WSOPC St. Louis Title Stays Home

WSOP Circuit St. Louis winner Jeff Roper.

The World Series of Poker Circuit’s first trip to St. Louis wrapped up Thursday with a local taking home the big prize.

St. Louis corporate attorney Jeff Roper grabbed the WSOP Circuit main event title at Harrah's St. Louis, $170,814 in first-place prize money and a $10,000 seat into the 2010 WSOP Main Event.

"This means a lot to me, being the first ever main event champion here at Harrah's St. Louis," said Roper. "This tournament was the biggest ever in the state of Missouri, there are a lot of great players here in St. Louis."

Roper outlasted a 129-person field in the $5,000+190 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em event and maintained a dominant lead through most of final table to book the win.

He lost the lead briefly heads-up with 23-year-old St. Louis online pro Jason Mo, but after making two pair against top pair and picking up aces against ace-queen, the title was his.

A regular in the $25/$50 Pot-Limit Omaha game at Harrah's St. Louis, Roper said he was now looking forward to the summer in Las Vegas.

"I'm busy with work, but I play about two or three circuits a year, and am looking forward to coming out to the WSOP this summer for two or three weeks and see what happens," he said.

By all accounts the two-week long 12-event WSOP Circuit Series at Harrah's St. Louis was a success, attracting a total of 3,217 players and generating $1,958,527 in prize money.

Notable players in the main event included ESPN Inside Deal co-host Bernard Lee, who made a deep run to finish 11th, just shy of the final table.

2008 WSOP Main Event third place finisher Dennis Phillips, 2008 WSOP bracelet winners and brothers Blair and Grant Hinkle, 2006 WSOP Main Event runner-up and Harrah's Tunica champion Paul Wasicka, WPT Foxwoods World Poker Finals runner-up Soheil Shamseddin, 2009 Bayou Classic Champion Allen Kessler, 2008 EPT Copenhagen Champion Tim Vance and multi-platinum recording artist Nelly also played.

The WSOP Circuit has already begun its next stop in Las Vegas with the main event set to begin April 27.

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