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WSOP Circuit returns with big events at PB Kennel Club

 It's poker season in West Palm Beach: the World Series of Poker Circuit Series kicked off Wednesday at the Palm Beach Kennel Club, with players from across the country coming to town.

 It's the fourth consecutive year for the circuit to visit here. The circuit stops at 21 casinos -- and the Palm Beach Kennel Club -- around the United States.

“We are thrilled to bring the excitement of the World Series of Poker circuit and this positive economic impact to Palm Beach County,” said Palm Beach Kennel Club Vice President, Joe Rooney.

 Business leaders say the tournament creates more than 2,000 room-nights at local hotels and an estimated impact of almost $1 million, according to figures provided by the Palm Beach County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Three-fourths of the players are outside of the county.

 The kennel club set a WSOP Circuit record last year with 2,539 entrants for its opening tournament, which guaranteed overall prize money of at least $1 million.

  They also had the largest overall prize payout of any venue during the 2012-13 season.  Last year's 6,369 registrants created a prize pool of $3,239,700 via their entry fees.

  The series of 12 tournaments runs through Feb. 17. This weekend is one of the bigger events, with a $1 million guarantee, with five flights and a $580 buy-in.  The main event is Feb. 14-16 and costs $1,675 to enter.

 “The economic impact of the WSOP on Palm Beach County has exceeded our expectations,” said Dennis Grady, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches.

  The kennel club, which doesn't have slots, was the first non-casino to have a circuit series, back in February 2011.

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