When I took my first walk around the Pavillion, the huge poker room at the Rio which holds more than 200 tables, I ran into the 1991 WSOP Main Event Champion Brad Daugherty (read more about Brad in today's interview). We were both very impressed with the great poker environment created by the organizers. Everything is exceptionally well planned so far and the feel is very professional. For example, there exists a 'Will Call' for players who have pre-registered and this will make the line-ups much less severe.
This year's event is the 36th annual World Series of Poker and the action will unfold at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Starting tomorrow, there will be 45 WSOP tournaments, each with a buy-in ranging from $500-$10,000. The Series will culminate on Friday, July 15, when the $10,000 main event is finished and the winner is awarded an estimated first prize of $10,000,000.
Today at 12 pm the Series will begin with the $500 buy-in Casino Employees No-Limit Texas Hold'em event. Last year this tournament was played in Fixed Limit style, had 279 entrants, and was won by Carl Nessel who pocketed $40,000 for his efforts. How many players will participate this year? My estimate is that at least twice as many players will sign-up.
But today's tournament feels more like a warm up for Friday, June 3, when the big players enter the arena and the real hunt for WSOP bracelets starts in earnest once again. Keep checking in withPokerListings.com's WSOP reports for the most thorough and up to date WSOP news. We hope to see you here daily at the final table!