From America’s Cardroom The Joy of the WSOP

This post is from America’s Cardroom about the joy of WSOP that’s held every year in Vegas.

Posted by productman on Sunday 19th of May 2013

For most poker players, Christmas comes in May.

We’ve been waiting for this since Greg Merson captured the 2012 World Series of Poker main event title last October. The 44th annual WSOP is here.

Here is a list of five stories to keep an eye on this summer:

1. The main event

Despite the cataclysmic events of Black Friday more than two years ago, the WSOP has held strong. The 2010 main event featured 7,319 entrants; then post-Black Friday, 2011 registered 6,865 players. Last year, the main event number held steady at 6,598, making it the fifth-largest main event ever. What will 2013 bring? If the numbers are close to the previous two years, it’s a great sign for the health of the industry.

2. The bracelet race

With his main event victory last October in Cannes, Phil Hellmuth has a collection of 13 gold bracelets, but before he can get too comfortable, Phil Ivey won his ninth at WSOP Asia Pacific, becoming the youngest player to accomplish that feat. After Ivey, Erik Seidel remains a strong tournament threat with eight bracelets.

With the legendary Macau cash games and $1 million HKD (approximately $130,000) tournament in June, many of the greats may not arrive in Las Vegas until mid-June, which would severely hamper their chances of winning multiple bracelets.

3. The Millionaire Maker

In 2008, Grant Hinkle captured a $1,500 no-limit hold ’em event, earning $831,462. This amount was the largest first prize ever given to a $1,500 WSOP no-limit hold ’em champion, but this year, this record will be broken during the first weekend. Event 6, dubbed the “Millionaire Maker,” will award the winner $1 million. With two flights and a re-entry format, this event could set the record for the largest event outside of the WSOP main event, or even top it.

4. One Drop High Roller

Last year, the inaugural Big One For One Drop event established a name for itself with an astronomical $1 million buy-in. Capped at 48 players, the event unbelievably sold out and even turned away some players. Antonio Esfandiari bested Sam Trickett in this historic event, earning $18.3 million and shattering all of poker’s historical earning lists in the process.

This year, the buy-in has been reduced to $111,111, with eyes on 2014 when the $1 million buy-in will return. As a WSOP point of reference, the 2009 $40,000 no-limit hold ’em event created to celebrate the 40th WSOP anniversary had 201 players.

5. Player of the Year race

Daniel Negreanu captured his fifth bracelet by winning the WSOP APAC main event in April. With his victory, he leads the WSOP Player of the Year race, which he captured in 2004. In years past, the race began with the action in Las Vegas, but this year, the race is already underway as the five bracelet events that were held in Australia count in the standings. With two final tables and one victory, the colorful and affable Negreanu is on top of the leaderboard and everyone will have to chase him.

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