The moment you all have been waiting for has finally arrived. Tomorrow starts the 2012 World Series of Poker at the Rio in Las Vegas. The physical set up of the Series has been going on for quite a while now, and final preparations are just about completed over at the Rio. A larger set up than ever before has been created, with 478 tables in use. The addition of so many tables than previous years will allow for the Main Event (occurring on July 7th) to have only 3 starting days (down from the previous years' 4). Today's article will discuss some of the more unique aspects of this year's WSOP and what to expect come game time tomorrow!
The first event this year is the popular Casino Employee's event. This is always the lowest buy-in bracelet event, and this trend continues this year, with a buy in of $500. The only requirement to play is that the individual is verfiably employed at any casino in the world. The employee can be a poker dealer or a food server, so long as they have their casino employee ID with them at time of registration. The $500 buy in tournament is the only event that employees of Caesars Entertainment properties are permitted to compete in as well, so it tends to be a popular tournament. It also has the lowest chips to start, at 3,000, but levels are the traditional WSOP standard of 60 minutes (blinds start at 25/50). This event starts tomorrow, Sunday, May 27th at Noon.
In addition to the Casino Employee Event #1, the Pavilion room at the Rio will also be starting up their live cash side games. 82 cash game tables are set up in the Pavilion room for live game action, as well as additional tables in the permanent Rio poker room, located adjacent to the Race and Sports Book in the main casino area. The cash games at the WSOP tend to range from 1/3 and 2/5 NLHE to nosebleed mixed games and special games like Big O (5 card PLO8). Cash games will be running 24/7 during the WSOP starting tomorrow.
One of the more popular recent additions to the WSOP daily action tends to be the daily deepstack tournaments. These non-bracelet events run 3x a day, with 3 different levels of buy ins to satisfy every budget. The 2PM tournament carries a $235 buy in/15K in chips, 6PM tournament has a $185 Buy in/10K in chips, and the 10Pm tournament has a $135 buy in/5k in chips. All of these have 30 minute levels and usually get player numbers from the 100+ range to over 1,000.
Another popular section during the WSOP will be the Satellite Area. It is here where single table, multitable, and specialty satellites into bigger events will be running continuously. These satellites have buy ins that vary greatly, usually starting at the $135 range up to $25,000+ (for the $1m buy in event). Though the satellites tend to be pretty rake heavy, the opportunity to play in a single table event tends to motivate quite a few people. The lammers are transferable and can be used to enter any event at the Series (and are also sellable to other players).
The first open event commences on Monday. It is a $1,500 NLHE event that starts players with 4,500 in chips and standard 1 hour levels. The first two event day starts tuesday, when in addition to a noon Heads up Event, there will be a 5PM Stud 8 event. Notice that with multi day events, daily deepstacks, and new events starting daily, that at any given time, there can be nearly 10 different tournaments running all at the same time! The WSOP is organized chaos for even the most seasoned of players. The next month will promise to be the most exciting (and possibly most expensive) for thousands of poker players. Shuffle up and deal!