WSOPC National Championship underway

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jul 07, 2012 Posted in Tournament News, WSOP News | No Comments »

One of the most interesting events at the 2012 World Series of Poker is the WSOP Circuit Series National Championship –a $1,000,000 freeroll tournament for the 14 winners on the WSOPC and 86 players who qualified on points during the 2011/2012 WSOPC season. This is the second year the WSOPC National Championship has been held, and for the second year the event was a full-fledged bracelet tournament.

Last year Sam Barnhart won the 100-player tournament, picking up the $300k first-place prize in the process, vaulting him into the national spotlight and fueling his deep 2011 WSOP Main Event run –which finished with a 17th place showing.

This year the WSOPC National Championship also allowed the Top 100 players on the World Series of Poker Player of the Year leader-board to register for the tournament, but these players would have to post a $10,000 buy-in to play.

Apparently the smaller field size and rake-free entry was all the enticement that 57 of the 100 players that were eligible to enter needed, including big names like Chris Moorman, Brian Rast, Phil Hellmuth, and ElkY. Of the 157 players who started the day only 39 managed to move on to Day 2. Day 2 will see the field trimmed to the final table of nine, with the money bubble bursting at 18 players.

With the added money from the 57 non-qualifiers who registered for the tournament the prize-pool swelled to over $1.5 million, with $416,051 set aside for the winner of the event. A minimum cash in the event will earn a player a hefty $22k payday, all profit for the WSOPC qualifiers.

Despite the WSOPC’s best of the best outnumbering the Player of the Year contenders nearly 2-to-1, it was two of the game’s biggest stars who found themselves atop the leader-board at the end of Day 1, Brian Rast (last year’s $50k Poker players Championship winner and One Drop final table participant this year) and Triple Crown Winner Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier. Another familiar name at the 2012 WSOP, David “ODB” Baker, landed in 5th place at the end of the day, setting him up for what would be his fourth Top 10 finish at the 2012 WSOP and his sixth cash at the series.

Here is a look at the Top 10 chip-counts heading into Day 2 of the three-day tournament:

1. Brian Rast — 248,000

2. Bertrand Grospellier — 231,500

3. Matt Keikoan — 228,500

4. Drazen Ilich — 227,000

5. David ODB Baker — 212,000

6. Aaron Massey — 207,500

7. Hao Le — 192,000

8. Justin Gardenhire — 192,000

9. Huy Quach — 165,500

10. Jerry Monroe — 160,000


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