2012 WSOP Main Event to Begin in Las Vegas

Pius Heinz and Martin Staszko

For the 43rd consecutive year the World Series of Poker $10k Main Event is set to begin in Las Vegas.

The world’s biggest poker tournament will kick off tomorrow at 12 p.m. with athletes, celebrities, amateurs and pros all looking to be a part of poker history.

Last year 6,865 players took part in the contest that German poker pro Pius Heinz eventually won for $8.7 million.

“This tournament is special because it’s like ten times bigger than anything else in the world,” said Heinz.

Pius Heinz
2011 Main Event champ Pius Heinz

“It’s the only tournament where you have 6,000 people putting up $10,000 each, plus the structure is the best with two hour levels.”

Tomorrow is the first of three starting days that will take place on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

The 2012 Main Event will run for a total of 10 days from July 7-16 starting at noon every day and concluding at 12:45 a.m. nightly. When a final table of nine players is set, play will be delayed until October.

In year’s past the final nine players were referred to as the November Nine as the final table played out in November but this year they are only delaying it until Oct. 28 because of the US presidential election.

One of the oldest entrants in this year’s event, 92-year-old Ellen Deeb, grandmother of Shaun Deeb, will provide the shuffle up and deal on Day 1a. MMA superstar Georges St. Pierre will call it on Day 1b and Nevada Senator Dean Heller will on Day 1c.

Over the years the preliminary events have gotten tougher at the WSOP as the overall skill level in poker has increased but the Main Event remains one of the softer tournaments in the world.

“I might disagree with a lot of the people saying this year’s had tougher fields than last year but for the Main Event, anytime you have more than 6,000 people playing a tournament it’s going to be a relatively soft field and big value,” said Heinz.

Phil Ivey
Phil Ivey's back.

Ivey to Return to Main Event, POY Potentially on the Line

This year’s Main Event should provide more than a couple of compelling storylines.

This will be the first Main Event that Phil Ivey has played since 2010. He skipped the entire 2011 WSOP due to issues with former sponsor Full Tilt Poker.

He returned to the WSOP with a vengeance this year and made five final tables.

As usual there has been a lot of chatter over the size of field this year’s Main Event will generate.

Many of the preliminary tournaments have trended down significantly this year and some poker experts believe the effects of online poker’s Black Friday are finally starting to impact the WSOP.

Finally, the Main Event could have huge ramifications for the 2012 WSOP Player of the Year race.

Phil Ivey is currently leading with 539 points but if John Monnette (524), Phil Hellmuth (500), Antonio Esfandiari (488) or Michael Mizrachi (486) have a deep run in the Main Event it could change everything.

For nearly 10 years now PokerListings has been providing in-depth coverage of the tournament and that won’t change this year with up-to-the-minute live updates, news, videos and photos straight from the Rio All-Suites Hotel in Las Vegas.

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