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WSOP CIRCUIT LAS VEGAS RECAP



WSOP Circuit Harrah's Las Vegas Recap
Sept 27, 2005  
by Jason Kirk  

The second event of the World Series of Poker Circuit 2005-06 season finished up recently at Harrah's Las Vegas. What a difference a month makes! Fewer than 1,000 players were in attendance throughout the two-week - in fact, there were just over 100 players more in all the Las Vegas tournaments than there were in the first event alone in the season-opening tournament in Tunica. And where the Tunica event featured other games like pot-limit Omaha and limit hold'em, the Harrah's Las Vegas stop was more like the competition - strictly a no-limit hold'em affair. It's a shame to limit a tournament's focus to one game, especially in the poker capital of the world. Perhaps the lackluster attendance in Las Vegas can at least partially be blamed on this poor variety.

The differences between the Tunica and Las Vegas events didn't stop at the variety of games offered. The buy-ins were higher on average than those in Tunica, and only 8 events were held as opposed to Tunica's 12. The tournaments were sparsely attended when compared to the season's first event; where the initial $300+40 Tunica event was the Circuit's largest field ever at 873 players, the second $2,000+80 event in Las Vegas was the Circuit's smallest ever with only 48. Despite the small fields and limited number of tournaments, one positive note for the spectators was the presence of more well-known professional players than had been in attendance at Tunica. Max Pescatori, Men "The Master" Nguyen, and Chris Ferguson all won events, and An Tran and Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi made final tables.

In addition to the well-known players, there were also a few familiar faces from Tunica in attendance. Main Event champion Gregg Merkow of Texas and Marc Aubin of Montreal both made the money in Event #7, and Damon Ramirez of Texas made the final table of Event #6. As long as they continue to attend Circuit events, chances are you'll get to know these players' names pretty well - they all play a solid game and can make the final table of any event they enter.

Here are the results for last 5 events (results from the first 3 can be found here):

Event #4 - $1,000+60 No-Limit Hold 'em
119 players, $115,430 prize pool


1 Derek Harrington - Las Vegas, NV - $41,555
2 Thomas Wilson - Chicago, IL - $23,086
3 Men "The Master" Nguyen - Bell Gardens, CA - $12,697
4 John Napoli - Clearwater Beach, FL - $9,234
5 Nikki Cabellero - Henderson, NV - $8,080
6 Patrick Smith - Centreville, VA - $6,926
7 David Daneshger - Westlake Village, CA - $5,772
8 Jason Eakes - Seattle, WA - $4,617
9 Paul Kornes - Great Falls, MT - $3,463

Event #5 - $2,000+80 No-Limit Hold 'em
107 players, $155,685 prize pool


1 - James Bradley - Las Vegas, NV - $56,047
2 - Howard Andrews - Walnut Creek, CA - $31,137
3 - Bob Quick - Belton, MO - $17,125
4 - Doshi Suresh - Las Vegas, NV - $12,455
5 - Bill Heupel - Mobridge, SD - $10,898
6 - Sam Rifaey - Weston, CT - $9,341
7 - Jason Lane - Chandler, AZ - $7,784
8 - Jude Concepcion - Manila, Philippines - $6,227
9 - Salim Kassab - Jacksonville, FL - $4,671

Event #6 - $2,000+80 No-Limit Hold 'em
68 players, $131,920


1 - Max Pescatori - Milan, Italy - $47,491
2 - Michael Mizrachi - Hollywood, FL - $26,384
3 - Dallas Wottlin - Dallas, TX - $14,511
4 - Mike Clark - Mission View, CA - $10,554
5 - Yarom Limor - Beverly Hills, CA - $9,234
6 - Diego Garcia - Albuquerque, NM - $7,915
7 - Stan Jablonski - Henderson, NV - $6,596
8 - Damon Ramirez - Plano, TX - $5,277
9 - John Harris - Staley, NC - $3,958

Event #7 - $2,000+80 No-Limit Hold 'em
48 players, $93,120 prize pool


1 - Bob Bright - Las Vegas, NV - $37,248
2 - Gregg Merkow - Plano, TX - $23,280
3 - Marc Aubin - Montreal, Canada - $13,968
4 - Jeff Rine - Las Vegas, NV - $10,243
5 - Ward Crane - Berea, OH - $8,381

Event #8 - $10,000 No-Limit Hold 'em Championship Event
107 players, $1,070,000 prize pool


1 - Chris Ferguson - Pacific Palisades, CA - $362,088
2 - Chad Layne - Henderson, NV - $201,160
3 - Kevin Song - Roland Heights, CA - $110,638
4 - Tom Pniak - Las Vegas, NV - $80,464
5 - An Tran - Las Vegas, NV - $70,406
6 - Greg Fund - Virginia Beach, VA - $60,348
7 - Mike Fetter - Vallejo, CA - $50,290
8 - Thomas Foley - SW Ranches, FL - $40,232
9 - Jim McCrink - Las Vegas, NV - $30,174

If the deadliest hurricane ever to hit North America hadn't interfered, Grand Casino Biloxi would be kicking off its first-ever WSOP Circuit event this week. Most of the same faces I saw in Tunica would've been there on the Gulf Coast flinging chips around, taking smoke breaks in between levels, and comparing bad beats with one another. Instead Harrah's is deciding when to rebuild its coastal casino and the WSOP Circuit schedule is quiet right now, waiting until late October comes before starting back up again. Blind Bet Poker will bring you daily coverage from Caesars Indiana once the action there begins.


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