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WSOP Circuit stop is Feb. 16-27 for Palm Beach Kennel Club

The Palm Beach Kennel Club is again on the circuit for the eighth season of the World Series of Poker Circuit series.

The WSOP released the schedule Friday.

The Palm Beach Kennel Club stop is Feb. 16-27.

The tour begins Sept. 8 n Bossier City, La., and continues through the following May. A revised points-ranking system for all tournament participants will be used throughout and will reward those players who participate in multiple events.

The entire 2011-12 schedule can be found at

The unofficial motto of this year’s WSOP Circuit Tour is “12 Rings in 12 Days.” Each WSOP Circuit stop has been retooled to begin on a Thursday, and open the three-day Main Event on the second Saturday, thereby encompassing a total of 12 official WSOP gold ring events over 12 consecutive days.

Each stop will conclude with a $1,600 buy-in Main Event Championship slated to always start on a Saturday. For the first time ever, this tournament will be played as re-entry, with a morning and an evening flight available to players. No Regional Championships with $10,000 buy-ins will be offered this season. All buy-ins will be priced between $300 and $1,600.

Each WSOP Circuit stop Main Event winner will receive an automatic berth into the National Championship. Automatic bids will also go to the “Casino Champions” at each participating venue. A Casino Champion is defined as the player at each stop whom accumulates the most points throughout the 12-event gold ring schedule.

The elimination of the Regional Championships means a majority of the 100 free-rolled seats will be generated via cumulative points. Based upon the current schedule, 32 players would receive an exempt seat to the National Championship, while 68 players would qualify based upon rankings points. This is a dramatic increase over last year’s point model, allowing nearly twice as many at-large bids into the National Championship.

Says the WSOP release: "This goal is simple – to reward those poker players who play the most and do the best."

Sam Barnhart, a 50-year-old software analyst and researcher from Little Rock, Arkansas won the inaugural National Championship, winning $300,000 plus a WSOP gold bracelet.

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Maybe you've made the right play, maybe you haven't. Your heart speeds up, your stomach rumbles.

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NICK SORTAL began playing 3-card "gut" and "Indian poker" on high school band trips, moved on to "night baseball" and "pass the trash" during a Dr. Pepper-infused midnight game in the 1980s at the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, and now play in a regular neighborhood Hold 'Em game in Plantation. I have been given the assignment of writing about the gambling life in South Florida casinos for the Sun-Sentinel...which means sitting around watching poker on TV now counts as research.
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