The 41st World Series of Poker (WSOP) main event kicked off on Monday, with tournament officials hopeful registrations would easily top last year’s field of 6,494 players.
A total count won’t be available until later in the week since the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em event’s "opening day" is actually spread out over four days, Monday-Thursday. (Daily WSOP updates will be available here.)
Nevertheless, based on entries in earlier events, one WSOP official predicted the field would be 12 percent to 15 percent larger than last year, which would put the final count around 7,200 to 7,500 players.
If those figures are accurate, the 2010 field would be second only to the 2006 field, which had 8,773 players.
Based on projections, the total prize pool would exceed $70 million, with the overall winner walking away with nearly $10 million.
Under the format adopted two years ago, players will battle until the final table of nine players is determined on July 17.
The WSOP summer schedule will then come to a close, with the "Final Nine" returning to the Rio All-Suite Hotel Casino in November to decide the world champion.
Over the next 10 days, several thousand WSOP players will be eliminated from the main event, but if they’re not completely broke, there are other tournaments in town ready to offer some consolation, as well as another shot at a poker championship.
Perhaps the largest is the World Poker Tour (WPT) championship, scheduled for July 11 at the Bellagio. The $10,000 WPT event is part of Bellagio Cup VI, which kicked off on June 25.
This week, Bellagio Cup VI features several events leading up to the WPT championship, including Pot Limit Omaha and H.O.R.S.E. events, as well as several No Limit Hold’em events.
Other tournaments in Las Vegas that feature main events include:
Venetian Deep Stack Series (May 28-July 15): The main event is set for July 12 with a buy-in of $5,000.
Caesars Palace Mega Stack (May 26-July 15): Main event is scheduled for July 11 with a buy-in of $1,060.
Binion’s Poker Classic (May 26-July 11): The $1,000 No Limit Hold’em main event was held June 30, but there are other events to be played, including a $200 H.O.R.S.E. event, $150 Omaha Hi-Lo Split and several No Limit Hold’em events.
ARIA Classic (June 27-July 17): The $1,590 main event will be played July 11, but other events this week include No Limit Hold’em Six-Handed, Omaha Hi-Lo Split, Pot Limit Omaha Turbo Six-Handed and No Limit Hold’em Double Play.