Gathered together at the ESPN final table, Doyle Brunson, Phil Gordon, Benny Binion, Crandell Addington, and representatives of Harrah's sat together for a press conference, and the following unfolded:
Addington and Binion were inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame for their groundbreaking efforts and contributions to the industry as a whole, all of which have helped to shape poker as we know it today.
The representatives of Harrah's announced that the company has donated $1 million to American senior citizens in need of financial aid, along with an additional $13,500 to charity, which will first have to be won by a player in a free roll tournament called the Media/Celebrity Charity Event, which was played out yesterday. No matter the outcome of this tournament, all winnings will be donated.
Phil Gordon encouraged people to join his team of players, all of who have signed-up to donate 1% of their tournament winnings to cancer research. As of today, he has raised $75,000 with a team of 250 players. Chris Moneymaker has been the biggest contributor of funds so far. All players that sign-up wear a "1%-pin" during play.
Greg Raymer made an appearance and stated that approximately 1,000-1,200 players will represent PokerStars at the Main Event and will thus make up about 20% of the starting field. The odds are pretty good that a PokerStars player will win the Main Event for the third consecutive year! He also spoke about his new life as a celebrity poker player, saying that he loves everything that comes with it. Raymer compared poker celebrity with being a modern rock star, looking over at Doyle Brunson, he said: "How many over seventy year old rock stars is there really?". Fourteen months ago, he won the Main Event and has since traveled the world representing PokerStars and participating in major poker events. Before that he worked 9-5 in an office as a patent attorney.
Questions about this year's WSOP and the 2006 WSOP were also answered. There will be 5,500-6,000 players in this year's Main Event, not quite reaching the cap of 6,600 players. In 2006, the WSOP will once again be held at the Rio and the buy-in will stay at $10,000. If needed, more seats will be on hand than compared to this year's lack of availability.