Championship:

WSOPC National Leaderboard Top Ten*

Rex Clinkscales217.509$59,432
Yossi Azulay165012$79,218
Wendy Freedman15015$55,755
Charles “Woody” Moore15007$46,997
Caufman Talley142.525$82,963
Aaron Massey142.515$55,252
Joshua Pender132.519$46,558
Austin Buchanan127.509$50,334
Trevor Deeter127.518$37,898
Alex Masek127.526$37,163

*Leading up to the WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Tunica stop.

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

DateEvent Location
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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