This year marks the first time the World Series of Poker is being hosted outside its long-time home in downtown Las Vegas, the Binion's Horseshoe. Instead, the event is taking place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino just off the world famous Strip. The final table of the main event, however, will be held at the Binion's Horseshoe.
More than 15,000 players are expected to enter 'the world's richest tournament' this year. The event started on June 2nd with the $500 Casino Employee No-Limit Hold'em tournament and will end on July 15th with the final table of the main event.
In addition to registering at the Rio, players can also sign-up to play at the World Series of Poker by visiting the website www.worldseriesofpoker.com. Online pre-registration closes two weeks prior to the event. If the event is not available through pre-registration, please register in person at the Rio. But bring a lot of cash, buy-ins start at $1,000 and go all the way up to $10,000.
The area outside the World Series of Poker gaming room offers you a great opportunity to run into your favorite poker players. Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Greg Raymer, Doyle Brunson, Barry Greenstein and many others frequent the area nearly every day.
Yes, poker players are sometimes in dire need of a massage. Sitting at a poker table may not seem like hard, stressfull work, but after a few hours in uncomfortable seats concentrating on the game, it's easy to tense up.
To get some relief, you can choose between a 10-minute massage session called a "Pair" for $15 or a 20-minute session, the "Four-of-a-Kind" for $25.
Poker may not be the most physical of activities, but along with the occasional stress of the game, players do need to relieve their hunger too. Pictured on the right is what the greatest minds of poker are eating this year when they are on their dinner breaks.
The big draw of the World Series of Poker is the different championship events, but for some players it's the lure of the cash games that brings them to the WSOP as well. Players will often bust out of a tournament and try their hand in the cash game instead. These cash games are set up to play 24/7 throughout the entire event.
The World Series of Poker is not only for college-aged kids coming straight from an online poker session. There are players from all walks of life, from the old-school pro who's been in the game for years to the online phenoms to the average Joes just looking to try their luck. The gentleman to the right claims to be the oldest player in this year's World Series of Poker.
Thousands of people come to play, but not nearly that many will make it into the money. If you play well and have luck on your side, you could be one of the few to end up in the line to cash your winnings.
In total, the WSOP organizers are expecting over $75 million to be cashed in prize money this year.
When you play in the World Series of Poker you'll not only run into a lot of different people, you're going to encounter a lot of different dealers as well. All are perhaps not as pretty as Heather Escuin (pictured).
To keep track of how your tournament progresses there are two big scoreboards letting you know how many players are left in the tournament, or, more importantly, how many need to be knocked out before you're in the money. The board will also tell you the current blinds, stakes and other essential game information.
The World Series of Poker is also an opportunity to be seen on television. ESPN, the tournament's official broadcast partner, will produce and air 26 hours of original programming from the 36th annual WSOP. The first episodes of the event will be aired on the sports channel starting in July.
With thousands of players ready to belly up to the felt for the tournaments, plus the TV crew and other media, there needs to be plenty of space to accommodate the WSOP. The gaming area at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino fits the bill with its 60,000 square feet and that will accommodate up to 6,600 players in the Main Event.