Despite the sour economy and Nevada gaming revenues being down almost 10 percent in 2008 and more than 16 percent down over the first two months of 2009, is apparently not an overriding concern for officials for the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas who remain optimistic and confident that the variety and depth of the best poker players in the world will be the draw needed for the 57-event WSOP tournament that begins its six-week run May 26 at The Rio, the host casino for the event.
To sweeten the pot, a $40,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event on May 28 is expected to draw poker’s most elite players. Then, two days later, the tournament will host a $1,000 buy-in no-limit event that is expected to attract another approximate 6,000 players.
If that’s not enough draw, on May 31, a special two-day Champions Invitational will take place with the 27 living previous World Series of Poker world champions being invited to participate in a no-limit hold’em event.
The 2009 World Series of Poker event will include 10 World Championship $10,000 buy-in events and seven $1,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournaments. The $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. event, which mixes five different poker games, will take place on June 26. The $10,000 buy-in World Championship No-Limit Hold’em Main Event will being on July 3 and reach its final table of nine players on July 15.
For the second straight year, players will then wait four months before returning to the Rio on November 7 to play for the championship, which ESPN will televise on a same-day taped delay.
Last year’s World Series of Poker event in Las Vegas drew 58,720 entries from 124 countries and awarded a prize pool of more than $180.7 million. The winner in November was 22-year-old Peter Eastgate of Denmark, who became the tournament’s youngest-ever word champion, taking away $9.15 million in a four-hour heads-up final table with Russian Ivan Demidov.