Find everything you need to know about the upcoming 2013 World Series of Poker in our guide to the action in Las Vegas this summer.
WSOP: The basics
The World Series of Poker, which starts on Wednesday, is the largest poker tournament series in the world. This year’s WSOP runs from May 29 to July 15.There are 62 gold bracelets awarded to tournament winners up for grabs this year. The WSOP is once again held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
You can find the full schedule of events here.
Events to watch
–The $1 million buy-in tournament is not back, but there will be a similar “high roller” format. Event #47, on June 26, is the “ONE DROP High Roller,” with a buy-in of $111,111. The house fees taken by the WSOP will go to the ONE DROP charity, which focuses on worldwide water issues. ONE DROP was the beneficiary of last year’s $1 million tourney. Expect many of the best pros in the world to test themselves in this event.
–The top pros are also likely to turn out for Event #55 on June 30, the $50K Poker Players Championship. The tournament is an eight-game mixed format.
–Event 52, on June 28, is another “high roller” type of event — a six-handed no-limit tourney with a $25,000 buy-in.
–The biggest fields, outside of the main event (see below), will be found during the “No-Limit Weekends in June.” There will be a $1,500 buy-in each Saturday and a $1K buy-in each Sunday.
Main event matters
The $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship — better known as the WSOP main event — continues to be the most important and richest tournament on the poker calendar. The main event begins with three starting flights on July 6, 7 and 8. Play will continue until July 15, when a final table will be reached, and the tournament will go on hiatus until Nov. 4, when play resumes. The tournament structure is 30,000 in starting chips and two-hour levels starting at 50-100 blinds.
New this year
–Event No. 6, “The Millionaire Maker,” highlights the opening weekend. The tournament, with a buy-in of $1,500, will start on Saturday June 1, and the winner will receive $1 million.
–Event No. 34, is the first-ever “turbo” tournament at the WSOP. The $1K buy-in features an accelerated blind structure, with 30- and 60-minute blind levels.
–The WSOP is introducing the open-face Chinese poker variant as a tournament, although a bracelet will not be awarded. The $5K buy-in starts July 13.
–In an effort to keep the ladies event to women only, the WSOP has made the Ladies Only No-Limit Hold’em Championship a $10,000 buy-in tournament, but with a $9,000 discount if you are a woman.
–The Carnivale of Poker is back, with smaller buy-in tournaments than are offered in the WSOP.
Facts and figures
–The WSOP had nearly a quarter of a million entries last year: more than 240,000 in all. There were 74,766 players from 101 different nations. $222 million in prize money was awarded.
–This will be the 44th edition of the WSOP, which started in 1970.
–480 poker tables will be used at this year’s series.
How can I keep up with the WSOP?
The WSOP will offer live reporting on its website; the best way to see what’s going on will be to head to the schedule page and click on a tournament for updates, of simply visit the “tournament update” page.
How can I watch WSOP events on TV or online?
The WSOP will be live streaming the final tables of “primary” events. The link for this year’s WSOP live streams is not live yet, but this link should redirect you.
You can also wait for the produced WSOP broadcasts that ESPN will show through the summer and fall, leading up to the final table of the main event. The ESPN schedule has not yet been announced. THe main event final table will be aired live on ESPN and ESPN2 on November 4 and 5.
Who are some players to watch?
Jason Mercier: Mercier, a two-time WSOP bracelet winner, has placed odds of him winning a bracelet this year at 3-to-1. Is he nuts? Just looking for motivation? And, more importantly, can he take one down?
Daniel Negreanu: Kid Poker has been on a tear of late, and is looking to add to his career bracelet total of five. He already added one this year as the champion of the main event at the inaugural WSOP Asia Pacific.
Phil Hellmuth: After a five-year drought in WSOP events, the Poker Brat shipped two bracelets in 2012. Will he be able to add to his growing collection of 13?
Howard Lederer: One of the founders of the old Full Tilt Poker reappeared in public, and in the poker world, earlier this year, after settling his case with the United States Department of Justice. Will he show up at the WSOP? And if he does, what will the reaction be like?
Marvin Rettenmaier: Generally considered to be the best and hottest live tournament player on the planet right now, Mad Marvin is missing one thing from his resume — a WSOP title. He will go after his first bracelet this summer.
A number of members of parttimepoker.com will be in action this summer at the WSOP, including bracelet winner Chris “indariva” Tryba and Chuck “Arctic-Aces” Tonne, who was a runner-up in 2012. We’ll keep you up to date on their progress in our daily updates.