Harrah’s Cherokee hosted the World Series of Poker Circuit for the third time this season from February 16th through the 27th, and a total of 18 bracelets were awarded.
Among the top two biggest WSOPC circuit stops annually, Cherokee has once again drawn a huge number of competitors from the southern states.
Five circuit ring winners have been verified through the first several events of the series, with results from the sixth event still pending and the seventh ring scheduled to be won later today.
In the first event of the tournament series, the $400 No-Limit Hold ’em Big 30,000-chip event, a regular WSOP circuit grinder named Timothy Little won his third ring. There were 545 entrants, a huge increase from the 326 in December, and the prize pool amounted to $179,850. The grand reward of $33,946 went to Little. Little has now won a ring in two straight years; he did it in the North Carolina mountains in February of last year.
The second tournament has a no-limit structure and a $400 buy-in. The Hold’em tournament was spread out over multiple days and attracted 3,120 players, an 18% increase over the same event at the prior Cherokee stop in December. The total prize pool for the tournament was $816,755. James McCormack of West Hempstead, New York, was a relative unknown before this tournament, but he emerged victorious after turning his $400 buy-in into a $134,410 payday by crushing the competition.
Marshall White of Boone, North Carolina, has been one of the most reliable players in Cherokee throughout the years. While he was a seasoned pro on the WSOP tour and had five rings, he had never won a ring in his hometown of Cherokee. In the early hours of Sunday morning, however, he altered all of that by winning Event #3: $400 No-Limit Hold’em for $47,242 and his first bracelet in Cherokee. White triumphed in a heads-up match against Preston McEwan, who himself has had a great season, finishing in tenth position and second place in the high roller thus far. Today, McEwan was among the last two players at the final two tables.
This time around, the Seniors event drew 940 participants, up from 918 in December. In the end, it was Russell Werkheiser of Snellville, Georgia who emerged victorious and took home the prize of $52,407.
Earlier this month, an Ohio man named Marvin Tackett earned his first circuit ring by taking down Event #5: $600 No-Limit Hold’em for $45,645. The total prize pool for the tournament was $229,175. By beating the regular Cherokee player Hamid Izadi in heads-up play, he prevented Izadi from winning a fourth ring.
An overview of the unfolding events may be seen below:
Timothy Little won the first event, a $400 No-Limit Hold ’em with a 30,000-chip stack, for $33,946.
James McCormack won the $400,000 No-Limit Hold ’em second event ($134,410).
Marshall White won the $300,000 No-Limit Hold’em tournament in the third event ($47,242).
Place #4: Russel Werkheiser, Seniors $400 ($52,407)
Marvin Tackett won the $600 No-Limit Hold ’em event ($45,645) in Event #5.
The Main Event, which requires a $1,700 buy-in and kicks off on Thursday, February 23 for three days, is the series’ featured competition. On Sunday, February 26th, the remaining participants from Days 1a, 1b, and 1c will form Day 2.
There were 1,502 players in December’s Cherokee Main Event, creating a massive prize pool of $2,275,530. Alabama’s Donovan Dean took home the top prize of $356,963 and his second ring.
Because the series has been drawing a bigger crowd since its December debut, the main event should have a sizable prize fund to compete over.
Starting tomorrow, WSOP.com will be on hand to report on the outcomes of the next preliminary events in the series, and on Thursday, they will switch over to providing comprehensive live reporting coverage of the Main Event.