This August, after making stops across the US and beyond, the WSOP Circuit returns to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in North Carolina, where the season’s top players face off for the 2015-2016 WSOP Global Casino Championship and their shot at the minimum $1 million prize pool.
The event, formerly known as the WSOP National Championship, runs August 9-11 and awards at least $1 million in prize money along with a coveted WSOP bracelet. This season marks the first time that International Circuit players are eligible to play for the championship. Winners from stops in Italy, Georgia, Morocco, the Czech Republic and others will be among the event’s qualifiers.
WSOP Circuit Main Event winners from each of the 2015-2016 stops earned a free seat into the tournament. The Casino Champion, or overall leaderboard points winner, of each venue also scores a free entry. The top 50 players on the Circuit leaderboard who did not win a Main Event seat or Casino Championship also receive free entry to the event.
Those lucky enough to lock up a free seat will be treated to three nights’ lodging at Harrah’s Cherokee and receive $500 for travel expenses. International qualifiers will automatically get four nights in the hotel, with an extra night being awarded to players who make the final table.
There are still some automatic seats available. The 2015-16 WSOP Circuit schedule has four stops remaining; Council Bluffs, Cherokee, Montreal and New Orleans. Players can also continue to accumulate leaderboard points through the end of the New Orleans event.
The top 100 players on the WSOP world ranking leaderboard – based on points earned during 2014 and 2015 World Series of Poker, WSOP Europe and WSOP APAC – can buy into the event for $10,000. Some of the players who are eligible to buy in are 2015 WSOP Main Event winner Joe McKeehen, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth and former #1 ranked online player Paul Volpe.
For the first time in the event’s history, it’s also allowing players who won a Circuit ring during the season to buy into the event as well. Each $10,000 entry fee is added on top of the $1 million prize pool put up by the WSOP.
2016-2017 Season Launch
While the Global Casino Championship signals the end of the 12th WSOP Circuit season, it also coincides with the launch of the 2016-2017 season. Harrah’s Cherokee is hosting the first stop of the new season from August 4-16, while it simultaneously plays out the previous year’s championship.
The Harrah’s stop features 12 ring events and includes a $1,675 Main Event and a $2,200 High Roller tournament.
“The 2015 National Championship was a blast for us and we’re excited that the World Series of Poker is ramping up the game this year,” said Brooks Robinson, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Harrah’s Cherokee. “Not only do we get to welcome in players from around the world, but we also get to help kick off the 2016-17 Circuit season. It really is a fantastic opportunity for our employees to help showcase the resort.”
Last year, Loni Harwood took the top spot in the 2015 National Championship, banking the $341,599 first-place prize. German grinder Dominik Nitsche took first in the 2014 championship for $335,659, with Jonathan Hilton taking home a $355,599 payday for his 2013 win.