In just a few short hours, the 41st World Series of Poker will get underway at 12 noon at the Rio in Las Vegas with the first bracelet event, the $500 Casino Employees event. This will be followed at 5pm with the $50,000 Players’ Championship, consisting of HORSE, no-limit holdem, pot-limit Omaha, and 2-7 triple draw lowball with no-limit holdem being played at the final table.
Last year’s Casino Employee’s winner was Andrew Cohen, a bartender at the Palms, who won $83,833 in a field of 866 players. Hopefully Team Pokerati member John Harris can improve on his 25th place finish last year. This is the first year for the $50,000 Players’ Championship, a five-day event that is replacing the $50,000 HORSE event that was held the previous four years. David Bach won what appears to be the final $50,000 HORSE event last year, besting a field of 95 to earn $1,276,806. The Chip Reese trophy that was given to the HORSE winner will now go to the Players’ Championship winner.
Where to find information
For those looking for updates, the official WSOP site will have live updates powered by PokerNews. This year, the WSOP.com site will also be making various tournament information available to everyone, including entry lists, end of day chip counts, tournament reports from WSOP media director Nolan Dalla, as well as the media guide. CardPlayer, Bluff Magazine, PokerListings, PokerRoad, ESPN.com’s poker section and other poker media outlets (like Pauly) will provide updates, reports, gossip, video segments and other stuff for the poker enthusiast.
2010 WSOP storylines
With 56 bracelets up for grabs over the next seven weeks (with the final one decided in November), there’s plenty of interesting angles to find in this year’s WSOP:
Does the Year of the Woman continue? With the wins of Annie Duke at the NBC Heads-Up, Vanessa Selbst at NAPT Mohegan Sun and Liv Boeree at EPT San Remo, the poker media is anticipating a breakout WSOP for women. The last year more than one woman won an open bracelet event was in 2004 (Annie Duke, Kathy Liebert and Cyndy Violette).
How will Annette Obrestad perform? This is Annette’s first year she can actually play at the WSOP in Las Vegas instead of being a spectator limited to the hallway, a moment that has been eagerly anticipated by the poker community since she won the 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event at 18. She’ll be the most followed, scrutinized, criticized, fawned over, etc. newcomer of this year’s group of WSOP newbies.
How will the UIGEA affect the WSOP? With the June 1 deadline rapidly approaching, online sites and players are wondering what will happen in the next few weeks. Does the US Department of Justice swoop down on the Rio and arrest Team Full Tilt? Will players not be able to get their funds in time for the Main Event? Will it be business as usual, with no noticeable drop in attendance at the Rio?
Betting on Bracelets Bracelet bets for big money is not reserved to Phil Ivey and his fellow pros. Justin Bonomo was laying 10 to 1 (1k minimum to Justin’s 10k) that at least one person from a list of people living at Panorama Towers will win a bracelet at the WSOP. Bonomo offered the same bet last year, laying 7 to 1, and Greg Mueller’s two bracelets had Bonomo winning his bet. The big Phil Ivey bet this year is with Howard Lederer: Ivey has the 2010-12 WSOPs to win two bracelets, WSOPE bracelets count only towards making the bet a push, for $5 million. Talk of other bets Ivey will surely hit the rumor mill over the coming weeks.
More updates to come during the next few weeks, and good luck to all the players.