The 45th edition of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), the biggest annual live poker event in the world, began on Tuesday. The event, which will last for seven weeks, promises a minimum of $10 million to the champion and shares of a large prize pool of $200 million to hundreds and thousands of players.
The 45th WSOP, which includes 65 action-packed tournaments, will begin at the Rio with a $500 poker game for the casino employees and end with the NL Hold’em Main Event. The main event will be played over 10 days and will boil down to nine finalists, who will meet in November at the Rio for the WSOP grand finale, which will crown the champion.
As many as 80,000 players are expected to take part in the event, and organizers are sure that the player field will generate more than the guaranteed prize pool of $200 million for the second time in the WSOP’s history. Last year, the WSOP distributed $197 million as prizes.
The 45th WSOP will include a charity poker game with a buy-in of $1 million, which is held every alternate year. The event, which accepts a field of only 56 players, usually attracts rich entrepreneurs and professional poker players who enjoy betting high. The One Drop Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Guy Laliberte, the founder of Cirque du Soleil, will receive 10 percent of the profits of this high-roller charity game. Other highlights of WSOP 2014 include a women’s tournament and a senior citizen’s poker tournament for players above the age of 50.
The WSOP, which attracts poker players from over 100 countries all over the world, has a lucrative effect on Las Vegas’ hospitality and entertainment industry. The participants hail from different parts of the US, Australia, Canada, and Europe, and 94 percent of them are men.
The regulation and legalization of online poker in three US states has given a tremendous boost to the WSOP. During the weeks to follow, one may expect as many as 5,000 players playing at a time at the Rio’s poker tables. The champion of each event will be awarded a WSOP gold bracelet.
Last year, Ryan Riess, a 23-year-old poker pro from Michigan, won $8.4 million at the WSOP. This year, David Negreanu of Canada, who currently holds the WSOP’s Player of the Year title, is expected to perform extraordinarily well. Negreanu had won the title in 2004 too.