LAS VEGAS -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- The 44th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) – a set of poker tournaments open to anyone 21 years of age or older – officially puts cards in the air on the Wednesday following Memorial Day – May 29, 2013.
The annual poker extravaganza, which dates back to 1970, is televised exclusively on ESPN from the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The tournament series consists of a comprehensive slate of the game’s most popular poker variations, running this year from May 29 through July 15.
In 2012, total entries for all WSOP tournament offerings at the Rio (bracelets, satellites, deep stacks) eclipsed 230,000. The tournament set an all-time record for prize money awarded, at over $222M, and the number of entries in bracelet events, 74,766, was second-most all-time, only 1 percent off the all-time mark.
A total of 62 coveted WSOP gold bracelets will be up for grabs in 2013 – which is one more than last year.
“Dreams are dealt each year at the World Series of Poker,” said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the WSOP. “From the opening weekend, where we will make yet another millionaire, to the Main Event, which awards the largest single prize in the world, the WSOP is an annual affirmation about the strength and global appeal of the game.”
In terms of the physical layout, 2013 will look similar to last year. The Pavilion, Brasilia and Amazon ballrooms will be transformed into poker mecca. There are expected to be a record 480 poker tables spread throughout the Rio Convention Center’s three largest areas, allowing for non-stop tournament, satellite, daily deepstack and cash game action.
“Bring your bankroll, whatever it is, and come have the time of your life,” said WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel, who will oversee the tournament for the eighth consecutive year. “We think this is the most diverse schedule we’ve ever had and we’ll be ready for an all-time turn-out at the 44th annual WSOP.”
All Caesars Entertainment properties in Las Vegas offer special reduced hotel room rates for entrants of WSOP bracelet events. The Rio is offering its lowest weekday (Sunday-Thursday) rate ever to WSOP players, beginning at just $59. On the Las Vegas Strip there are plenty of options as well. Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Paris Las Vegas, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah’s Las Vegas, Bally’s Las Vegas and The Quad provide WSOP player rates as low as $40-$110 a night. (Note: Rates are based on availability and are subject to blackout dates.)
The Millionaire Maker: To kick off opening weekend in grand style, Event #6 ($1,500 No-Limit Hold’em) on Saturday, June 1 will feature a one-day start, two-flight, single re-entry No-Limit Hold’em event, where the winner will receive $1,000,000!
The 44th annual WSOP concludes with the grandest spectacle in all of gaming – the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship (aka “The Main Event”) (Event #62), which begins Saturday, July 6 and will reach its final table (nine players) on Monday, July 15, at which time play will be halted until November. These dates moved up one day from previously announced dates released. These new dates are now official.
The WSOP Main Event features three starting flights. Participants begin their journey to fame and fortune on Saturday, July 6, Sunday, July 7 or Monday, July 8 at 12 noon. Day 2 of the structure is Tuesday, July 9 for all players who played on Days 1A (Saturday) or 1B (Sunday). Survivors who start play on Day 1C (Monday) and still have chips play their Day 2 on Wednesday, July 10.
All fields combine to form Day 3 on Thursday, July 11. Like last year, there is no simultaneous off-day for Main Event players. In totality, those playing Day 1A can reach the final table in, at most, 10 calendar days. Players choosing to start on Day 1C can reach the final table in just eight days. The event will play five full (two-hour) levels each day. The world’s best tournament structure remains exactly the same, with 30,000 in starting chips, two hour levels, with Level 1 starting at 50-100 blinds with no ante.
As is now customary with the Main Event, the delayed final table, aka “the November Nine,” returns and is to be contested live on ESPN and ESPN2 during a two-night extravaganza on November 4 & 5, 2013.
Key highlights of the 2013 WSOP schedule:
No-Limit Weekends in June: Each weekend in June will feature large-field No-Limit Hold’em bracelet events that cater to the regional and national traveler visiting for the weekend. Each Saturday in June there will be a $1,500 NLHE and each Sunday a $1,000 NLHE, each affording huge ROI potential against the modest buy-in. In 2012, similar Saturday events averaged 2,762 entrants and Sunday events 2,921 entrants. Outside the Main Event and WSOP Seniors Event, all of the top 10 largest tournaments in the world in 2012 were $1,500/$1,000 events at the World Series of Poker.
Event #2 is the first open WSOP gold bracelet event on the schedule. It will be a $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament starting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29 and play eight-handed at maximum.
Event #3 (Thursday, May 30) features a $1,000 buy-in Single Re-Entry No-Limit Hold’em tournament. Players who participate in Thursday’s Flight 3A at 11 a.m. will have the ability to buy-in to Flight 3B at 5 p.m. that day if they are eliminated during Thursday’s earlier session. Players do not have to re-enter. Day 2 for all surviving players will be Friday, May 31.
Event #6, “The Millionaire Maker,” scheduled for Saturday, June 1, is a $1,500 buy-in Single Re-Entry No-Limit Hold’em tournament, where players can bust the morning flight and re-enter during the afternoon flight. Flight 6A begins at 11 a.m., and busted players can enter Flight 6B at 5 p.m. on the same day. This is a one-time re-entry only, and the event is structured to last three days. Players do not have to re-enter. Day 2 for all surviving players will be Sunday, June 2. The victor is guaranteed $1,000,000 for winning, as the prize pool will be altered from standard WSOP events to ensure this first-place payout. Final prize pool information won’t be known until registration for the event officially closes, but WSOP officials anticipate a huge turnout.
Event #34 features the WSOP’s first Turbo format, with a $1,000 buy-in Turbo No-Limit Hold’em tournament, structured to play out in two days. The first four levels are 30 minutes in length, then levels move to 40 minutes for Levels 5-17, and standard 60-minute levels after that to conclusion. Scheduled for Wednesday, June 19 at 12 noon.
Event #47, “ONE DROP High Roller,” features an $111,111 buy-in on Wednesday, June 26 at 12 noon, where those with affinity for high stakes No-Limit Hold’em can play in this three-day structured event which will award a WSOP gold bracelet. The 3% house fees for this event will be donated by the Rio to the ONE DROP organization, with the hope that players who cash will consider adding a percentage of their winnings to the charity as well. Guy Laliberté and several of the other notable non-professionals who participated in last year’s Big One for ONE DROP are expected to play. Field will not have a cap.
Event #52 (Friday, June 28) features a $25,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em event beginning at 5 p.m., where the world’s best short-handed specialists will seek a big payday and a bracelet in this popular variant.
Event #55 (Sunday, June 30, 5 p.m.) sees the return of the Poker Players Championship, where the game’s greatest all-around players pony up the $50,000 entry fee to participate in an eight-game mixed event to determine the game’s best all-around player. Not only does the winner get a WSOP gold bracelet, but his or her name is added to the prestigious Chip Reese Trophy.
Event #58 – The “Little One for ONE DROP” - will feature a $1,111 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament with two start days and unlimited re-entry through the first four levels. This is the only unlimited re-entry tournament on the WSOP schedule. Starting flights are Wednesday, July 3 at 12 noon (Flight 58A) and Independence Day, July 4 at 12 noon (Flight 58B). Players will be able to re-enter either (or both) flights as many times as they wish through the first four levels, with the caveat being they must bust before re-entering. This event also has a charitable component, as the WSOP’s charity partner, ONE DROP, will receive $111 of each buy-in.
Open Face Chinese: Though not an official WSOP bracelet event, another exciting event added to the WSOP schedule is a $5,000 buy-in Open Face Chinese tournament on Saturday, July 13 at 5 p.m. This event will be monitored by WSOP staff to determine the viability of adding it as a bracelet event in the future.
Starting Times: There have been a few tweaks to starting times for the 44th Annual WSOP. Events #3 and #6 will begin at 11 a.m. for the “A” flights. The Seniors Event (Event #26) will begin at 10 a.m. All other WSOP gold bracelet tournaments will begin at 12 p.m. or 5 p.m. Pacific time each day, with a maximum of 10 one-hour levels being played for the noon starts if the field size is under 1,500 players. If the field size reaches 1,500 players or more, 11 levels will be contested on Day 1. Thus, noon tournaments will end at 12:40 a.m. and include four 20-minute breaks and a 90-minute dinner break after Level 6. For events where an 11th level is necessary, play will extend to 2 a.m., with an extra break of 20 minutes after Level 10. This adjustment of playing time based on field size is intended to help keep tournaments to their three-day schedule and increase the chances of reaching the money by the end of the first day.
The 5 p.m. events will be comprised of a maximum of eight one-hour levels on Day 1. Day 1 play is expected to conclude at 2 a.m. and feature two 15-minute breaks and one 30-minute break after Level 4.
For those advancing past the first day, re-starts for noon bracelet events are at 1 p.m. Events that start at 5 p.m. will restart at 2 p.m., with a maximum of 10 levels being played each day until a champion is crowned. The Main Event features two-hour levels, with play beginning at 12 p.m. each day and ending at 12:40 a.m. each day.
Registration for all bracelet events will remain open through four levels of play – or until all available seats have been sold. This means players can register as late as 4:40 p.m. for noon tournaments and 9:45 p.m. for the 5 p.m. tournaments. The only exceptions to this are the Main Event, which will remain open for its customary two levels (or four hours of play), and the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, which will take registrants until the start of play on Day 2, which is the start of Level 6 of the structure.
Pre-registration for the 2013 WSOP will be available online through http://www.wsop.com/registration beginning March 4, 2013.
The 2013 WSOP marks the 44th running of the game’s most prestigious annual tournament. In 2012, the WSOP generated 74,766 entries, the second-most ever, from 101 different nations. Players competed for more than $222 million in prize money – the most ever – as a total of 61 championship gold bracelets, globally recognized as the game’s top prize, were awarded.
To view the entire schedule, visit WSOP.com/2013, where you will be able to download event structures, pre-registration forms and even link it to your Facebook, Twitter or other social network sites.
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