Later this week roughly 100 of the best players the WSOP Circuit has to offer will be in Cherokee, North Carolina for the $1,000,000 guaranteed WSOP Circuit Global Casino Championship. And they should have some company.
The GCC, which replaced the WSOP Circuit National Championship, is open to three distinct groups of players and awards a WSOP bracelet to the winner.
The first is the 100 players who earned a free seat based on their play in the 2015-16 WSOP Circuit season. The Main Event winner and Casino Champion from all domestic and international Circuit stops were each given automatic entry with another 50 spots going to the players who racked up the most Circuit Leaderboard points over the course of the season.
This group includes Joe Kuether, Bernard Lee, Alex Masek and the top player on the Circuit this past season, Cody Pack. With 13 cashes and three rings, Pack finished atop the Leaderboard with 305 points.
The second group is players who finished in the top 100 of the WSOP World Rankings – a combination of WSOP Player of the Year points for 2014 and 2015. Those players are eligible to buy in to the tournament for $10,000.
This gives some of the best players on the planet a chance to get it on the action. Included in this group is Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, George Danzer, Paul Volpe, Mike Leah, Jason Mercier, Anthony Zinno and Phil Galfond.
The third group is a new twist for 2016. Any player that won a WSOP Circuit ring in 2015-16 can also buy in to the event for $10,000. This makes players like Ari Engel, Valentin Vornicu, Alex Rocha, Antonio Esfandiari and Mukul Pahuja eligible.
A number of them of them are already in Cherokee, playing in the first stop on the 2016-17 WSOP Circuit schedule. One additional GCC seat will be awarded at Cherokee this week.
“We are thrilled to be able to return to Harrah’s Cherokee for our season-culminating championship,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “It’s only fitting that we end one season and start the next at Harrah’s Cherokee, a terrific host venue and locale for poker players far and wide.”
The event’s name was changed to reflect the growing international footprint of the WSOP Circuit. Players who qualified at events in Morocco, Georgia, Italy, the Czech Republic and Canada are eligible for the first time this year.
A couple of eligible players have put packages up on YouStake.com to sell action for the event. David Aker, who finished 16th on the WSOP Circuit Leaderboard, is selling 14% of himself at 1.12 markup. Allen Kessler, who finished 88th on the WSOP World Rankings, is selling 50% of himself at 1.15 markup.
Last year at the WSOP Circuit National Championship, Loni Harwood beat out 121 other players to win $341,599. Harwood did not qualify for this year’s event.
The 2016 GCC begins on August 9 and runs through August 11 with the final table being filmed for broadcast on ESPN later this year.