World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest
and most prestigious gaming event in the world having
awarded more than one billion dollars in prize money
and the prestigious gold bracelet, globally recognized
as the sport's top prize. Featuring a comprehensive
slate of tournaments in every major poker variation,
the WSOP is poker's longest running tournament in
the world, dating back to 1970. In 2009, the event
attracted 60,875 entrants from 115 different countries
to the Rio in Las Vegas and awarded over $174 million
in prize money. The creation of the new delayed Main
Event final table more than doubled ratings on ESPN
year-over-year. In December, 2008 the WSOP was named
the 7th most admired sports brand in North America
by the Turnkey Team Brand Index trailing only the
more established NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR and PGA
Tour among sports properties. In addition, the WSOP
has formed groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting,
digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully
expanding the brand internationally with the advent
in 2007 of the World Series of Poker Europe.
Over Shot Clock In Poker Rises Again -
9th November 2012
the 2012 World Series of Poker Championship Event
was one of the more exciting final tables in quite
some time, there is a new debate raging across the
internet regarding one aspect of poker that, some
believe, has become a problem the tanking
by players as they make a decision. This discussion
has brought out the question once again of putting
a shot clock in place in poker to speed
the game up.
player/blogger Scott Clark brought up the issue as
he discussed the WSOP Championship Event final table
on Wednesday. During the live play of the 2012
Main Event, fans that were following the action complained
about the excessive tanking by the competitors,
Clark notes. Clark particularly targets eventual runner-up
Jesse Sylvia as the worst offender, pointing out a
Tweet from poker professional Daniel Negreanu which
read, If there was any doubt about the need
for a clock in poker, this (the Main Event play) is
Exhibit A. This is painstakingly tilting for casual
it be cool, Clark queries. Doesnt
it make too much sense? There are several aspects
that would have to be examined with the implementation
of a shot clock in the game, however.
of the big questions would be what tournaments do
you put the shot clock on. Does the $40 buy in tournament
at your local casino have the need for such action?
At what stakes would a shot clock be implemented for?
Pokers rules are already different enough by
locations and adding in a shot clock for tournaments
would put another layer of rules out there that would
be different by what location you play at.
big question would be how long would be the time limit
on the shot clock. It has often been said that players
know what they will do within fifteen seconds of looking
at their hole cards. Anything beyond that is simply
Hollywooding to try to get responses from
your opponents or masking the fact that you were making
a move without the proper ammunition.
a shot clock were to be implemented in poker, it would
have to be long enough to allow for complete thought
while also moving the game along. While the online
standard (approximately fifteen seconds) is a bit
too strict, making a decision within two minutes shouldnt
be too much to ask for someone to come to a conclusion.
Do You Put The Shot Clock On?
in poker go across the entirety of a tournament. With
this theory in mind, if a shot clock was placed on
poker, you should have it from the start of the event
to its conclusion. When the blinds are 25/50, however,
this would more than likely be a waste of time (no
pun intended). Instituting the shot clock on
the bubble or once the players have made the
money would, in fact, change the style of the game
if the clock isnt used from the start of the
The Money Matter?
is an offshoot of the which tournament
question. If the prize pool is only a few thousand
dollars, would the shot clock have less time (or even
be used)? If, for example, were talking about
the WSOP Championship Event, wouldnt you want
to give some time to a player making a multi-million
We Already Have A Clock?
theory, the shot clock is already in place in the
game of poker. It is something that is anathema for
most poker players, however (remember how Tiffany
Michelle still gets derision for her usage of it in
the WSOP Championship Event a few years ago), because
of its nitty appearance. There are also
different thoughts as to individual poker players
as to how long is too long.
believes a shot clock is not a bad idea for the game
of poker. A two minute clock, used at the final table,
might be the best situation but, as Clark also states,
there are few ideas on how to institute it. At
the very least, Clark concludes on his blog,
players should move the game along out of respect
to your fellow players. (Poker
Goes 'All In' With Texas Hold'em Heads Up Poker(TM)
at World Series of Poker
Game's Mathematical Model Simulates the Operation
of the Human Brain to Give Players Authentic Experience
VEGAS, Nov. 3, 2011 - The over 150 million Texas Hold'em
fans around the world will be hootin' and hollerin'
at no longer having to wait in long lines to play
the tables or lasso up a willing opponent with the
debut of Texas Hold'em Heads Up Poker(TM) from International
Game Technology (NYSE: IGT). Premiering at the 2011
World Series of Poker at the Rio in Las Vegas on Nov.
5-6, fans can now enjoy everything they love about
Texas Hold'em - the strategy, bluffing and tells -
in an interactive poker machine.
Texas Hold'em Heads Up Poker(TM) is the first poker
game to use a neural net, a technology-developed mathematical
model that simulates the operation of the human brain.
The advanced technology of Texas Hold'em Heads Up
Poker(TM) recreates engaging behavioral nuances such
as opponent "bluffing" and "thinking"
in a scenario that's less intimidating than a live-table
experience - making the slot machine inviting to all
levels of Texas Hold'em players.
addition to the innovative technology, a number of
other features will have casino-goers strapping on
their cowboy boots to test their skills against this
highly individualized game:
Striking graphics and player-customizable options
- including fun touchscreen good luck charms - will
entertain and delight even the coolest poker players.
Multi-Hit Stud Bonus game doubles the action and increases
the player experience.
After the conclusion of a game, the "peek"
feature gives the player the choice to see the opponent's
cards - even if a showdown did not take place - giving
the player insight as to how the opponent plays.
this year's World Series of Poker, Texas Hold'em Heads
Up Poker(TM)will be on display for players, operators
and media to try on Nov. 5-6. IGT brand ambassadors
will be handing out free play coupons from 4-6 p.m.
on Saturday, Nov. 5, and from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
on Sunday, Nov. 6.
to bring all the thrills and high drama of live-action
table Texas Hold'em to the slot machine format, players
will want to put on their shades and pull down the
brim of their hats to hide their tells when they saddle
up to Texas Hold'em Heads Up Poker," said Eric
Tom, IGT executive vice president, North America Sales
and Global Operations. "This is a game that players
of every level can test their craftiest bluffing strategies
and Texas Hold'em skills against."
International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT) is a global
leader in the design, development and manufacture
of gaming machines and systems products, as well as
online and mobile gaming solutions for regulated markets.
Europe: Michael Mizrachi, Philippe Boucher Capture
Bracelets As Championship Event Enters Day 1B - 16th
the €10,000 Championship Event of the 2011 World
Series of Poker Europe enters its second Day One on
Sunday, poker pros Michael The Grinder
Mizrachi and Philippe Boucher captured the final two
preliminary bracelets awarded on Saturday.
the €10,000 Split Format No Limit Holdem
event, Mizrachi came back yesterday as a member of
the Final Four who would determine the title. In his
semi-final match against Roger Hairabedian, Michael
slowly worked the heads up match to what was a startling
conclusion. On the final hand of their matchup, Hairabedian
flopped a set of fives on a J-8-5 board, but Mizrachi
was able to best that by turning a straight with his
7-6 when a four found the turn. Once the board didnt
pair on the river, Michael Mizrachi was on to the
the other semi-final match, Shawn Buchanan and Noah
Schwartz battled it out for the right to face The
Grinder. Buchanan methodically worked his way
into a comfortable lead against Schwartz before getting
him to commit his final chips with a mediocre offering.
After a minimum raise from Shawn, Noah decided to
make a three-bet stand for his last chips with only
an A-5 off suit. Buchanan quickly called, tabling
his pocket Kings, and once the board ran dry (albeit
with a bit of a flush sweat), Shawn Buchanan was the
winner of the match.
predicted here yesterday, the Mizrachi/Buchanan battle
was a fierce one, although Michael came to the felt
with a 2:1 chip lead over Shawn. The Grinder,
true to his name, was able to gradually add on to
his lead over the two hours of play; nothing that
Buchanan attempted seemed to work as his chip stack
slowly slipped southward. The end of the tournament
was particularly brutal for Buchanan as, holding an
A-J against Mizrachis A-10, a ten came on the
flop to flip the lead to Mizrachi. Turn and river
deuces sealed the deal for the 2010 $50K Poker Players
Champion, giving him his second bracelet in as many
final table of the €1500 Six Handed Pot Limit
Omaha tournament seemed to be more of a sprint than
a marathon, highly unlike major championship final
tables. Chiles Nicolas Fierro came to the final
table with the chip lead, but it was a one man wrecking
ball by the name of Philippe Boucher who stole the
taking almost an hour and a half before the first
player, Jack Ellwood, was eliminated by Boucher, the
Canadian pro would then storm his way through the
remainder of the field. He would go on to knock off
the entire table on his run to the title, only pausing
slightly during heads up play against Michel Dattani.
On the final hand, Dattani would commit his final
chips holding an A-A-J-7 against the A-Q-10-9 of Boucher.
After the board ran 6-6-8-J-Q to give him the winning
straight, Philippe Boucher would pick up his first
WSOP bracelet in just under four hours.
Philippe Boucher (Canada), €124,584
2. Michel Dattani (Portugal), €76,982
3. Nicolas Fierro (Chile), €53,426
4. Alexander Dovzhenko (Ukraine), €37,529
5. Jared Solomon (South Africa), €26,676
6. Jack Ellwood (United Kingdom), €19,181
these two final tables wrapped up action, the first
Day One of the €10,000 Championship Event was
in play. 310 players eventually wound their way to
the tables in the battle for the next WSOP Europe
Main Event championship, guaranteeing that this will
be the biggest Championship Event in the history of
the WSOP Europe. Last years total number of
players was only 346 and the record field
for the tournament was in 2007 and 2008, when the
tournament drew 362 players.
the end of Day 1A, 173 players remained, with Jamie
Rosen holding the chip lead with 162,700 in chips.
Notable names in the Top Ten include the U. K.s
Chris Moorman and Erik Friberg, but there are threats
looming down the leaderboard. Two time World Champion
Johnny Chan is just off the leaderboard in eleventh
place with 108,350 in chips, while Ramzi Jelassi,
2011 WSOP November Niner Ben Lamb, Carlos Mortensen,
Will The Thrill Failla, Chad Brown and
Arnaud Mattern are just some of the names in the Top
1B is currently in play, with 165 players stepping
up for the action on Sunday. Some of the players who
have made early moves during Day 1B include 2010 WSOP
November Niner Filippo Candio, Robert Mizrachi, Tommy
Vedes, Shannon Shorr, Bryan Devonshire, Sandra Naujoks,
Mike Timex McDonald and Bertrand ElkY
Grospellier. Defending World Champion Jonathan Duhamel,
Men The Master Nguyen, Jean-Robert Bellande
and Sorel Mizzi are all below their starting stacks,
with The Grinder and Steve Billirakis
two of this years WSOP Europe bracelet winners
already eliminated from the tournament.
numbers for the Championship Event arent in
yet, so the prize pool hasnt been determined
or the first place prize. However it plays out, the
2011 World Series of Poker Europe has been a record
breaking schedule with its final stories yet to play
the worlds third largest online poker room,
is offering up 1.8 million prize cards as part of
its Card Rush Instant Win promotion in April. The
promotion will run through April 30th or until the
prize cards are given away and offers numerous chances
to earn extra cash by playing on the site this month.
can obtain a Card Rush card simply by playing in a
real money game on PartyPoker and earning points.
The first card will cost five points and subsequent
cards will cost 15 points. Players may obtain up to
50 cards per day, but the promotion will end when
all 1.8 million are assigned.
card will instantly give players a monetary prize
between $1 and $5,000, a points prize up to 25,000,
or entry into a freeroll. The freerolls will run on
the following days:
Rush $2,000 Freeroll May 5th at 1:00pm ET
Card Rush $15,000 Freeroll May 5th at 2:30pm
Card Rush $3,000 Freeroll May 6th at 1:00pm
Card Rush $10,000 Freeroll May 6th at 2:30pm
Card Rush $5,000 Freeroll May 7th at 1:00pm
Card Rush $7,000 Freeroll May 7th at 2:30pm
Card Rush $20,000 Freeroll May 8th at 1:00pm
can also earn cash in the Card Rush Race, a leaderboard
that will pay the top 200 point-earners a minimum
of $100. Points will be awarded as part of the Card
Rush promotion ranging from one to 20 points per card.
The more points a player earns, the more money theyll
receive. Heres a look at the payouts:
2nd place $7,000
3rd place $5,250
4th place $4,000
5th place $3,500
6th place $3,000
7th place $2,500
8th place $2,000
9th place $1,500
10th place $1,000
11th-18th places $800
19th-30th places $700
31st-45th places $600
46th-60th places $500
61st-75th places $400
76th-100th places $300
101st-125th places $200
126th-150th places $150
151st-200th places $50
addition, every 20th spot from 220 to 2,000 will earn
a Hot Spot prize of $50.
is also running daily qualifiers to the 2011 World
Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas. Qualifiers are
running now until June 19th, with satellites available
for as little as $2. Each $14,000 package includes
the $10,000 Main Event buy-in, travel and eight days
hotel accommodations, and $2,000 spending money.
are also special qualifiers exclusively for first-time
depositors. Every month, new players can enter an
exclusive freeroll to win one of 10 seats, each worth
$750, in the WSOP weekly satellite.
which owns and operates PartyPoker,
recently merged with bwin to form the largest gambling
group in the world. With the merger, Party Gaming
hopes to even the playing field in the online poker
arena as it positions itself to re-enter the U.S.
new company also hopes the merge will expand the PartyPoker
brand in Europe. bwin previously resided on the Ongame
Network, but now combines its client base with PartyPoker
to create the third largest online poker room in the
Poker News Daily)
Series of Poker Kicks off Friday, Tom Jenkins - 29th
(Poker News Daily)
just two days away from the start of the 2010 World
Series of Poker (WSOP). The games elite and
a host of amateurs will descend upon Las Vegas on
Friday to capture one of 57 bracelets up for grabs
and claim riches in a slew of cash games and side
events. The Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino will serve
as the epicenter of the poker world until July 17th.
first two days promise to feature record-setting fields
and a high caliber of poker talent. On Friday at Noon
PT, the annual $500 Casino Employees No Limit Holdem
tournament will begin. Last year, 866 players turned
out for the contest, with Andrew Cohen emerging victorious
at 5:00pm PT on Friday is the first ever running of
the $50,000 Players Championship, which will
air as part of ESPNs coverage of the 2010 WSOP.
Entrants will test their prowess at Limit Holdem,
Omaha High-Low Split Eight or Better, Seven Card Razz,
Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud High-Low Split Eight
or Better, No Limit Holdem, Pot Limit Omaha,
and 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball. The tournament is the
most expensive on the 2010 WSOP slate.
years $50,000 HORSE Championship, which the
Players Championship replaces, attracted just
95 players. David Bach defeated John Hanson heads-up
and banked $1.2 million. Also making the eight-handed
final table were Vitaly Lunkin, Huck Seed, Chau Giang,
and 2010 National Heads-Up Poker Championship runner
up Erik Seidel. The HORSE Championship will revert
to a $10,000 buy-in this year.
Saturday, the first of six open $1,000 buy-in No Limit
Holdem events will kick off. In 2009, the WSOP
featured the Stimulus Special, a $1,000 No Limit Holdem
tournament that attracted 6,012 players. Twenty-four
year-old Steve Sung from California emerged victorious
and earned $771,000 for the win. The Stimulus Special
attracted the largest non-Main Event field in WSOP
history, crushing the previous record by 53%.
open $1,000 buy-in tournament features two starting
days. Besides May 29th to 30th, other $1,000 events
will kick off on June 5th and 6th, June 12th and 13th,
June 19th and 20th, June 26th and 27th, and July 1st
and 2nd. Each event is scheduled to stretch for four
days, although Harrahs officials noted that
the tournaments might take an extra day to complete
depending on the field size.
year, the Rio Pavilion, the site of the former Gaming
Life Expo and PokerPalooza, will add 58,000 square
feet of gaming space to the WSOPs inventory.
Across the hall, the Amazon Room will house restarts
and final tables. Only two rooms will be used and
all bracelet ceremonies, which feature the national
anthem of the winning country being played, will pan
out in the Pavilion. No Expo will take place in 2010,
although interactive exhibits will line the halls
of the Rio Convention Center throughout the entire
duration of the WSOP.
events are on deck for the 2010 WSOPs opening
weekend. Heres what poker players have to look
forward to come Friday:
May 28th at 12:00pm PT
Event #1: Casino Employees No Limit Holdem
May 28th at 5:00pm PT
Event #2: The Players Championship
May 29th at 12:00pm PT
Event #3: No Limit Holdem
May 30th at 5:00pm PT
Event #4: Omaha High-Low Split Eight or Better
Main Event begins on July 5th with the first of four
starting days. It will play down to a nine-handed
final table on July 17th before being paused until
Poker News Daily)
events that has grown in numbers as well as prestige
at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) over the past
few years has been the Ladies’ No Limit Hold’em
Championship. Since 2005, when Jennifer Tilly captured
the title against 600 other players, the tournament
has doubled in size and routinely drawn well over
1,000 players for each event in succeeding years (reaching
an apex of 1,286 in 2007). It’s
probably a matter of time before the poker
rooms online start offering satellites to the
Ladies Event. The tournament, while a competition,
has also allowed an elite organization to make its
mark through charitable means.
Queens of Heart organization has been a part of the
event since 2006, drawing attention to women’s
health issues and raising over $100,000 for charities
such as the Nevada Cancer Institute and the American
Heart Association through the team’s winnings.
This year, one player will have a chance to stand
beside the ladies as a member of the Queens of Heart
by proving she is the best player over a four week
on January 24th, there will be a series of four tournaments
(the three other dates for tournaments are February
28th, March 28th, and April 25th) called the Queens
of Heart League, held at Harrah’s
Vegas at noon. The $80+$20 buy-in events will
be for women only and, at the end of the four tournaments,
the overall winner will earn a prestigious seat alongside
the other ladies making up the Queens of Heart at
this year’s Ladies tournament at the WSOP. In
addition to the seat at the Ladies’ WSOP event,
the league champion will also join her teammates in
a luncheon with WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack
on the Saturday before the event.
the team has yet to be announced for 2009, the roster
of players who have played for the Queens of Heart
in the past reads like a who’s who of the celebrity
and poker worlds. Celebrity stars such as actresses
Mimi Rogers, Joely Fisher, Teri Hatcher, Cheryl Hines,
Camryn Manheim, and author Jackie Collins have been
members. Professional poker players such as 2006 WSOP
Ladies Event runner-up Shawnee Barton, 2007 WSOP Ladies
Event champion Sally Anne Boyer, two-time Ladies Event
winner Barbara Enright, Maureen Feduniak, Clonie Gowen,
Poker News Daily Columnist Linda Johnson, 2006 WSOP
Ladies champion Mary Jones, and 2007 Legends of Poker
Ladies champion Pamela Brunson have also lent their
efforts as members of the team.
the past, the Queens of Heart league event had been
run by one of the co-founders of the organization,
Lisa Tenner, and her group Tenner and Associates.
This year, however, the WSOP is assuming operation
of the league, which Tenner views favorably. “I
am honored about the incredible success, charity,
and awareness for good health that Tenner and Associates
brought to the World Series of Poker on behalf of
‘Queens of Heart’ and the move to having
the league led by the WSOP is a win-win for all concerned,”
stated Tenner in a press release. “I am also
proud that the ‘Queens of Heart’ is a
part of the history, tradition, and the future of
Queens of Heart organization has shown that while
poker is a competitive activity, it is focused on
charity as well.
over, Super Bowl. There’s a new sheriff in town.
On Sunday, February 1st, the first four of episodes
of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Europe Main Event
will air on ESPN at 6:00pm ET; there will be eight
episodes in total. The Super Bowl, which is one of
the world’s most watched sporting events, kicks
off at 6:30pm ET.
10:00pm ET on February 1st, an encore presentation
of the first two episodes will air on ESPN2 for those
who were watching “The Big Game.” The
WSOP Europe festivities consisted of four separate
tournaments, culminating in a £10,350 buy-in
event that drew 362 players. At the end of the day,
Full Tilt Poker pro John Juanda became just the second
WSOP Europe Main Event champion ever, joining Annette
“Annette_15” Obrestad, who won the prestigious
title in 2007.
Senior Director of Communications, George McNeilly,
told Poker News Daily, “An opportunity presented
itself to air the WSOP-Europe in prime time on ESPN.
We always strive to serve the widest variety of sports
fans and we hope poker fans tune in for the prime
WSOP Europe tournaments were held at the Casino at
the Empire in London’s Leicester Square. The
epicenter of the city’s theater district, Leicester
Square also houses several casinos. Doug White, ESPN’s
Senior Director of Programming and Acquisitions, commented
in a press release that the atmosphere of this event
is vastly different than the one filmed at the Rio
in Las Vegas: “The intimate look and feel of
this tournament is different from other WSOP events
we produced in the United States.” The press
release explains that players at the Casino at the
Empire were seated “in a side room, under the
stairs, behind the bar, near the roulette tables,
and in front of an ice cream shop.”
is also employing a mobile hole card camera in order
to be able to show what players hold in key hands
no matter where they are seated. In the past, ESPN
has used the Henry Orenstein invention only for its
feature table as well as “Table 2.” Jamie
Horowitz, ESPN’s Senior Sports Producer, explained
the importance of this addition for WSOP Europe’s
coverage: “We believe the Mobile Hole Card Camera
will provide fans a great understanding of the overall
story behind the tournament, and how the players advanced
to the final table.”
Bowl XLIII will be held in Tampa, Florida on February
1st. The game pits the top team from the National
Football Conference (NFC) against the top team from
the American Football Conference (AFC). The game kicks
off at 6:30pm ET and will go head to head with ESPN’s
WSOP Europe coverage. The Super Bowl is viewed in
dozens of countries around the world and advertising
spots regularly come with a seven-figure price tag.
The NFL playoffs will enter their Divisional round
this weekend, with the Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh
Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, and San Diego Chargers
remaining in the hunt for the AFC. In the NFC, the
defending champion New York Giants, Carolina Panthers,
Arizona Cardinals, and Philadelphia Eagles are still
schedule for the WSOP Europe on ESPN2 is as follows:
10:00pm: Episode #1
11:00pm: Episode #2
10:00pm: Episode #3
11:00pm: Episode #4
10:00pm: Episode #5
11:00pm: Episode #6
10:00pm: Episode #7
11:00pm: Episode #8
WSOP Europe Main Event attracted all of the heavy
hitters in the poker world. The final table featured
WSOP November Nine member Ivan Demidov, who became
the first person ever to reach the final tables of
both the WSOP and WSOP Europe Main Events in the same
year; Demidov finished third in London and second
in Las Vegas for well over $6 million total. Also
seated at the WSOP Europe Main Event final table are
Daniel Negreanu and Scott Fischman. Lon McEachern
and Norman Chad will provide commentary for the event.
World Series of Poker is the largest set of poker
tournaments in the world. It is held annually
Vegas, lasting just over a month. A bracelet is
awarded to the winner of each of the fifty-plus events
which include all the major varieties of poker. The
series culminates with the $10,000 no-limit hold'em
"Main Event", which in recent years has
attracted entry fields numbering in the thousands,
with the victor receiving a multi-million dollar prize.
original World Series of Poker was started in 1968
by Tom Moore of San Antonio, Texas,
at the Holiday Hotel and Casino in Reno and was an
invitational event. This inaugural event was won by
Crandell Addington who went on to place in the top
ten of the World Series of Poker Main Event eight
times, a record that still stands as of 2007. The
set of tournaments that the World Series of Poker
(WSOP) would evolve into was the brainchild of Las
Vegas casino owner and poker player Benny Binion,
as well as his two sons Jack and Ted.
Binion family nurtured not only the WSOP, but poker
in general. Prior to the 1970s, poker was not found
at many casinos because of the difficulty of keeping
cheaters out. Through better security techniques as
well as the Binion's tireless promotion through events
like the WSOP, poker became a very popular game.
1970, the first WSOP at Binion's Horseshoe took place
as a series of cash games that included five-card
stud, deuce to seven low-ball draw, razz, seven-card
stud, and Texas hold 'em. The format for the Main
Event as a freeze-out Texas hold 'em game came the
next year. The winner in 1970, Johnny Moss, was elected
by his peers as the first World Champion of Poker
and received a silver cup as a prize.
1971 on, all WSOP events have been tournaments with
cash prizes. In 1973 a new event, Five-card stud,
was added to the main event of no limit Texas hold
'em. Since then new events have been added and removed.
In 2006 there were 45 events at the WSOP, covering
the majority of poker variants. Currently, Texas
hold 'Em, Omaha hold 'em and Seven-card stud and
their lowball variants (if any) are played. H.O.R.S.E.
has been played in the past and returned in 2006.
Also, S.H.O.E. has been played in the past, and returned
in 2007. Other events played in the past include Chinese
poker, Five card stud, and many others. Each event
winner gets a coveted gold bracelet as well as the
grand prize money, which by tradition is paid in cash
brought in cardboard boxes.
Hellmuth has the most bracelets with eleven. Runners-up
Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan have each won ten bracelets.
Doyle's son, Todd Brunson, won a bracelet in a $2,500
Omaha Eight-or-better event in 2005, making them the
first and only father/son combo to win at least one
event at the WSOP. Also, celebrities Patrick Bruel,
Jan Vang Sørensen and Jennifer Tilly have won
WSOP bracelets in 1998, 2002 and 2005 respectively.
number of participants in the WSOP has grown almost
every year, and in recent years the growth has exploded.
In 2000 there were 4,780 entrants in the various events,
but in 2005, the number rose to over 23,000 players.
In the main event alone, the number of participants
grew from 839 in 2003 to 8,773 in 2006. This was known
as the "Moneymaker Effect", named after
unknown rookie Chris Moneymaker, who won the main
event after having qualified for just $39 through
a satellite tournament. Much of this growth can also
be attributed to the WSOP airing on ESPN
and the World
Poker Tour being shown on the Travel Channel,
along with other televised series, as well as the
boom of online poker.
most tournaments, the sponsoring casino takes an entry
fee (a percentage between 6% and 10%, depending on
the buy-in) and distributes the rest, hence the prize
money increases with more players. In the 2005 main
event $52,818,610 (US) in prize money was distributed
among 560 players, with $7.5 million to first prize.
Takes "The Pot"
Entertainment purchased Binion's
Horseshoe, kept the rights to the Horseshoe and
World Series of Poker brands, sold the hotel and casino
to MTR Gaming Group, and announced that the 2005 Series
events would be held at the Harrah's-owned Rio Hotel
and Casino, located just off the Las
Vegas Strip. The final two days of the main event
in 2005 were held downtown at what is now the MTR
operated "Binion's" in celebration of the
centennial of the founding of Las Vegas. It also added
a made-for-television $2 million "freeroll"
invitational "Tournament of Champions" (TOC)
event first won by Annie Duke as a "winner-take-all"
in 2005, the WSOP began a tournament "circuit"
at Harrah's-owned properties in the United States
where in addition to the $10,000 buy-in tournament
at each site, qualifying players became eligible for
a revamped Tournament of Champions. The 2005 TOC,
made up of the top twenty qualifying players at each
circuit event, along with the final table from the
2005 Main Event and the winners of nine or more bracelets
(Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson, and Phil Hellmuth) would
participate in the revamped TOC at Caesar's Palace.
Mike "The Mouth" Matusow won the first prize
of $1 million (US), and all the players at the final
table were guaranteed a minimum of $25,000 for the
eighth and ninth place finishers. During a break in
the final table of the 2005 Main Event on July 16,
Harrah's announced that eleven properties —
including the recently added Bally's and Caesar's
properties — would host 2005-06 WSOP Circuit
events that started on August 11 in Tunica, Mississippi.
One event, that was scheduled for Biloxi, Mississippi
was canceled after the Grand Casino Biloxi, which
was scheduled to host the event, suffered major damage
from Hurricane Katrina.
Rio also hosted the 2006 World Series of Poker, which
began on June 25 with satellite events and formally
began the day after with the annual Casino Employee
event, won in 2006 by Chris Gros. 2006 featured the
"Tournament of Champions" on June 25 and
26, won by Mike Sexton. Various events led up to the
main event, which was held from July 28 until August
10. The first prize of $12 million was awarded to
The Marketing of the WSOP
any event or sports league, the WSOP also has corporate
sponsors and licensed products which pay fees to market
themselves as an official sponsor and/or licensee
and exclusively use the WSOP insignia and cross-promote
with their events. Besides the Harrah's properties
and ESPN, major sponsors have included Miller Brewing's
"Milwaukee's Best" brand of beers, Pepsi's
SoBe Adrenaline Rush energy drink (sponsors of the
2005 TOC), Helene Curtis' Degree brand of anti-perspirant/deodorant,
United States Playing Card's Bicycle Pro Cards, Bluff
magazine, GlaxoSmithKline/Bayer's Levitra erectile
dysfunction medicine, and The Hershey Company. Licensees
include Glu Mobile, Activision (video games for different
platforms such as Nintendo's GameCube, Microsoft's
2 and PC featuring computer generated versions of
stars like Ferguson among others), and products made
by different companies ranging from chip sets, playing
cards, hand held games and clothing like caps and
shirts. The fees and licenses bring in more than a
million dollars to Harrah's.
WSOP television coverage
earliest filming of the World Series was a special
produced by Binion's
Horseshoe in 1973 and narrated by Jimmy "The
Greek" Snyder. CBS began covering the World Series
in the late 1970s. In the early 1980s, the event was
again broadcast as specials. In the late 1980s, the
World Series returned to television as ESPN took over
broadcasting. Initially, coverage consisted of just
a single one hour taped delay broadcast of the main
event. ESPN Classic currently airs many of the old
broadcasts, especially from the mid 1990s and beyond.
The most striking thing about the early coverage is
how little was actually shown, since no "pocket
cam" existed. Generally, ESPN
used poker-playing actors such as Dick Van Patten,
Vince Van Patten, and Gabe Kaplan, with either the
tournament director (usually Jim Albrecht) or a poker
pro like Phil Hellmuth joining the team. Early coverage
was relatively primitive compared to what ESPN does
now, with no pre-taped interviews or profiles on the
players. The commentators were actually on the casino
floor itself. The 2002 WSOP was the first with the
"sneak peek" (later called the pocket cam,
or hole cam). 2003 was the first year that the broadcast
covered action preceding the final table.
then, ESPN has greatly expanded its coverage to include
many of the preliminary events of the WSOP, especially
Texas Hold 'Em. Also, their coverage of the main event
now typically includes at least one hour program on
each day. For the first two years of its existence,
ESPN was broadcasting one hour programs of the "circuit"
events that the WSOP has at various Harrah's-owned
casinos, but ESPN did not renew these events. ESPN's
coverage now includes many of the trappings of sports
coverage, such as lighter segments (called "The
Nuts") and interviews.
coverage has been largely driven by Matt Maranz, Executive
Producer for the WSOP telecasts. Maranz leads 441
Productions, which produces the telecast under contract
to ESPN's unit ESPN Original Entertainment (EOE).
Maranz has significant sports production experience,
having previously worked on ESPN's football pre-game
show, and has also produced taped segments for NBC's
2000 and 2001, the World Series of Poker was broadcast
by The Discovery Channel. These hour long programs
presented more of an overview or recap of the WSOP
as opposed to broadcasting an actual live event with
play-by-play analysis and color commentary. The Discovery
Channel's broadcast also featured final table players
interviews interlaced throughout the show. ESPN would
resume coverage the following year.
coverage in 2002 was typical of their coverage in
the 1990s (recorded in video, little or no post-production
commentary or player profiles, no card cams). However,
the final table broadcast was expanded over two one-hour
2003, ESPN expanded their coverage to new heights
with their coverage of the WSOP. They included coverage
of the entire tournament, with a "Featured Table".
At this table, the viewers could see the player's
hole cards and subsequent strategy. The action was
also broadcast as if live, though on tape-delay. This
level of coverage arguably led to the popularity boom
of No-Limit Texas
would increase in 2004 and 2005 to include preliminary
events from the WSOP, in addition to the "Main
has expanded poker to all-new levels, especially with
their coverage of the 2006 WSOP, including providing
the entire final table of the 2006 Main Event via
(ESPN) - Lon McEachern and Norman Chad; Phil Gordon
and Ali Nejad in Main Event Pay-per-view; (ESPN Deportes/ESPN
Latin America - Spanish) - Gabriela Hill and Fernando
Main Event of the WSOP has been the $10,000 buy-in
Hold 'Em (TXHE) tournament since 1972. (In 1971,
the buy-in was $5,000.) Winners of the event not only
get the largest prize of the tournament and a gold
bracelet, but additionally their picture is placed
into the Gallery of Champions at Binion's.
winner of the Main Event has traditionally been given
the unofficial title of World Champion. However the
game's top professionals have stated that the recently-added
$50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event is the one which ultimately
decides the world's best player. H.O.R.S.E. is an
event in which Hold 'em, Omaha, Razz, Seven Card Stud
and Eight-or-better are all played. The H.O.R.S.E.
tournament was won by Chip Reese in 2006 and Freddy
Deeb in 2007. It should be noted that the professionals
played a major role in convincing WSOP management
to stage an event with a much larger buy-in than the
Main Event; the growth of poker tournaments and the
World Series (by way of "The Moneymaker Effect")
had resulted in fields with a far greater number of
amateurs in proportion to professionals. Hence, the
Main Event now has a much greater likelihood of producing
winners who are amateurs and/or relatively unknown
players. The professionals sought to create an event
which was far more likely to produce a more well-rounded
poker professional as the eventual winner. The $50,000
buy-in, being five times larger than the buy-in for
the Main Event, has thus far tended to deter amateurs
from playing in the H.O.R.S.E. tournament.
have been many memorable moments during the main events,
including Jack Straus's 1982 comeback win after discovering
he had one $500 chip left when he thought he was out
of the tournament.
players have won the main event multiple times: Johnny
Moss (1971 and 1974), Doyle Brunson (1976 and 1977),
Stu Ungar (1980, 1981 and 1997) and Johnny Chan (1987
end of the 1988 main event was featured in the movie
Moneymaker and Greg Raymer, the winners in 2003 and
2004, both qualified for the main event through satellite
tournaments at the PokerStars online cardroom.
Yang, the winner in 2007, had only been playing poker
for two years prior to his victory. He won his seat
at a $225 satellite tournament at Pechanga Resort
players (including former champions, celebrities,
and professional poker players) must supply the $10,000
buy-in in order to participate.
of the Year
2004, a Player of the Year Award has been given to
the player with the most points accumulated throughout
the World Series. Only "open" events in
which all players can participate count in the standings.
Beginning with the 2006 World Series of Poker, the
Main Event and the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. competition
had no effect on the outcome of the winner of the
Player of the Year award.
World Series of Poker Europe
World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) is the first
expansion of the World Series of Poker. Since 1970,
the event has occurred every year in Las Vegas. In
September 2007, the first WSOP championship events
outside of Las Vegas, complete with bracelets, were
held. The inaugural WSOPE consisted of three events
held in London from September 6-17, 2007. The main
event, a GBP 10,000 buy-in no-limit hold 'em tournament,
was won by Norwegian online prodigy Annette Obrestad
on the day before her 19th birthday. This made her
the youngest person ever to win a WSOP bracelet, a
record that cannot be broken in the Las Vegas WSOP
under current laws because the minimum legal age for
casino gaming in Nevada is 21. Obrestad could play
in the WSOPE because the minimum age for casino gaming
in the United
Kingdom is 18.
no definitive plans have been announced, WSOP Commissioner
Jeffrey Pollack has indicated that in the next one
to three years that other venues may start holding
WSOP events. Two locations that have been mentioned
as possible expansion sites are Egypt
2005, a video game based on the tournament was released
for several consoles and the computer. A sequel called
World Series of Poker: Tournament of Champions came
out in 2006.
video poker machines now appear at some Harrah's casinos;
the machines are standard video poker machines, but
have a bonus feature which allows a player to play
a modified game of Texas Hold 'em against the machine.
in 2007, Harrah's announced the creation of the World
Series of Poker Academy, a poker school aimed at providing
poker players with the skills needed to win a WSOP
Bracelet. The instructors for the Academy include
Phil Hellmuth, Greg Raymer, Scott Fischman and Mark
Seif. Initial academies were launched in Tunica, Indiana
and Las Vegas. (Credit: Wikipedia).
into the 2008 World Series of Poker (WSOP), the major
change handed down by tournament officials was the
introduction of a 117 day break prior to the start
of the Main Event final table, which occurred in November.
The move was considered by many to be a resounding
success, as television ratings and interest in poker
boomed as a result. Heading into 2009, rebuy tournaments
may become a distant memory.
News Daily has confirmed a rumor that WSOP officials
are considering doing away with rebuy events for the
2009 tournament series. There were five rebuy contests
held during the 2008 schedule:
#5: $1,000 No Limit Hold’em with Rebuys
Event #18: $5,000 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball with Rebuys
Event #28: $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha with Rebuys
Event #34: $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha with Rebuys
Event #44: $1,000 No Limit Hold’em with Rebuys
Series of Poker Communications Director Seth Palansky
told Poker News Daily, “For rebuys, we are simply
in discussions on the benefits and drawbacks of having
these events as bracelet events. We like rebuys and
think they are a fun and exciting game for poker players,
but at the same time, we are questioning their place
in the World Series of Poker.”
many cases, the rebuy period ends after the first
two levels of play in a tournament. However, players
can often play very loosely during this time and,
if their bankroll allows for it, simply rebuy if they
are eliminated. However, this has raised eyebrows
as to whether a bracelet is warranted for potentially
just having the deepest pockets. For example, during
Event #5, Suk Song re-bought 23 times. In 2006, PokerStars
pro Daniel Negreanu reloaded an amazing 46 times and
added on twice during a rebuy tournament.
Event #18, Todd Brunson invested a whopping $140,000.
To put that number in perspective, Brunson would have
had to finish fourth in order to break even; he ultimately
did not make the money. Negreanu invested $85,000
in Event #28. This time, however, his gamble paid
off, as he finished seventh and cashed for $129,000.
Event #34, the number of rebuys was up a remarkable
53% in 2009 in comparison to 2008, causing the total
prize pool to balloon by 43%. Layne Flack invested
$33,000 in the tournament, which meant that he needed
to place 12th or better out of 320 entrants in order
to make his money back. Luckily, Flack ended up winning
the entire tournament and taking home $577,000, or
17 times his buy-in, for his sixth WSOP bracelet.
$1,000 rebuy tournament first became a part of the
WSOP in 2004. In 2005, two $1,000 No Limit Hold’em
rebuy tournaments were held, a trend that has existed
ever since. One player re-bought 17 times in Event
#44 in 2008, although WSOP officials declined to name
who he or she was. The top 27 players received $18,000
elaborated further, “The bracelet and its prestige
are of paramount importance to us and we want to ensure
that anyone who does win a bracelet does so because
they played the best poker throughout an event.”
In 2007, there were six rebuy events held as part
of the WSOP festivities. In 2006, there were four,
which was one fewer than in 2005. The 2008 WSOP featured
54 bracelet events in total, meaning that rebuys accounted
for roughly 9% of the tournaments. The Main Event
is a $10,000 buy-in freeze out.
and Harrah’s officials will likely take into
account views from its Players Advisory Council when
making a decision. The discussion may focus on whether
rebuy tournaments favor deep-pocketed poker players
and whether the merits of having a portion of the
WSOP schedule devoted to rebuys jeopardizes the esteem
of a bracelet.
timeline has been set for an announcement one way
or another and the 2009 WSOP schedule has not been