The 45thWorld Series of Poker began this week in Las Vegas and marked the beginning of almost two months of first-class poker games, promising the final winner at least $10 million and all the other players, who manage to achieve good results, a share of the fantastic over $200 million prize pool.
WSOP this year will consist of a total of 65 events beginning with the famous $500 casino employees’ game, which warms up the organizers and staff and the most awaited event will be on the July 5th, marking the start of the No-Limit Hold’em Main Event.
The key event determines who are the best nine players at the tournament that happens during a period of 10 days. After the end the finalists have to wait for several months and get back together in November for the finals.
This year there will be around 80,000 entrants and its almost certain that they will gain on the $200 million prize pool threshold, which will definitely make it into the gambling news, as it had happened only once before in the history of WSOP. Last year, the tournament awarded $197 million.
Las Vegas is all about the World Series of Poker these days
• Organizers are certain that this year’s tourney will surpass the $200 million prize pool threshold
• 94% of all players are male and the average age is 38
• 74% entrants are from US
The 2014 WSOP will also hold a $1 million charity buy-in game, which is organized every other year. This game is limited to 56 players and it will take place on June 29th, as the expected participants as usual are both poker professionals and amateurs, who prefer to make high-stakes bets.
Around 10% of the proceeds will be granted to The One Drop Foundation, which is NGO created by Cirque du Soleil’s founder Guy Laliberte and it is devoted to providing clean water to developing countries, where this is extremely serious problem.
WSOP has everything for every taste so some of the more specialized games include a women-only game, as well as a senior event for players at the age of 50 or above.
WSOP was started as an event, which was aiming at attracting poker lovers and tourists to Las Vegas at the time when the convention activity is less intense. Nowadays the tournament draws players from more than 100 different countries, who want to show their skills gained in international and US poker rooms.
Around 30% of entrants are from Nevada and California and a total of 74% are from US. The remaining participants come from abroad, as most of them are from Europe, Canada and Australia. Not surprisingly, 94% of all players are male and the average age is 38.
Naturally, this influx of people has great effect on the hotel, restaurant and recreation business in the city.
Seth Palansky, WSOP spokesman said: “It’s a very mentally tiring game, which is why you see this kind of younger age demographic.”
The tournament got even bigger with the expansion of online poker, which lets players practice more and get really good, facilitated through the comfort of their homes.
The fact the online poker is faster than casino poker helps players achieve better results at the tournament itself.
Palansky added: “It’s totally built the numbers that we have.”
The next month and a half will be extremely hot in Las Vegas as around 5,000 players might play at the poker tables at the same time, with events that have smaller buy-in levels of around $500, are expected to each have around 1,300 players.
The winners of every event will earn the important WSOP gold bracelet, as did the best player from 2013, Ryan Riess, at the age of just 23, who mastered over 6,351 players, won the title and took home the big prize of $8.4 million.