TOC Voters Flock to WSOP Site

Mike Matusow
2005 WSOP TOC champion Mike Matusow.

More than 40,000 ballots were cast for the 2010 WSOP’s Tournament of Champions in just the first 24-hours voting was open.

"In just 24 hours the poker community has spoken loud and clearly and they should be applauded for their passion," said Harrah's VP Ty Stewart.

"We really love the idea of turning the fans into Executive Producers and they are taking the challenge head-on and making sure their voices are heard."

Shelved since 2006, the WSOP announced Monday it will be bringing the Tournament of Champions back this summer, putting up $1 million in a freeroll for the top 20 WSOP bracelet holders as voted by fans of the game.

All 521 living WSOP bracelet holders are eligible to receive votes for entry through a selection process on that began Monday and will remain open through June 15.

A total of 40,722 votes were cast in the first 24 hours since the announcement, an average of 1,697 an hour or more than 28 every minute.

The WSOP says early results indicate it will be a very close and hotly-contested race. 

The top 50 vote-getters are listed on the site and updated instantaneously as votes are cast.

In addition to the top 20 vote getters, five entries into the tournament will be automatic, including previous Tournament of Champions winners Annie Duke, Mike Matusow and Mike Sexton, reigning WSOP Main Event champion Joe Cada and WSOP Europe main event winner Barry Shulman.

Finally, two sponsor exemptions will be awarded by the WSOP, with details still forthcoming on how those seats can be won.

The event will go off Sunday June 27 at the Rio, playing down to a final table of nine that will reconvene on Sunday, July 4 to play for a share of $1 million.

It will be filmed for broadcast on ESPN.

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