Thursday, April 23, 2009

What's New For the 40th World Series of Poker...

There's a press conference on Tuesday for journalists to discuss with World Series of Poker Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack what's new about this year's richest tournament in gambling or individual sports, but they've already released a press kit that does not in any way appear to be embargoed.

So far, this is what I've gleaned:

* November Nine, Again, With a Twist. The bifurcated $10,000 Buy-In No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em Main Event continues for a second year with some tweaks. Last time, they played it down to two finalists on Nov. 9 and then brought them back on Nov. 10 to finish up. This year, they'll play down from the Final Table of nine in July, have that bunch play down to the final two on Sat., Nov. 7, and then give them some days off before resuming play on Tues., Nov. 10. I'm not sure what the point of all that is, exactly, except that it gives the folks at ESPN more time to edit down the Nov. 7 play. They'll show all the final table action -- meaning Nov. 7 and Nov. 10 -- in a two-hour finale on ESPN on Nov. 10 from 9-11 p.m. ET. So I assume play starts pretty early on Nov. 10. No word if they're using the Penn & Teller Theater again for the Final Table. Probably, though.

* 40th Anniversary No-Limit. They've added a four-day $40,000 buy-in No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em tournament to the roster to honor the 40th anniversary of the event from May 28-31, the first event open to whomever wants to buy in.

* Champions' Tourney. They've also added a Champions Invitational. They're hoping to round up the 27 living champions of the Main Event. There's no money or bracelet at stake, just something they invented called the Binion Cup and a car. Jack Binion will be there to award the winner.

* One-Billionth Dollar Served!
They don't tout this in the press material, but it does seem like this will be the year the WSOP hits the billion-dollar mark for amount given away in prize money. The fact sheet says $867 million has already been awarded and last year they gave away $180 million. They only need $133 million to hit that figure. Something tells me they've got some sort of award for being the one who hits that for them. If not, call it the Friess Cup!

Finally, I noticed something kinda funny. The WSOP pays out the 9th-place winning amounts to all of the nine members of the Final Table; last year that was about $900,000. So it's funny that they feel compelled to promise -- as they do, according to this document -- an all-expense-paid trip for two for their return to Las Vegas in November for the end of the tournament. Surely these guys can afford to come back -- and bring their significant others!

The tournament, which includes 57 different events, begins May 28 at the Rio.


Jinx said...

Just one thing that amazes me, I wonder if they have a backup plan for the final three, in the case of all three being in, with the two short stacks all in and losing. Thereby losing the 'heads up' matchup they were counting on.

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