The World Series of Poker’s National Championship is one of the events that they are hoping to boost up a bit this year in terms of overall interest in the event. While the National Championship features a nice $1 million prize pool, and also features 100 of the players who have done the best during the WSOP Circuit for that year, they have decided to up the ante a little bit by including some of the best poker players in the world in it as well.
Typically, the event offers 100 guaranteed spots for players who get to play in the National Championship for free. These 100 spots are made up of the 34 automatic qualifiers which are made up of 17 players who won a Circuit Main Event, and 17 casino champs, who are players that earned the most points at each of the stops on the Circuit. After that the final 66 spots that are awarded will go to that players who earned the most points across all of the Circuit events throughout the year.
As mentioned, those players get to play for free, but the new addition will offer 100 additional spots for players to take. These spots are awarded to the top 100 overall earners in terms of points from 2010 and 2011 between the World Series of Poker, and World Series of Poker Europe as well. These players will NOT be given a free entry into the event though, as they will have to pay a $10k entry fee into the event, but that $10k entry will be added on top of the $1 million guaranteed prize pool.
This means that we could potentially be seeing players like Phil Hellmuth, Jonathan Duhamel, Michael Mizrachi, Ben Lamb, John Juanda, Shawn Buchanan, Chris Moorman, John Racener, Frank Kassela, David Baker, Jason Mercier, Bertrand Grospellier, Tom Dwan, Men Nguyen, Sammy Farha, and many other players in this event on July 6th.
Last year, Sam Barnhart brought in his first ever WSOP cash, and it was in the form of a win and a $300k pay day at the WSOP National Championship. After that, Barnhart went on to finish in 17th in the Main Event for another nice score at the 2011 World Series of Poker.