Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Checking in on Cherokee

The latest World Series of Poker Circuit stop over at Harrah’s Cherokee in the western corner of the state just completed its 12-event run yesterday. Found it interesting to see that Daniel Weinman, the Atlanta-based player who took second in the very first WSOP-C at Cherokee (which I helped cover), managed to win the Main Event this time around.

Weinman topped a 1,010-entry field to win the ring and a $280,260 first prize. Back in April 2013 there were 856 entries in the event when Weinman finished runner-up. In April 2014 there were 665 entries in the Main, in December 2014 there were 797, then in April 2015 there were 786, meaning this latest field was the biggest Main Event field so far in the five instances the WSOP-C has come to North Carolina.

I remember Weinman well from two years ago thanks to a funny story involving him and Greg Raymer at that year’s Main Event. I shared that one here in a post titled “Giving Away Chips, Rocks.”

After the 2004 WSOP Main Event champion -- who incidentally lives in Raleigh -- was knocked out in 29th by Weinman, “Fossilman” followed his custom and gave his vanquisher the signed fossil he’d been using as a card protector. After Raymer departed, Weinman said to a friend on the rail “This dude just gave me a rock,” then gave the memento to my buddy Rich with whom I was reporting on the event.

I seem to remember later on Weinman asking Rich for it back over Twitter. In any case it was a funny moment amid what I recall a very entertaining tournament and final table, made so in part because of Weinman’s deep run.

I had actually been eyeing this WSOP-C stop earlier this year, thinking maybe this would be one for which I’d be making the drive up into the mountains myself to take a shot in a prelim. But the Brazil trip ran into the first part of the series and I knew I wouldn’t be up to it after getting back.

The good news is Cherokee has proven popular enough for the WSOP-C to keep putting it on the schedule twice per year, and indeed there’s a return engagement scheduled next April. Something to file away.

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