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  • WSOP National Championship Will Feature New Qualifying Rules

    Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 by Ryan

The World Series of Poker has decided to make a change to their WSOP National Championship. Last year, there were only 100 players eligible to play in the event, but in order to help build the hype behind the event, they have decided to add an additional 100 players, which will also include quite a few big named poker pros as well. There will be up to 200 total players who will go against each other with a chance to take down their part of the massive $1 million prize pool that the National Championship will feature. The first 100 players will still qualify based on how well they performed during the Circuit events. On top of this there will also be 34 players who qualify for the event automatically, and this is made up of the 17 players who won a WSOP Circuit Main Event, and the 17 casino championship. The casino champions are the players who made the most points throughout all of the events at each specific stop on the Circuit. The other 66 spots will be awarded to players who pick up the most points throughout the entire WSOP Circuit season.

So while those players will automatically get a free entry into the $1 million guaranteed prize pool National Championship, the World Series of Poker is also hoping to boost their attendance and overall interest by hoping to draw in some of the biggest names in poker. So the change for this year is that they will also allow the top 100 point earners from the 2010 and 2011 World Series of Poker, and the 2010 and 2011 World Series of Poker Europe to play in the National Championship this year as well. The rules for their entry will be a bit different though, because if they are interested in playing they will have to pay a $10k buy-in to the event. This is one way to help build the numbers in the event, but also to build the prize pool, as the additional buy-in’s will be added into the pool.

To give an idea of what type of players that we’ll be looking at, the top ten point qualifiers from the past two years between the WSOP and WSOP Europe are Michael Mizrachi, Ben Lamb, Shawn Buchanan, Phil Hellmuth, John Juanda, Chris Moorman, Jonathan Duhamel, John Racener, David BAker, and Frank Kassela. You’ll find that there are quite a few other big names who will now qualify for the event as well, including players like Jason Mercier, Pius Heinz, Men “The Master” Nguyen, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Tom Dwan, Gavin Smith, Sammy Farha, and many other players as well.

Last year’s winner was Sam Barnhart, as he beat out 96 other players to win his first gold bracelet. What was even more interesting about his big score was the fact that this was also his first ever World Series of Poker cash as well. The total winnings that he took home last year were $300k, and his success carried on through the WSOP as well, as he finished the Main Event last year in 17th place. The action for this year’s event will kick off on July 6th at the Rio and will play down until the final table the following day. From there, the final nine players come back on the 11th of July to compete for the championship.

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