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World Series of Poker Deals Some New Attractions

3 June 2009

The 40th annual World Series of Poker, which gets underway in Las Vegas on May 26 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, is the gaming industry's grandest spectacle.

This year, in addition to the headline World Championship No-Limit Texas Hold'em Tournament, there are two new events designed to showcase the biggest names in the world of professional poker.

The first one calls for players to buy in for $40,000, the richest entry fee for a no-limit hold'em poker event in North America. The four-day tournament will start May 28.

"I think this event will bring out the best players in the world and produce a final table for the ages," said Jeffrey Pollack, commissioner of the World Series of Poker.

Highlights of the Special $40,000 No-Limit Hold'em tournament will be broadcast in two one-hour episodes on ESPN the evening of July 28.

Next up will be the first-ever Champions Invitational starting on May 31. It will bring together past champions of the Main Event, who will, according to Pollack, "be playing for bragging rights as the champion of champions".

The winner of this tournament will be awarded a beautifully restored 1970 classic red Corvette and a new commemorative trophy called the Binion Cup.

"The Binion Cup was created to honor our heritage," said Pollack. "I am proud to say that Jack Binion himself, poker's patriarch, will be on hand to present the trophy."

ESPN will also be covering the WSOP Champions Invitational with two one-hour episodes to air on August 4.

Finally, as part of the tournament's 40th anniversary celebration, the World Series of Poker will be presenting "Poker Palooza". The expo runs July 2 - 5.

"This will be our version of the NBA's Jam Session or the NFL Experience," Pollack explained. "Four days of fun, interactive and social elements, great poker and lifestyle exhibitors. We think it is really going to be terrific."

For poker fans and gaming enthusiasts unable to make it to Las Vegas to catch any of the action in person, this year the WSOP is giving them a chance to become involved in a very special way.

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Poker Hall of Fame, the public is being invited to participate in a revamped selection process by logging on to www.worldseriesofpoker.com and submitting nominations from May 26 to July 2.

During this year's Main Event, a list of the top ten nominees received from the public will be announced. The names will then be submitted to the Hall of Fame committee, which will come up with a final ballot in September.

A panel comprised of the 16 living members of the hall of fame and a select group of media representatives will then vote. Anyone who receives at least 75 percent of the vote will be inducted during an enshrinement ceremony to take place during the weekend of the final table for the main event in November.

In the meantime, all eyes will be focused on the WSOP, which will run through July 15. Last year's spectacle attracted 31,146 players who competed for $180,774,427 in total prize money.

The most high-profile among the 57 bracelet events to be held is the $10,000 buy-in World Championship No-Limit Texas Hold'em Tournament July 3 – July 15. When the final table of nine players is reached, play will be suspended until Nov. 7 – 10.

This year's championship weekend will be expanded with play taking place from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7. Heads up competition for the gold bracelet will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 10 before a live audience with same-day prime time coverage on ESPN.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp