The World Series of Poker (WSOP) continues to be the biggest and most popular poker tournament with players from around the world. The WSOP has been around for close to 50 years and during the last five decades has continued to grow with every passing year in terms of guaranteed prize money, player registrations and global media coverage.
The WSOP takes place every year during the months of June and July in Las Vegas, Nevada. The WSOP which first took place in 1970 after Benny Binion invited the top seven poker players at that time to the Horseshoe Casino has taken place at different venues during the last 48 years.
Rio Convention Center
Caesars Entertainment Corporation started sponsoring the WSOP from 2005 and used the Rio Las Vegas hotel and casino to host the WSOP for the last 13 years. Poker players from all over the world who have flown to Vegas to play at the WSOP for the last decade have gone accustomed to playing at the Rio.
The Rio has done a great job over the years in catering to the thousands of players that register for various WSOP events. The Rio Convention center provides the WSOP with over 160,000 square feet which is used to house hundreds of poker tables. However, there are rumours that the WSOP will be shifting base from the Rio and moving over to a new location on the Strip.
Caesars Entertainment is in the process of developing a Convention Center known as Caesars Forum on the Las Vegas Strip at a price tag of $375 million. Rumours suggest that Caesars Forum will be the new home of the WSOP once the facility is completed.
Caesars Forum is expected to have nearly double the space of the Rio as a total of 300,000 square feet has been budgeted for. This will comprise of 2 ballrooms each room measuring around 108,000 square feet along with 2 ballrooms each room measuring around 40,000 square feet. The new convention center which is located behind LINQ Promenade, LINQ and Harrah’s is expected to open by 2020.
Rio Has Handled Impressive Numbers
Preparing and managing a poker tournament as big and as long a duration as the WSOP takes a lot of skill and experience. The WSOP has continued to increase the number of WSOP gold bracelets, high stake poker events over the years and its popular Main Event continues to boast of impressive numbers.
The 2018 WSOP Main Event turned out to be the second biggest Main Event in the history of the WSOP and that is saying a lot considering the WSOP hosted its 49th edition in 2018. The biggest Main Event till date was the 2016 edition.
The 2018 WSOP Main Event which had a $10,000 buy-in saw over 7,800 player registrations which was a 9 percent increase compared to 2017. The Rio used 760 dealers just for the Main Event and a total of 1,694 decks of cards.
If the WSOP does plan to move to Caesars Forum, tournament organizers will want to plan well in advance so that Caesars Forum staff are well trained and prepared to handle this mega tournament.
If you have been a fan of the WSOP, you will know that there have been rumours in the past stating that the WSOP was going to shift from the Rio. There were reports that the Rio was being sold for $500 million a few years ago, then there were reports that PokerStars had received an offer to purchase both the WSOP and the Rio. However, none of those rumours proved to be true in terms of coming to fruition and the Rio has continued to host the WSOP.
This time around things are different according to Las Vegas blog VitalVegas. The blog confirmed that Caesars has plans to sell the Rio and that the reported sale has been confirmed by insiders who preferred to remain anonymous.
VitalVegas published a Tweet which read “Previously shared Rio sale rumor looks like the real deal. Caesars highly motivated to cut her loose, insider confirms three viable entities circling. Aftermath of sale will include move of WSOP to Caesars Forum convention center, despite denials.”
The WSOP has not provided any update on the potential move but has stated that it continues to plan to use the Rio in the foreseeable future.