LAS VEGAS, March 08, 2005 -- Shuffle up and deal! The high stakes action of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), the richest sporting event on the planet, is coming to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino for the first time. Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., which owns and operates the tournament, recently launched the inaugural World Series of Poker Circuit. The Circuit, which is being sponsored by Degree for Men Antiperspirant and Deodorant, will include events at several Harrah's-operated casinos nationwide; its stop at the Rio from March 12-23, 2005, marks the Circuit's third event.
Players who take part in Circuit tournaments - including the Rio events - can earn points toward the Circuit's grand finale, the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions. A $2 million, winner-take-all freeroll event consisting of the top 20 finishers at each Circuit event as well as the nine players who make the final table at the World Series of Poker's Main Event, the Tournament of Champions will be played in Las Vegas in September. A freeroll event is one in which there is no "buy in" - players are not required to put up any of their own money to enter, and compete in, the tournament.
ESPN will broadcast the championship event of all Circuit events, including the Rio's and the Tournament of Champions. ESPN's coverage of the World Series of Poker consistently earns the highest ratings of any televised poker programming.
The 36th annual World Series of Poker will begin June 2 at the Rio, which will host all but the final two days of the tournament. The event's final two days, July 14 and July 15, will be played at the Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas, which has been home to the tournament since its inception.
As an official sponsor of the World Series of Poker, Degree for Men will conduct a range of activities tied to the Circuit throughout the year.# # #