The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Upcoming 2011-2012 WSOP Circuit Season

Posted by James Guill on Jul 17, 2011 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

WSOP officials released the 2011-2012 WSOP Circuit schedule on Friday.  This year’s series will include 16 circuit stops and the race for the National Championship bracelet returns with a new twist.  Now, the top 100 ranked players in the WSOP World Rankings will have the option to put up $10,000 each to participate in the event to battle for a bracelet.  There are a few other changes as well, and today I wanted to go over the good and the bad with the upcoming Circuit season.

The Good

The first positive change in this year’s circuit schedule is the elimination of the Regional Championship events.  These $10,000 buy-in events just didn’t perform up to par and the TV draw just wasn’t there after it was announced that the event would be shown on Versus.

Also, I like the fact that Oklahoma, FL, and Philadelphia get return stops on this year’s schedule.  I also like the idea of adding the new stop of Louisiana and making it the first stop.  Being the first stop of the season should help bolster the attendance numbers.

Next, the points system has been tweaked and points will be awarded on a sliding scale.  Also, second place in the Main Event gets the same number of points as a regular ring event winner.  This way players can’t just pad their stats by playing the Main Events.  First place gets an automatic entry into the National Championship, therefore second gets the top points.

The Bad

The WSOP World Rankings will allow the top players over the last two years at the WSOP and WSOP Europe the opportunity to play in the National Championship event.  I am not a fan of this as the National Championship is supposed to be for the Circuit qualifiers and winners.  While I understand the desire to have some bigger names in the event and allowing the option based on performance, I still think that this should be something exclusive for the circuit.  Maybe have the same rankings, but for the Circuit players over the last two years, or maybe give the next 100 players in points during the season the option to buy-in directly.

The Ugly  

I am surprised that Rincon yet again has a circuit stop.  The Rincon stop is consistently the worst or among the worst performers on the circuit.  They set and then broke their own record for fewest Main Event participants in the past, and this past year barely saw growth.  Even the reduced buy-in didn’t help.  Hopefully the new format and the fact that all Main Event’s start on a Saturday will help the numbers.  If it doesn’t and the number stay at or below recent years, maybe it’s time to drop that stop.

Last year was a record setting year for the WSOP Circuit and from the looks of things this year, the WSOP is setting themselves up for another strong year.  If you are near a WSOP Circuit stop, consider going by and participating.  The tournaments have a great structure and are affordable for most bankrolls.  Satellites are also available for those wanting to get in on the cheap.  To find out more about the 2011-2012 WSOP Circuit, head over to

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