When it comes to live poker events, the prestigious World Series of Poker (WSOP) ultimately comes out on top. If you only have one poker tournament to go to in your lifetime, the WSOP should be it.
This is where the best of the best play, where skilled cardsharks can go from broke to millionaire in just a single game alone. The stakes are high, the bets are rolling, and players are constantly on the edge- WSOP action is something that you can’t see in any other poker tournament.
This year’s WSOP, which will be held at the convention center of the Rio All-Suite in Las Vegas, is the 45th iteration of the tournament. From its humble beginnings as a small-time poker event held at the Horseshoe Casino in downtown Las Vegas (the first tournament in 1970 had a grand total of seven participants), WSOP has now grown into a massive grand competition that attracts thousands of players every year. Last year’s WSOP attracted nearly 80,000 participants- the largest ever recorded in the history of the event. All of them are top players who aimed to get a piece of the nearly $200 million prize money.
Here are some of the things we expect to see in this year’s WSOP.
1. Of course, the WSOP’s main event is one of the biggest crowd-drawers in the whole tournament. This is the end-all and be-all of every amateur and professional poker player out there. It is a no-limit, Hold-Em game, with a $10,000 buy-in. The stakes are even higher this year since the first place winner gets to take home a sure prize of $10 million.
2. WSOP vice president Ty Stewart has made it known that there is a possible hybrid event that would combine online and live poker. The details are still fuzzy, but this would be a very interesting game if it pushed through.
3. Last year’s runaway hit “The Millionaire Maker” is expected to still make a blast at the WSOP this 2014. This is a non-Main Event $1500 buy-in competition that managed to garner more than six thousand players last year. Since it was such a popular event, it’s expected that there will be a much bigger number of participants this year.
4. The Big One for One Drop event will finally return after three years. This is a $1 million buy-in charity tournament that was started by Cirque du Soleil and WSOP founder Guy Laliberte way back in 2011. About 11% from the event will go into the One Drop Foundation, a charity founded by Laliberte that pushes for universal water access in developing countries.
5. Some of the old names to watch out for inclde Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Scott Seiver, Mike McDonald, and Ryan Riess. Of particular interest is Vanessa Selbst, who may very well be the first number one ranked poker player in the world who is female.