World Series vows to be ‘largest ever’ in 2010

Dec 22, 2009 5:05 PM
The Inside Straight by Joe Awada |

Poker tourney adds $50K mixed event

The World Series of Poker last week announced its 2010 schedule, noting that the annual poker extravaganza should be bigger and better than ever.

"Whatever your game and whatever your bankroll, the 2010 WSOP schedule offers something for everyone," said WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel, who will oversee the event for the fifth straight year. "We are planning for the largest WSOP ever and look forward to welcoming all players to the Rio in Las Vegas next summer."

Action actually kicks off May 27 and continues through July 17, when a final table for the championship Main Event will be named. Those nine finalists will return in November to compete for the title of worlds champion.

The 41st annual World Series, which dates back to 1970, will have a tough act to follow. Last summer’s tournament generated the most entries ever (60,875) from 115 countries, who competed for more than $174 million in prize money, while awarding 57 championship bracelets.

Next year, there will also be 57 gold bracelets up for grabs, but there are some noteworthy changes.

First, the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event – considered the best overall test of a player’s ability – has been eliminated and replaced with a $50,000 Players Championship.

The new Players Championship will feature an eight-game format, including the five games that comprise H.O.R.S.E. – Limit Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, Seven Card Razz, Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo – plus the addition of No Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha and 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball.

Winner of the event will receive the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy, named for the late, great poker player, Chip Reese, who won the inaugural H.O.R.S.E. event in 2006.

There will still be plenty of action for H.O.R.S.E. enthusiasts. A new $10,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. championship tournament will be offered, to go along with $1,500 and $3,000 buy-in versions of the popular format.

Another first next year will be a series of $1,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em events to be held the first five weekends of the tournament.

These low buy-in events have proved to be very popular over the last couple of years, attracting thousands of entries and creating prize pools in the millions. They give the players with limited bankrolls the ability to compete for tome of the largest jackpots of the tournament.

Last summer’s first $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event established a non-Main Event record with 6,012 entries.

Another new event for 2010 is the $25,000 6-Handed No Limit Hold’em tournament, scheduled to start on June 30.

Following on the success of last year’s tournament, all gold bracelet events in 2010 will feature triple the starting chips and deep structures, ensuring plenty of action and opportunity for players.

New rules will also address the issue of player fatigue that used to come from long marathon sessions that sometimes lasted until the following morning. For 2010, (excluding the Main Event), gold bracelet tournaments that begin at noon will have a maximum of 10 one-hour sessions, and those that start at 5 p.m. will have just eight one-hour sessions. Those changes should benefit players that advance deeply into a tournament.

There are a couple of dates to note, for our "femme fatale" players as well as seniors. The Ladies Only No Limit Hold’em Championship ($1,000 buy-in) is scheduled for Friday, June 11, while the Seniors Only No Limit Hold’em Championship ($1,000 buy-in for players 50 years and older) will be held Friday, June 18.

Next year the WSOP will also use more space in the Rio Convention Center, which will allow them to bring in more tables. Last summer, there were a couple of events in which players were shut out because of the lack of tables.

For more information, a complete WSOP schedule and how to register in advance, check out the World Series website at

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Joe Awada

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