WSOP Circuit National Championship

[SS] “In 2011, the WSOP Circuit introduced the Circuit National Championship”, Stan the Stat continued. “Despite only having been held six times, it’s already had four different names and four different venues but finally seems to have settled down as the Global Casino Championship at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in North Carolina.1

WSOP Circuit National Championship Winners

Year Winner Prize Players Cashed Runner-Up
2011 Sam Barnhart $300,000 100 10 James Anderson
2012 Ryan Eriquezzo $416,051 157 18 Nikolas Stone
2013 Jonathan Hilton $355,599 127 16 Max Steinberg
2014 Dominik Nitsche $352,800 126 15 Athanasios Polychronopoulos
2015 Loni Harwood $341,599 122 15 Alexandru Masek
2016 Said El-Yousfi $343,256 126 19 Yasin Ahmady
2017 Sean Yu $296,941 124 19 Alexander Lakhov
2018 Warren Sheaves $282,113 127 20 Jeremy Meacham


  • Besides Harwood, two other women have reached the final table. La Sengphet finished fourth in 2011, and Amanda Musumeci finished eighth in 2012.
  • Other notable players to reach a final table include Daniel Negreanu (6th in 2015) and Huy Nguyen, who finished 3rd in 2012 after bubbling the 2011 final table. Nobody has reached multiple final tables.
  • After Americans won the first three National Championships, two of the last three winners have been foreigners (Nitsche hails from Germany, and El-Yousfi is a Moroccan living in Switzerland2).
  • Attendance figures are fairly constant as 100 players earn free entries during the season, while, since 2012, the top 100 players on the Circuit who haven’t already qualified are allowed to buy in to the event for $10,000.
  • The number of players paid increased in 2016 as part of the WSOP’s new policy of paying 15% of its fields instead of 10%.

WSOP Circuit National Championship Final Hands

Year Winner Hand Value Runner-Up Hand Value Board
2011 Sam Barnhart K♠Q♣ Two Pairs
Kings and 7s
James Anderson A♦T♦ Pair of 7s K♣J♥7♦6♣7♥
2012 Ryan Eriquezzo K♠J♥ Straight, King-high Nikolas Stone Q♥J♦ Pair of Queens 4♣Q♣T♣5♦9♣
2013 Jonathan Hilton K♠T♠ Two Pairs,
Kings and Tens
Max Steinberg 9♦7♠ Pair of Aces K♥T♣8♦A♦A♥3
2014 Dominik Nitsche A♥8♣ Pair of 8s Athanasios Polychronopoulos A♦T♣ Ace-high K♦8♠2♦7♣4♠
2015 Loni Harwood 3♥3♣ Three 3s Alexandru Masek A♣7♥ Pair of 7s 8♣7♣3♦5♣6♠
2016 Said El-Yousfi A♠8♦ Two Pairs,
9s and 7s,
Yasin Ahmady K♠Q♥ Two Pairs,
9s and 7s,
2017 Sean Yu T♣3♣ Flush,
Alexander Lakhov A♥J♣ Pair of Jacks J♦4♣3♠9♣5♣
2018 Warren Sheaves A♣3♣ Pair of Aces Jeremy Meacham Q♦7♥ Ace-high A♥8♦6♥4♦J♦


  • All of the chips went into the middle before the flop every year except 2013 (turn), 2016 (flop), and 2017 (river).


  1. The event was called the National Championship from 2011 to 2015 and has been the Global Casino Championship since 2016.

    Caesars Palace hosted the first event in 2011, the Rio in 2012 (as part of the usual WSOP in Las Vegas), Harrah’s New Orleans in 2013 (the first bracelet awarded in the U.S. that wasn’t in Las Vegas), Bally’s in Atlantic City in 2014, and Harrah’s Cherokee since 2015.

  2. The Hendon Mob Database considers El-Yousfi as being from France, so he probably lived there for a while too.
  3. The suit of the final Ace in 2013 is unknown and irrelevant but was probably the Ace of Hearts since it was reported as the second Ace of Diamonds.

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