After months of speculations, it’s finally been confirmed that the World Series of Poker (WSOP) has found a new home. Starting 2022, the world’s most prestigious and longest-running poker festival will take place at Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas, which are owned by Caesars Entertainment.
Since 2005, the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino has played host to the WSOP and has been part of some of the biggest and most memorable poker actions in history. The 31-year-old property, previously owned by Caesars, is now under the umbrella of New York City-based Dreamscape Companies. Rio was sold to Dreamscape under a $516 million deal which was completed in 2019.
Rio will now undergo a series of renovations as part of Dreamscape’s plans to breathe a new life into the property. It will be rebranded as Hyatt Hotels.
WSOP Moves to the Strip
Bally’s and Paris are two connected properties located on the Strip. The convention space between them will serve as venue for the WSOP going forward.
The series will return to its usual summer slot starting 2022 after being moved to the fall this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The WSOP’s new location was confirmed on Tuesday, November 16, as the Main Event final table was about to begin.
Actor Vince Vaughn will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the 53rd edition of the WSOP at Bally’s. He appeared at the Main Event on Tuesday at the Rio and made the “Shuffle up and deal” announcement to signal the start of the final table.
Dream Come True for Vaughn
Vaughn, who is a longtime poker enthusiast, couldn’t be more grateful that he was selected for the role. The actor, who appeared in various comedy films like Old School (2003), Wedding Crashers (2005), and The Break-Up (2006), said he’s always had a strong connection to Las Vegas, with poker being one of his favorite sports. As a poker fan, it’s an absolute dream for him to be part of something as historic as the WSOP’s transition to Bally’s in 2022.
Vaughn embarked on an acting career in 1988 when he was still a teenager. He later moved to Hollywood and began to attain wider recognition for his acting skills. He played a supporting role in the inspirational college football film Rudy in 1993 and also starred in the comedy-drama Swingers in 1996.
Vaughn has been playing high-stakes Hollywood private games just like other poker-playing celebrities. On November 17, a day after he was announced as the 2022 WSOP’s Master of Ceremonies, he got the chance to compete in his first WSOP tournament, Event #79: $1,979 Poker Hall of Fame Bounty.
Vaughn is not a member of the PHoF but the WSOP placed a $10K bounty on him to celebrate his new role. The actor was eventually eliminated after suffering a bad beat. He will give the festival another try when he competes in the Main Event next year, where he might rub shoulders with fellow celebrities.
The WSOP has attracted various celebrities over the years. Among high-profile names who have competed at the series are Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Ray Romano, Kevin Pollak, and Michael Phelps. Retired actor James Woods has also been participating in the series for quite some time now. In fact, he took part in the festival this fall and cashed in six events.
The 2022 WSOP will run from May 31 – July 19, 2022, at Bally’s and Paris in Las Vegas, with the full schedule to be announced in January. For the latest updates, you can follow WSOP’s social media accounts or visit their website WSOP.com.