Vegas awaits World Series of Poker
By Paul
The 33rd annual World Series of Poker is due to begin next week at Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas with an expanded lineup of events. The Las Vegas Sun reports that this year’s tournament will feature 37 separate events compared to last year’s 27, and will conclude with the championship, a five-day no limit Texas hold ‘em event ending on May 24.

The buy-in for the championship is $10,000, although players can earn entry by winning “satellite” tournaments.

Event organizers are predicting 750-800 players for this year’s championship game, compared to 600 players last year. The top prize this year is also up on last year, $2 million compared to $1.5 million.

Last year’s tournament boasted 5,300 participants and a total prize pool of $17.75 million; this year’s pool is expected to exceed $20 million.

'So far it looks like it will be bigger and better than last year,' Becky Behnen, owner of Binion's, said. 'We've been seeing more card rooms in California doing satellite tournaments, so that increases the total.'

This year’s event will include new events such as the “Gold Bracelet Match Play” – which is only open to previous winners of a World Series event. And the tournament this year features a detour away from poker for the first time, with world championships of hearts and gin.

The first poker game in the tournament will be a casino employees game on April 19.

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