For our first edition we find a certain former Team Full Tilt Pro making his first WSOP appearance in over a year, our upcoming unique format for live updating tournaments and the blingiest bracelets ever.
1) Phil Ivey Shows Up, Rio Explodes
Perhaps the biggest question on everyone’s mind heading into the 2012 WSOP was whether the best poker player in the world – that would be Phil Ivey – would make an appearance after skipping the entire 2011 WSOP.
We didn’t have to wait long for the answer.
Ivey was one of the 2,101 players who showed up for Event 2: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em.
Now the question is whether Ivey still has his bracelet-winning chops or if he’s gotten rusty with so much time away from the marathon that is the WSOP.
There’s also a large question mark over how players with money still stuck on Full Tilt Poker will react to the man who allegedly sat out last year because of their cause.
That’s a question that may take an entire summer to answer decisively.
2) PokerListings Gets in Touch with Feminine Side
Not sure if you’ve heard but PokerListings is trying something new at this year’s WSOP.
After years of the same old Day 1 format, the PokerListings live update team is going to put a unique twist on each Day 1 you won’t find anywhere else.
There will be several days where we will just follow a single big-name pro as he (or she) tries to build a big stack while on other days we'll follow a group of players such as pros hailing from France or the U.K. or even former professional athletes.
It all begins tomorrow with our first target - the female contingent playing on Day 1 of the $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha.
Female players have had significant success in heads-up events as Annie Duke won the NBC Heads-Up in 2010 and most recently Melanie Weisner and Vickey Coren were the final two players in the EPT Grand Final heads-up tournament.
Stay tuned because later in the summer we’ll let our readers pick the theme for live updating a Day 1.
Check the first day of coverage out today in our 2012 WSOP coverage section.
3) WSOP Bracelets Get Professional Makeover
To say the WSOP bracelets got a bit shinier this year would be an understatement.
In person you almost need sunglasses to look directly at the new bracelets.
Designed by Jason of Beverly Hills the bracelets have been upgraded across the board with the Main Event bracelet featuring hand-picked round-cut diamonds plus all four suits in rubies or black diamonds.
The Main Event bracelet also features 160 grams of 14 karat gold over 35 carats of diamonds.
According to WSOP communications director Seth Palensky the four most expensive bracelets, including the Main Event one, are valued at approximately $300,000.
Jason of Beverly Hills is no stranger to stunning trophy pieces as he designed championship rings for both the Los Angeles Lakers and Green Bay Packers.
The first new bracelet will be awarded later tonight to the winner of the Casino Employees Event.
Bonus 4-Bet: Negreanu Starts the WSOP Off with a Rant
In honor of the WSOP, everybody's favorite ranter Daniel Negreanu has decided to throw caution to the wind and pump out a new rant whenever he feels like it.
We'll try and keep up and post them in the 3-Bet when they materialize.
First up: Kudos for Ty Stewart and a break down of his $25k Fantasy team.