WSOP Circuit Kicks Off New Season with 1,056-Person Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event

It was just a few days ago when the 2017/2018 season of the WSOP Circuit ended with Warren Sheaves claiming the WSOP Global Casino Championship title and the accompanying gold bracelet. It is now time for the popular poker series’ new season and not only its first stop has kicked off in style at Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina, but it is actually approaching its end.

The Main Event of the first stop on the WSOP Circuit’s 2018/2019 calendar kicked off Friday at the host venue with the first of two starting flights. And Day 1B, the second starting flight, was completed last night with Louis Garza holding the chip lead with a total of 476,000, followed by Austria’s Eyal Bensimhon (pictured) with 393,000.

It was actually Bensimhon who made the biggest waves throughout the tournament’s second starting flight. The player won some massive pots early on Saturday to never lose his momentum until action wrapped up for the day. Other notables who made it through the day included Bryan Devonshir, JJ Liu, Dan Lowery, and Ryan Buckholtz, among others.

The second starting flight of the Main Event actually drew 647 entrants, of whom just 139 players secured their seats into Day 2. They will be joined by the survivors from Day 1A for ten one-hour levels at the host venue.

Day 1 Recap and Prize Pool

The first Main Event of the new WSOP Circuit season drew a field of 1,056 entries, of whom 409 joined on Day 1A and 647 entered on Day 1B. As many as 219 made it through Day 2 and will return at the host venue later today to compete for a spot among the Day 3 hopefuls.

Day 2 of the tournament will kick off with Day 1A chip leader Jeffrey Trudeau holding the overall chip lead. The player bagged and tagged 495,000 in chips at the end of the Main Event’s first starting flight to pull ahead of the rest of the field.

The WSOP Circuit’s new season came with slightly increased buy-ins, so it now costs $1,700 to enter the Main Event, up from $1,675. With registration now closed, organizers announced that the first Main Event of the new season generated a prize pool of $1,599,840, crashing the guaranteed prize pool of $1 million.

The top 108 finishers will receive a share of the money, min-cashes starting from $2,994. The money bubble is expected to burst at some point today. Each of the nine finalists at the tournament’s official final table will receive a minimum cash of $29,181. As for the winner, they will be awarded the top prize of $295,970 and the WSOP Circuit gold ring.

Harry Arutyunyan from Glendale, California took down last year’s edition of the tournament, beating a field of 1,022 entries and taking home the amount of $283,597 in prize money.

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