WSOP records

I was down at the WSOP at the Rio yesterday, checking out the Gaming Life Expo and hanging around the media room. The Expo is huge. I remember at the 2002 WSOP (the first I went to), there was one guy with a card table outside selling jewelry and stuff, and another guy selling books.

This year, there are all kinds of vendors, and the big Internet sites have mega-booths with sometimes incongruous events. One of them had the always-popular money-blowing machine (you stand in a plastic pod and try to snatch as much of the cash swirling around as you can; but you can never get your dignity back), and another had a two-story booth featuring what appeared to be co-ed pillow-fighting.

Here is more on the WSOP from the LVRJ:

The attendance at professional poker’s signature event will see a marketable increase starting today.

The opening round of the $10,000 buy-in No-limit Texas Hold’em World Championship event will kick off at noon.

Through Monday, up to 2,000 players a day will play until 800 remain after each session. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the 3,200 surviving players will compete until 1,400 are left.

After a one-day break, the 1,400 remaining competitors will play on a daily basis beginning Aug. 4 until nine remain for the final table.

Two weeks after it all begins, the ultimate champion will take home at least $10.5 million, a figure that will increase as the number of tournament entries grows.

Harrah’s is anticipating close to 8,000 entries in the world championship event. As of Thursday afternoon, more than 7,500 players had signed up to participate.

The Rio’s makeshift tournament poker room in its convention center can accommodate up to 2,000 players per session, which is the reason for the four-day opening round.

Without a card having been dealt in the championship event, this year’s World Series of Poker has already rewritten the record book.

With 38 of the planned 45 events already completed, almost 36,000 players have competed, topping the more than 32,000 that participated in all 45 events last year. In 2005, a record $106 million was paid out in prize money. So far, $73 million in prize money has been awarded with seven events left to be played. As of Thursday, the main event had a prize pool of $72 million.

It’s called No-limit for a reason

I’ll be there to witness more history next week.

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