WSOP Adds Regional, National Championship Circuit Events

Matt Stout and his WSOP Circuit Championship Ring
PokerListings Blogger Matt Stout with his WSOP Circuit ring from a 2008 Atlantic City event.

The WSOP is known as the most prestigious event in poker and now officials are trying to bolster the brand even more by expanding its WSOP Circuit Tour.

The tour is entering its seventh year and features events around the United States throughout the year. This year officials are adding four $10k buy-in regional championships and lowering the buy-in to $1.5k for the rest of the open events.

Also new this year will be the addition of a cumulative scoring system that culminates in a 100-person National Championship tournament that will be played at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas prior to the commencement of the WSOP.

The tournament won't have a buy-in and will feature the top 100 performers from the tour who will compete for a $1,000,000 prize pool and a WSOP Gold Bracelet. Only the top 10 will emerge with a payday.

"We recognized the WSOP Circuit Events needed a shot in the arm, and we believe we've responded with steroids," said WSOP Vice President Ty Stewart.  "The new model is exactly what the WSOP is all about, giving poker players of all bankrolls the chance for compete for the kind of fame, fortune and respect that comes only with a WSOP bracelet and a national television audience."

Speaking of national television, the WSOP is guaranteeing two-hours of national television coverage per $10k Regional Circuit Championship event. Clearly, the decision-makers are targeting professionals and amateurs alike in their attempts to attract more interest.

Tournament directors are hoping the end result is an expanded player pool and a renewed excitement for poker throughout the country. More details are available at the WSOP site.

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