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Tunica, Mississippi

Submitted by: Ozone

In what nearly ended up being the first major poker event cancelled due to whether, the first WSOP Circuit event of the new season concluded just two days before the wrath of Hurricane Katrina left its scars on the casinos of Mississippi. Unlike many of its neighboring casinos, the Grand Casino in Tunica did not sustain any serious damage and was able to remain open for business immediately after the hurricane.

Harrah's Casino, owners and operators of the World Series of Poker, added several new WSOP Circuit Events to the schedule for this year. Last year Harrah's began hosting the Circuit events by holding five $10,000 buy-in tournaments in the months leading up to the WSOP at the Rio in Las Vegas. This year, Harrah's is hosting thirteen WSOP Circuit events spread out all across America, which will serve as a prelude to the 2006 WSOP in Las Vegas.

Perhaps aware of the in climactic weather on its way, only 179 players entered the event in Mississippi. Unknown player Greg Merkow emerged victorious and won $561,195. Bobby Law came in second place and earned $309,491 for the effort. Well-known pro John Juanda won $51,015 for an 8th place finish. Female superstar Kathy Liebert finished in 12th. Vegas pros Chip Jett and James Van Alstyne also finished in the money.

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