WSOP Circuit

[SS] “What’s up, Doc?” Stan the Stat asked by way of greeting.

[LL] “What a maroon!” Leroy the Lion answered. “I’m not a doctor; I only play one on TV. He don’t know me very well, do he?”

[SS] “So, I take it you like that wascawwy wabbit, Bugs Bunny?”

[LL] “Of course, you realize this means war!”

[SS] “I was just thinking of the Knighty Knight Bugs episode.”

[LL] “You don’t say…”

[SS] “Some of the knights included Sir Osis of Liver and Sir Loin of Beef.”

[LL] “What about Sir Round of Sound and Sir Cumference of the Round Table?”

[RR] “Or Sir Cadian of Rhythm and Sir Valance of Camera?” Roderick the Rock contributed.

[FF] “Or Sir Fsup of Dude and Sir Vand of Volley?” Figaro the Fish added.

[SS] “I’m fairly certain none of them were there. Nor was Sir Cut of the World Series of Poker.”

[LL] “Ah, I was wondering what you were circling round to. You’re not usually much for circumlocution.”

[SS] “The WSOP Circuit launched in 2005, with events throughout the U.S. leading up to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, whose start was pushed back from May to July.

Each stop on the tour includes many small cheaper events whose buyins are under $1,0001 leading up to a more expensive Main Event. Some stops also have a High Roller event with an even bigger buyin.”

[SS] “In the early years, lots of big-name pros played the Circuit as poker tournaments weren’t as numerous then. Some huge names still pepper the career earnings list, including Chris Ferguson at #1, Men Nguyen at #5, and Daniel Negreanu at #6.

WSOP Circuit Career Earnings Leaders

Rank Player Earnings
1 Chris Ferguson $1,359,143
2 Maurice Hawkins $1,259,947
3 Doug Lee $847,367
4 Peter Feldman $830,028
5 Men Nguyen $827,951
6 Daniel Negreanu $819,172
7 Gregg Merkow $807,186
8 John Spadavecchia $791,796
9 Joe Kuether $791,368
10 Walter Chambers $789,603

Everyone who wins a tournament, including any of the small buyin, ladies, and seniors events, gets a Circuit Ring. Over 200 rings are now awarded each year, but with hundreds of entrants in every event, nobody has managed to win more than Maurice Hawkin’s 10 rings.

WSOP Circuit Career Rings Leaders

Rank Player Rings
1 Maurice Hawkins 10
2 Valentin Vornicu 9
Alexandru Masek
4 Ari Engel 8
Robert Hankins
Chris Reslock
7 Cory Waaland 7
Joshua Reichard
9 John Holley 6
Kyle Cartwright

The total number of Circuit events has already exceeded the number of WSOP events despite the latter’s 35-year head start. So it’s not completely surprising that career Circuit cashes leader Douglas Carli has passed Phil Hellmuth’s WSOP mark of 119.

WSOP Circuit Career Cashes Leaders

Rank Player Cashes
1 Douglas Carli 128
2 Charles Moore 90
3 John Holley 66
4 Jason Mayfield 64
5 Christopher Conrad 62
6 Rex Clinkscales 60
7 Neil Scott 59
8 Robert Hankins 58
Paul Sokoloff
10 Michael Sanders 56


  • Only Maurice Hawkins (#2 earnings and #1 rings), Robert Hankins (#4 rings and #3 cashes), and John Holley (#9 rings and #8 cashes) appear on multiple of the above lists.
  • Although there are now international Circuit events, Americans dominate the lists, not surprisingly. Only Canadians Doug Lee, Daniel Negreanu, and Paul Sokoloff prevented a sweep.
  • Lots of players have won both a WSOP bracelet and a WSOP Circuit ring, but only nine have won more than one of each: Men Nguyen (7 bracelets and 4 rings), Chris Ferguson (5 and 3), Allen Cunningham (5 and 2), Max Pescatori (4 and 2), John Cernuto (3 and 2), Loni Harwood (2 and 3), Dan Heimiller (2 and 2), Brent Carter (2 and 2), and Frankie O’Dell (2 and 2).
  • La Sengphet, Loni Harwood, and Nancy Brinbaum are the female rings leaders with three. Nine women have two: Daphne Turner, Donna Delfin, Felicia Johnico, Jane Sheldon, Janet Fitzgerald, Nadezhda ‘Nadya’ Magnus, Patricia Till, Sylva Simordova, and Veronica Heath.

The Circuit has not only survived for thirteen years, growing from 5 stops the first year to 26 next year, it’s surpassed all of the WSOP’s expectations.”


  1. Most events have a $365 buyin.
  2. The Main Event usually has a $1,675 buyin.

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