Today marks the start of a serious uptick in wagering at the Rio All-Suites Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, as the 2010 World Series of Poker gets underway. Millions upon millions of dollars will be handed over to the cage for entries into the 57 bracelet events, side tournaments, and satellites. More truckloads of money will be wagered in cash games and on the casino’s table games, slots, and other video gaming machines. The next couple months will be happy times for Rio management.
But not all the betting involving the World Series of Poker will take place at the Rio. Poker fans around the world will be placing bets online, trying to win money from the results of the WSOP. A number of online sportsbooks have set their lines for the poker festival, although not all of them (PartyGaming’s PartyBets has no poker lines). The most extensive WSOP wagering opportunities are at Sportingbet, operator of Paradise Poker.
The lines that most people look at first are the odds to reach the final table of the Main Event. Several years ago, it would have been possible to bet on the field, but Sportingbet and other sportsbooks removed that option, as an “unknown” player has won the Main Event for the better part of this century. This year, Sportingbet has almost 250 players listed on its site, starting with the favorite, Phil Ivey, at 20/1. A trio of young players – Bertrand Grospellier, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, and Jason Mercier – follow behind him at 33/1.
The next group, at 50/1, includes the likes of Daniel Negreanu, 11-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, 2001 Main Event champ Carlos Mortensen, Allen Cunningham, and John Juanda. At 66/1 odds, bettors can put money on players like Patrik Antonius, Faraz Jaka, 2000 Main Event winner Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, Scotty Nguyen, 1996 champ Huck Seed, or Erik Seidel. In the 100/1 group are 2008 Main Event winner Peter Eastgate, David Williams, Michael Mizrachi, last year’s WSOP Player of the Year Jeff Lisandro, Erick Lindgren, Antonio Esfandiari, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, Phil Laak, and Annette Obrestad, who will be making her World Series of Poker debut this summer.
Team PartyPoker member Tony G is listed at 125/1, along with the likes of Vanessa Rousso, Andy Bloch, “Action Dan” Harrington, Dennis Phillips, Paul Wasicka, Annie Duke, Doyle Brunson, and Johnny Chan. PartyPoker’s Poker Ambassador and the voice of the World Poker Tour Mike Sexton is only 150/1 favorite to make the Main Event final table, as are Katja Thater, Victoria Coren, Chris Moneymaker, and Isabelle Mercier.
Interestingly, there are only two players listed at 200/1: the 2006 and 2007 champions, Jamie Gold and Jerry Yang. A number of non-poker celebrities are going off at 250/1, such as Ben Affleck, Jason Alexander, Toby Maguire, Boris Becker, and James Woods.
In the “Top Female” category, Vanessa Selbst is the favorite at 12/1, followed by Kathy Liebert, Obrestad, Rousso, and Lika Gerasimova at 14/1. Mortensen is the favorite amongst former winners at 8/1 (in that specific category; as noted above, he’s 50/1 when grouped with everybody), as well as amongst Europeans. He is listed at 20/1 in that category, with Antonius, Grospellier, and Thomas Bichon. People can also bet on the top Swedish player, Australian, UK and Ireland player, Canadian, and top 2009 “November Niner.”
Other interesting bets include the age of the winner (21-33 or 34+, both of which are 17/20 odds), the final river card (suit or color), the winning hand, and whether or not the winner will be from the United States.
Aside from the Main Event, Sportingbet is currently taking bets on who will win the $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max event and the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha events. Fans can also bet on whether or not Ivey, Hellmuth, Negreanu, or Brunson will win a bracelet, whether or not there will be a multiple bracelet winner, and whether or not a player will make both the WSOP and WSOP Europe final tables.

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