The second of two starting flights in the World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event at Harrah’s Casino in Cherokee, North Carolina is set to start at noon ET. For the standard Main Event buy-in of $1,675, players purchase a 20,000-chip starting stack, and levels will last 40 minutes on Day 1, 60 minutes on Day 2, and 75 minutes on Day 3. This event boasts a huge $750,000 guaranteed prize pool, one that just might eclipse the seven-figure plateau when all the entries are tallied up, and along with the big bucks, the eventual winner of this Main Event will also secure a seat in the 2015 National Championship.
Last year’s edition of the Cherokee Main Event drew 797 total entries, and when it was all said and done longtime pro Jake Bazeley took top honors, along with $239,096 in first-place prize money. Despite many years of steady success as a tournament pro – with nearly $2 million in winnings at the time – the 31-year old Bazeley notched just his third career victory. Bazeley nearly won his first Circuit ring in 2011 at the Southern Indiana stop though, finishing as the runner-up in that Main Event, so his breakthrough at Cherokee was the culmination of several years’ worth of hard work and dedication to the game.
Friday’s first starting flight drew 283 entries, and of that number just 54 players survived the gauntlet to guarantee themselves a seat on Day 2′s “Moving Day.” The chip leader from Day 1A was Aaron Plaisted, as the circuit grinder amassed a massive stack of 429,000 by the end of 15 levels. Plaisted went on a heater late in the evening, busting pros Julie Cornelius and John Holley while running over the table. The poker crowd here in North Carolina was also treated to a unique experience, as they competed against Richard Seymour of New England Patriots fame throughout the day – although, considering the hometown Panthers lost an agonizing Super Bowl XXXVIII to Seymour’s Patriots, the locals just might be glad that he busted on one of the last hands of Day 1A. Pros like the aforementioned Holley and Cornelius, along with 2004 WSOP Main Event Champion Greg Raymer, BCP pro Ralph Massey, and Circuit star Nancy Nguyen all went bust during the first starting flight, so expect to see them fire a second bullet here today.
Here’s a breakdown of this year’s Cherokee Main Event:
- Flight B begins on Saturday at 12 p.m. EST
- $1,675 buy-in gets players a 20,000-chip starting stack
- The prize pool has a $750,000 guarantee
- Players are permitted a total of one re-entry in any combination of start flights — A-A, A-B or B-B
- Blinds begin at 25/50
- Day 1 concludes after Level 15
- The dinner break on Days 1A and 1B begin at the conclusion of Level 9
- Registration remains open until the start of Level 13 on Days 1A and 1B
- Levels 1-15 are 40 minutes, Levels 16-25 are 60 minutes, Levels 26+ are 75 minutes
- Advancing players combine for Day 2 on Sunday at 12 p.m. EST
- Winner receives automatic entry into the 2015 WSOP National Championship
You can find live updates throughout the tournament on WSOP.com, from the first deal of flight 1B today until a champion is crowned on Monday.
Today’s other gold ring event is Event #11 – $365 No-Limit Hold’em. This event begins at 5 p.m. Registration will remain open until the beginning of Level 7, which is about 8:30 p.m. This is the 11th of the 12 gold ring events of the series.