A History of The Annual WSOP Global Casino Championship

Modified by John Smith on March 03, 2021 in Industry News

With the COVID-19 pandemic in play many of the massive events for the year has had to be postponed or cancelled.

One such event is the 2020 World Series of Poker which was postponed with the possibility of returning in the fall.

The next scheduled WSOP event for the year is the World Series of Poker Circuit Global Casino Championship set to take place 11-13 August 2020 at Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina.

A history of the World Series of Poker (WSOP)

While the current season of the WSOP Circuit was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic this summer series has seen many great seasons.

The WSOP Circuit was first launched in 2005 as a build u to the annual WSOP and to spread the magic of the summer series far and wide. Now over a decade later the WSOPC has expanded across the globe with the WSOP International Circuit.

Back in 2011 a season ending championship was introduced, and before this year’s Global Casino Championship kicks off, it’s the perfect time to reflect on all the action that took place during the event over the past few years.

As mentioned the first WSOPC National Championship was held in 2011 at Caesars Palace. The event took place prior to the WSOP event of the year. The tournament was open to a mere 100 WSOPC qualifiers and there was a $1,000,000 prize pool to be won. Sam Barnhart from Arkansas was the winner of the pot. Later in the year Barnhart managed to finish in 17th place in the WSOP Main event for a career high $378,796. Since then this poker champion has relocated to Las Vegas and enjoys a few cash and online games.

In 2012 the National Championship took place in Rio during the WSOP. During this year officials broadened the field offering the top 100 players in the WSOP World Rankings the chance to enter if they were willing to pay the $10,000 buy-in. In 2012 there were 157 runners with Ryan Eriquezzo coming out at the top and taking home a top prize of $416,051. It was the first bracelet win for Eriquezzo who qualified winning the 2012 WSOP Circuit Caesars Atlantic City Main Event.

Big Winners

The 2012-13 season of the event was sponsored by Southern Comfort 100 and moved back to its May timeslot. It was also moved to Harrah’s New Orleans to coincide with the final stop of the WSOPC season. In this year the field dropped to 127 runners where Jonathan Hilton managed to beat Max Steinberg in heads-up place to win the bracelet as well as the $355,599 first place prize.

In 2014 the National Championship was moved to Bally’s Casino Atlantic City where the final table was held outdoors on the famous Boardwalk. This year history was made as German pro player Dominik Nitsche who paid the $10,000 buy-in beat a 126 player field to win the $352,800 first place prize and his second gold bracelet.

2015 saw 122 players drawn to take part in the fifth annual National Championship. This year the event took place at Harrah’s Cherokee, North Caroline. Loni Harwood paid the buy-in and managed to snap up a second bracelet when she bested one of the WSOP’s more accomplished players, Alex Masek in a heads-up play battle.

2016 saw a few changes being made with the first being a minor rebranding of the championship. This year the event became known as the Global Casino Championship after the introduction of the international circuit was made. With this rebranding players from across the globe could earn qualifying points.

The Global Casino Championship took place at Harrah’s Cherokee where Said El-Yousfi topped the 126 player field for the $343,256 first prize and gold bracelet. Yousfi qualified after being crowned the Casino Champ at Casino de Marrakech in his native country, Mexico. As such he became the first Casino Championship qualifier to win the title.

During the 2017 Global Casino Championship at Harrah’s Cherokee the West Coast poker pro Sean Yu managed to come out on top. The player topped the 124 player field to win the top prize of $296,941. Yu qualified about a year before the event after beating Eli Elezra in a heads-up play in the WSOP Circuit Planet Hollywood Main Event. After winning the championship Yu won a $1,100 Main Event at Commerce for $209,030. And only a week later the poker pro won a WSOPC gold ring at Thunder Valley Casino.

Massive Growth for The WSOP

In 2018 the Global Casino Championship took place again at Harrah’s Cherokee with a total of 127 players. Warren Sheaves managed to climb to the top for his first bracelet and the $282,113 top prize. Sheaves qualified for the event after finishing in 10th place on the year’s points leaderboard.

It’s incredible to note that by 2018 the circuit had grown from only 12 Circuit stops all in the US to 39 stops in 11 different countries. And according to WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart the Global Casino Championship at Harrahs Cherokee only exists to put the best players in the same room to see who comes out on top.

Last year, 2019, the Championship had 129 players with the 2012 champion Ryan Eriquezzo once more making his way into first place. The champ beat Eric Salazar head up to win his second Championship title and the top prize of $279,431. 

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