In its annual effort to improve the legendary poker festival, World Series of Poker officials will be implementing a few changes for 2010. The changes revolve primarily around the Series’ organization, and all look like they will make the overall experience better for the players.
Start and End Times
If you look at the 2010 WSOP schedule, you will see that some events start at noon Pacific time, while some start at 5:00pm. The plan is for noon events to end for the night at 12:40am, although of course this could change slightly on any given night because of unexpected delays. When these events resume the next day, the cards will be in the air at 2:30pm, allowing for full attention to be given to the bracelet ceremony that begins at 2:20pm for the previous day’s event winner.
The 5:00pm tournaments will wrap up at: 2:40am and restart the following day at 3:00pm.
The large Amazon Room has been the primary, and in some years only, location where poker has been played since the World Series of Poker moved from Binions to the Rio. This year, while it will still host the biggest moments of the summer, it is more of a co-venue than a primary one. The largest events – the ones that start at noon – will now begin in the Rio Pavilion, former home of the Gaming Life Expo and PokerPalooza. Large buy-in tournaments that start at 5:00pm, as well as restarts from the previous day and final tables, will be in the Amazon Room.
Said Harrah’s Communications Director Seth Palansky to, “You have to play your way into the Amazon Room. If you don’t start there, that’s where you want to end up. Tables will break from Pavilion to Amazon.”
Main Event Flights
As has been the case over the last several years, there will once again be four “flights” of Day 1 of the $10,000 Main Event. The biggest problem encountered last year was that Day 1D was overwhelmingly the flight of choice for players, resulting in that day getting booked to capacity and many players being turned away. At the same time, Day 2B was much larger than Day 2A because Day 2B contained survivors from Day 1D.
Harrah’s remedied the overbooking problem by only allowing players to hand-pick their starting day up to a certain date, after which any new registrants will be automatically assigned a starting day in order to even out the Day 1 flights. As for the uneven Day 2 flights, Harrah’s has decided that they will be rearranged to have survivors from Day 1A and Day 1C combine to form Day 2A, while survivors from Days 1B and 1D will meet in Day 2B.
Food Service
As the WSOP has grown, food service has been a difficult thing to manage. The scheduled breaks (aside from dinner) are short, and during those breaks, hundreds or thousands of players usually want to grab a bite to eat. Providing decent, fresh food in a convenient location for the players has been a hit or miss proposition.
This summer, the outdoor grill has been eliminated. In its place will be the Gutshot Grill, which will be located in the Miranda Ballroom. One great thing about the new location is that the Miranda Ballroom has its own attached kitchen, meaning that fresh eats should be available all the time. Harrah’s is also going to put an increased focus on providing healthier and vegetarian items.

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