WSOP National Championship to be Contested May 22-24, 2013 in New Orleans

WSOP Circuit

The 2012/2013 World Series of Poker Circuit is more than two-thirds complete, and only six stops remain before the third annual National Championship at Harrah’s New Orleans from May 22-24, 2013. What's more, through 13 stops (the numbers aren’t in for Caesars Atlantic City), 53,847 entrants have participated on the 2012-13 WSOP Circuit and generated $29,191,518 in prize money, putting the Circuit on pace to become the richest and most attended season in its nine-year history.

On May 21, this season’s sponsor, Southern Comfort 100 Proof, will host an official welcome party in New Orleans, coinciding with completion of the last WSOP Circuit stop of the season. Once that stop’s Main Event and Casino Championship are determined, the 100 qualifiers — composed of 20 Main Event champions, 20 Casino Championship winners, and 60 point qualifiers — will be determined, and they will be joined by up to 100 players (eligibility based on their performances in 2011 and 2012 open bracelet events) who opt to buy in for $10,000.

The field will then compete for $1 million in prize money fronted by the WSOP, plus any additional buy-in money from the 100 eligible players, and an official WSOP gold bracelet at a nationally televised finale, which will air on ESPN on July 30, 2013 from 9 to 11 p.m. ET.

Last year’s National Championship attracted 157 players and saw a $1,570,000 prize pool up for grabs. Walking away with the $416,051 first-place prize and gold bracelet was Ryan Eriquezzo, who qualified for the event by winning the 2011-12 WSOP Circuit Caesars Atlantic City Main Event.

Here’s a look at the players who are currently qualified for this year’s National Championship:

Joseph McKeehanCaesars Atlantic City Main Event Champion
Christopher LeongCaesars Atlantic City Casino Champion
Jonathan TamayoPalm Beach Kennel Club Main Event Champion
Sam PanzicaPalm Beach Kennel Club Casino Champion
Jeff FielderChoctaw Durant Main Event Champion
Andrew RobinsonChoctaw Durant Casino Champion
Baptiste ChavillazBicycle Casino Main Event Champion
Nathan BjernoBicycle Casino Champion
Ryan StevensonHarrah’s Tunica Main Event Champion
John HolleyHarrah’s Tunica 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 Leader Board will qualify for the National Championship. Here’s a look at the 10 top point earners who are primed to qualify for the National Championship:

WSOP National Championship to be Contested May 22-24, 2013 in New Orleans 101
Rex Clinkscales

Rex Clinkscales265013$71,351
Ari Engel230212$114,221
Pedro Rios217.5012$168,145
David Nicholson167.5110$74,832
Yossi Azulay165012$79,218
Aaron Massey162.516$70,657
Carter Myers162.517$63,062
Blake Barousse16026$86,590
Trevor Deeter157.519$43,879
Charles “Woody” Moore15509$48,636

Finally, 100 players are eligible to join the National Championship. Among them are Phil Hellmuth, Greg Merson, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, Ben Lamb, Jason Mercier, Chris Moorman, Antonio Esfandiari, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Phil Ivey, Vanessa Selbst, Barry Greenstein, Andy Bloch and Maria Ho. The entire list can be viewed by clicking here, but needless to say, it could turn out to be a star-studded affair.

If you haven’t qualified yet, fear not. There are still a half dozen more stops remaining:

March 14-25, 2013The Lodge at Blackhawk outside Denver, Colorado
March 27 - April 8, 2013Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut
April 4-15, 2013Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina
April 11-22, 2013Horseshoe Council Bluffs in Iowa
April 25 – May 6, 2013Harrah’s Philadelphia
May 9-20, 2013Harrah’s New Orleans

*Lead photo courtesy of Foxwoods.

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Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

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