January is poker season for Tunica, MS. Dating back to 2006, the World Series of Poker has always passed through the Mississippi casino town for a series of poker action.
Now, 14 years later, the latest WSOP Circuit series is underway again at Horseshoe Tunica. The series kicked off Jan. 16 and runs through Jan. 27. Still to come on the schedule is the marquee event of the entire series, the $1,700 buy-in Main Event. That is not the only worthwhile event that weekend though.
WSOP Circuit Main Event features two starting flights
The Main Event features two starting slights, as per usual. Flight 1A starts at 11 a.m. CT on Friday, Jan. 24. Flight 1B kicks off at the same time on Saturday, Jan. 25. Players can re-enter up to once during each flight. Last year. this event featured a $500,000 guarantee. However, this time around there is no guarantee on the event. The winner of the event does earn a free seat into the WSOP’s Global Casino Championship bracelet event though.
If the Main Event is not your price point, there are some other side events running. Additionally, there are separate non-Circuit ring events for the women and older poker players in the area.
There is a $200 buy-in Ladies Event on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. Then, on Sunday, there is a $250 buy-in Seniors Event at 10 a.m.
Tennessee’s own Kyle Cartwright reigning Tunica Main Event champ
Last year, Tennessee native and graduate of the University of Memphis, Kyle Cartwright, won the Tunica Main Event for $198,451.
The previous Tunica Circuit event was far from the first time Cartwright has succeeded at the stop. Cartwright won four of his eight Circuit rings at the WSOP Tunica stop. Cartwright’s first two WSOP cashes were back-to-back victories at Harrah’s Tunica back in Feb. 2011. He won his third ring at the 2016 Tunica series in a $365 buy-in Monster Stack event for almost $30,000.
Cartwright is currently fourth on the Tennessee all-time money list for tournament poker earnings, trailing Kathy Liebert, 2003 WSOP Main Event winner Chris Moneymaker, and Frank Kassela. His career tournament earnings currently stand at almost $2.3 million.
Christopher Nunnally currently in the lead for Casino Champion
The Main Event winner earns a seat into the $1 million Global Casino Championship, but they will not be the only representative from the Tunica series. The player who accumulates the most Circuit points for the stop will earn the title of Casino Champion, which comes with a seat into the event as well.
The current frontrunner in the race is Christopher Nunnally. In addition to winning the opening $400 double stack event, Nunnallyy also logged an 11th-place finish in Event 4 to give him the early advantage.