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Harrah's St. Louis to host WSOP Circuit events

31 March 2010

ST. LOUIS, Missouri -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- For the first time since the WSOP Circuits began in 2004, St. Louis, Missouri will play host to the World Series of Poker Circuit Events.

Starting Friday (April 2), Harrah's St. Louis will welcome poker's best to the Gateway City.

Harrah's St. Louis was where truck salesman-turned-November Niner Dennis Phillips made a name for himself in 2008, turning a $200 Harrah's tournament into his seat in the WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas.

Phillips went on to make the final table of the 6,844 person field, finishing third and turning his $200 investment into a $4.5 million payday, hundreds of media interviews, an online poker sponsorship and an entree into the professional poker circuit.

Phillips made another deep run in the 2009 WSOP Main Event, where he finished 45th out of 6,494 entrants, taking home $178,857. In back-to-back year' at the WSOP Main Event, Phillips outlasted an amazing 13,291 opponents, the best showing in consecutive years in WSOP history.

The St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap wearing Phillips is expected to be in attendance during the inaugural Harrah's St. Louis WSOP Circuit Schedule.

Buzz about the WSOP coming to St. Louis has been growing since the 2009/2010 schedule was announced last July. In recent weeks, there has been much talk about the Harrah's St. Louis Circuit on a number of local poker radio shows including Phillips' "The Final Table Radio Show" with co-host Paul Harris and the "All-In Poker Radio" show hosted by Mike "The Force" Eise.

"A lot of the players around here are very excited about this event," said Eise. "People have been talking it up for months. I was just at a tournament in Reno and a lot of guys there were talking about it even out there."

Eise is the winner of Event #28 of the 2009 World Series of Poker. A resident of nearby Troy, MO, his radio show can be heard at 1480 AM in St. Louis and online at

Eise pointed to the record-breaking 1,412 player field in Event #1 at the Horseshoe Hammond Circuit Event as an indicator that St. Louis will draw attractive-sized fields.

"I think it'll be a good event, drawing players from the south as well as here in the Midwest."

The team at Harrah's St. Louis worked diligently over the past couple of months to transform the property into the most poker-friendly venue possible. Vice President of International Poker Operations and WSOP Director Jack Effel was brought in to ensure players an optimally run tournament.

"I'm thrilled to be at Harrah's St. Louis to help kick off their first-ever WSOPC event," said Effel. "Poker has been growing in this market for years and players in and around St. Louis have been waiting for tournament like the WSOP Circuit Events to come to their town."

Among the events scheduled for the Circuit stop at Harrah's St. Louis are the April 4th Seniors Event, the Ladies Event on Sunday, April 11th and eleven open ring events, including the $5,000 + (180) buy-in championship Main Event which gets underway on Tuesday, April 13.

The winner of the main event takes home first place prize money, a $10,000 seat to the 2010 WSOP Main Event at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino as well as a diamond-encrusted Circuit Championship Ring.

The ladies champion takes home prize money and a diamond-encrusted pendant while winners of the seniors and remaining eleven open ring events are given a Circuit Event gold ring along with first place cash. All ring events begin at 12:00 pm. The ladies event begins at 4:00 pm.

In addition, special $300 + (40) buy-in non-ring tournaments will take place each evening at 4 pm through April 10th. Traversing numerous variations of the game, the evening 4 pm events offer something for everyone. Limit Hold'em, Six-Handed No Limit Hold'em, Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha 8 or Better, H.O.R.S.E. and even Seven Card Stud 8 or Better are included among the daily offerings.

Nightly 7 pm $200 + (30) buy-in non-ring NLH tournaments run from Thursday April 1st through Wednesday April 14th.

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