New home(s) on the Strip
Today is the day that poker players and fans have circled on the calendar every year: the start of the World Series of Poker. This will be the first year since 2019 that the WSOP is back to “normal,” as the 2020 WSOP was canceled (save for a last-minute online/live hybrid Main Event) because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the novel coronavirus still affected last year’s Series with vaccination and mask requirements, a change in schedule, and travel restrictions coming from outside the US. But this year, the World Series of Poker is back in its spring/summer slot, so everything is back how it was. Back how it was, that is, except for one major change….
The 2022 World Series of Poker is on the Las Vegas Strip for the first time. From its inception until 2005, the WSOP was held at the venerable Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas. Because it had exploded in popularity, the Series moved to the Rio off the Strip in 2005 (except for the final three tables that year, which were back at Binion’s), which is where it stayed through 2021. Now, with the Rio under new ownership, the World Series of Poker is being held jointly at Paris and Bally’s Las Vegas.
Because of the size of the venue(s), the central location on the Strip, and the excitement of players to finally not be under the shadow of COVID-19 (though we are still in a pandemic, so don’t let your guard down) it is thought that the 2022 WSOP could set records. As my friend Earl Burton pointed out the other day, the 2019 Main Event fielded 8,569 runners, nearly breaking 2006’s record of 8,773. And even with the international travel restrictions, last year saw a field of 6,650. Over 100 total events
The 2022 World Series of Poker kicks off today with two tournaments. The first is the one that has been in the pole position for years: $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em. The second is on the opposite end of the buy-in spectrum, the $100,000 High Roller […]
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