Harrah's Las Vegas Update - WSOP Circuit Events
Sept 08, 2005  
by Jason Kirk  

The second stop of this year's World Series of Poker Circuit began on September 5th in Las Vegas at Harrah's on the Strip. So far three events have been held - the LIPS Tour Ladies Event, the $500+50 No-Limit Hold'em event, and the $1000+60 No-Limit Hold'em event. The fields thus far have been smaller than those seen in Tunica or in last season's Circuit events. Among the factors that can be probably be blamed for the low attendance are the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the scheduling conflicts with other tournaments currently running. There have definitely been more pros in attendance than there were in Tunica, but that's easy to understand because there are little or no travel costs involved for them.

While the reduced fields may not be directly attributed to their absence, Johnny Grooms and Jack Effel are sitting out on the Las Vegas WSOP Circuit events. These two men were the tournament directors at this year's WSOP and WSOP Circuit in Tunica. Players from all the events seem to agree that they run a fine show, and I can personally attest to their professionalism from having seen them in action. They put the players first and it shows in how well the events are run. Not having them and their tournament staff running the show in Las Vegas can't possibly help these events.The good news for players outside of Las Vegas is that Grooms and Effel will be running all the WSOP Circuit tournaments in locations outside Las Vegas this year.

Here's a rundown of the finishers in each event of the Harrah's Las Vegas WSOP Circuit so far:

Event #1 - $200+30 LIPS Tour Ladies No-Limit Hold'em
123 players, $22,944 prize pool

1 Dorothy Canada - Las Vegas, NV - $8,260
2 Kim Austin - Beaufort, SC - $4,589
3 Patricia Tequida - Sacramento, CA - $2,524
4 Marie Hoang - Westminster, OH - $1,836
5 Sandy Williams - Toronto, ON, Canada - $1,606
6 Kelly Alberger - Tampa, FL - $1,377
7 Sherry Godfrey - Los Angeles, CA - $1,147
8 Rossinia Tolentino - Los Angeles, CA - $918
9 Mary Jones - Las Vegas, NV - $688

Event #2 - $500+50 No-Limit Hold'em
268 players, $129,980 prize pool

1 Men "The Master" Nguyen - Las Vegas, NV - $41,591
2 Chad Layne - Las Vegas, NV - $22,876
3 Jeff Robson - Las Vegas, NV - $11,698
4 An Tran - Las Vegas, NV - $9,099
5 James Eastham - Las Vegas, NV - $7,799
6 Marlon Milne - Las Vegas, NV - $6,499
7 Faye Sonntag - Las Vegas, NV - $5,199
8 Michael Rankins - Colorado Springs, CO - $3,899
9 Philippe Lauren - Stockton, CA - $2,600

Event #3 - $1000+60 No-Limit Hold'em
140 players, $135,800 prize pool

1 Doshi Suresh - Las Vegas, NV - $48,888
2 John Harris - Staley, NC - $27,160
3 Stan Jablonski - Henderson, NV - $14,938
4 John Casteel - Virginia Beach, VA - $10,864
5 Max Pescatori - Las Vegas, NV - $9,506
6 Thanh Daf Tran - El Monte, CA - $8,148
7 George Tallas - Las Vegas, NV - $6,790
8 Scott Montes - Las Vegas, NV - $5,432
9 Brett Friedman - Dallas, TX - $4,074

The schedule for the WSOP Circuit had originally called for the next stop after Harrah's Las Vegas to begin September 29 in Biloxi, MS, but plans have changed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Grand Casino Biloxi was heavily damaged by the storm and many of its employees were directly affected. "Our focus at this time is on ensuring the safety of our employees and their families and helping them and the communities in which we operate recover from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina," Ginny Shanks, senior vice president of brand management for Harrah's Entertainment, said in a press release from the casino giant. "I'm certain our customers understand and share those concerns." No plans regarding the WSOP Circuit event scheduled for New Orleans in May 2006 have yet been announced, and for the time being all other WSOP Circuit events are due to go off as scheduled.

The WSOP Circuit's next stop after the completion of the events in Las Vegas will be Caesars Indiana. Events begin there on October 19th and run through November 2nd. This will be the first time the WSOP Circuit has come to Indiana, and should be an exciting time for players in the heartland who normally have to travel further for major tournaments. Unless I'm forced to change my plans due to events beyond my control, I will be providing daily coverage of the Indiana stop of the WSOP Circuit here on Blind Bet Poker.

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