Wynn Classic main event begins today

The Wynn Casino

In only its second year of play, the Wynn Classic is quickly assuming a place on many top professionals' tournament schedules. This is an oddity in the poker world for a tournament that isn't a part of a major tournament schedule (à la the WSOP or WPT) and also doesn't have a television contract.

What draws players to it is a pretty consistent motivating factor: the money.

Because of the location - the Wynn in Las Vegas - and the higher-buy-in events ranging from $300 to $2,000 that make up the schedule, the Wynn Classic usually draws a multitude of top pros as well as amateurs looking to take their shot at the prize pool.

Last year, 198 players came to the tables for the $10,000 Championship Event to battle it out for their piece of the nearly $2 million prize pool, and the final table was replete with star power. Players such as Max Pescatori have all earned cashes.

The online players have also been getting in on the fun and games, with Darrell "Gigabet" Dicken and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier making final tables.

Two players in particular have stood out during this year's events. Brandon Cantu has earned three cashes and one final table during the schedule at the Wynn Classic. Perhaps he'll use some of the bounty money he picked up in San Jose during the WPT Shooting Star event to try to make another deep run in at the Wynn.

The other professional who's been in the mix during the run of tournaments at the Wynn is Frank Rusnak. While the Chicago player is still low in name recognition, he has more than $300,000 in career earnings (including a final-table appearance in the 2007 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure) and has made three Wynn Classic final tables.

When the cards hit the air today, odd are the playing field will be larger than last year and filled with some of the best professionals in the game.

PokerListings will be there to report on all the action in the Live Tournaments section, and we'll find out if it will be a top pro or another amateur who collects the trophy.

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