LAS VEGAS (Feb. 11, 2014) – The 45th annual World Series of Poker® (WSOP®) – a set of poker tournaments open to anyone 21 years of age or older – officially puts cards in the air the day after Memorial Day, Tuesday, May 27, 2014, with an expected $200 million up for grabs, and play ramping up immediately with several new and exciting events early in the schedule.
But it may be what comes at the end of this year’s series that will steal the headlines, as poker’s world championship – aka the WSOP Main Event – will see the winner walk away with $10,000,000 and of course the diamond-encrusted bracelet. As was the case with the Millionaire Maker last year, the payout structure will adjust accordingly to accommodate the new Main Event wrinkle.
To kick off the 2014 WSOP, a new $25,000 buy-in Mixed Max No-Limit Hold’em tournament (Event #2) offers the first open bracelet of the year on opening day, May 27 at 4 PM. This high-roller four-day event plays nine-handed on the first day, six-handed on Day 2, four-handed on Day 3 and Heads-Up matches on the fourth and final day to ultimately crown poker’s best all-around No-Limit Hold’em player. This is the first of 16 different high roller events on the schedule, with 13-$10,000 buy-ins, the above $25K, the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, and of course the $1,000,000 buy-in Big One for One Drop.
On Wednesday, May 28 at 12 noon, a new $1,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha (Event #3) makes its debut on the WSOP schedule -- marking the first time a discipline beyond No-Limit Hold’em has been offered at the $1,000 price point. It is one of 37 different bracelet events priced at $1500 or less. The first $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em event is Event #4 on Thursday, May 29 at 12 noon and the opening weekend event on Saturday, May 31 at 11 AM marks the return of the “Millionaire Maker”, the record-setting No-Limit Hold’em event that attracted 6,343 entrants and a prize pool of $8.5 million in 2013. This year’s winner will walk away with a minimum $1,000,000 – or 666 times the $1,500 buy-in. Officially, Event #8, the “Millionaire Maker” features two starting flights, Flight A at 11:00 AM and Flight B at 5:00 PM, with a single re-entry allowed for those who bust Flight A and wish to enter Flight B.
Additionally, the 2014 WSOP will see the introduction of a two-tiered track for traditional mixed games, rarely spread at other tournaments around the world. In total, ten poker variants beyond No-Limit Hold’em will see both $1500 and $10,000 “Championship” bracelet events contested in 2014.
The full 2014 WSOP schedule can be found and downloaded HERE.
The annual poker extravaganza, which dates back to 1970, is televised exclusively on ESPN from the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The tournament series consists of a comprehensive slate of the game’s most popular poker variations running this year from May 27 through July 14.
A total of 65 coveted WSOP gold bracelets will be up for grabs – which is three more than last year. With the new bi-annual format for International WSOP events taking affect this October, the total bracelets contested in 2014 remains flat year-over-year.
To help commemorate the tenth annual WSOP at the Rio, the winner of this year’s WSOP Main Event will walk away with a $10,000,000 first place prize. In fact, big money will be awarded throughout the 2014 WSOP, with a $1 million first place prize offered for Event #8 the $1500 buy-in Millionaire Maker, the $10 million for the Main Event (Event #65) winner and the possibility of $20 million being awarded to the winner of the Big One for ONE DROP (Event #57).*
“For ten years we have tried to raise the bar on tournament poker,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “There is real optimism 2014 can be our biggest year yet with an anticipated $200 million in prize money to be paid out this summer. With new satellites and daily tournaments exclusively on WSOP.com and a plethora of side events, there is more reason than ever to make the trip to poker mecca.”
In 2013, the WSOP gold bracelet tournaments set an all-time record for attendance, with more than 79,000 entries and over $197 million in prize money. An incredible 44 events had prize pools of at least $1 million, with 12 events reaching more than $2 million, seven events reaching $3 million, two events reaching $4 million, plus $6 million, $8 million, $17 million and $59 million prize pools.
In terms of the physical layout, 2014 will look very similar to recent years. The Pavilion, Brasilia and Amazon ballrooms will be transformed into poker’s version of Woodstock. There are expected to be around 475 poker tables spread throughout the Rio Convention Center’s three largest areas, allowing for non-stop tournament, satellite, Daily Deepstack and cash game action.
Two notable changes have been made, one to starting times, the other to late registration. The late afternoon gold bracelet events will now begin play at 4:00 p.m., and play 10, one-hour levels, with 15-minute breaks after every two levels. Players will be able to register for these events until the start of Level 7 (approximately 10:45 p.m.) and play will end for the day at 3:00 a.m. All gold bracelet events will now close registration before the start of Level 7 (with the exception of shootouts, heads up and Main Event). 12 Noon events will close registration at approximately 8:10 p.m. in most cases.
“We have tweaked our schedule and feel very good about the opportunities it presents poker players of all levels,” said WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel, who will oversee the tournament for the ninth straight year. “Now in its tenth consecutive year at the Rio, we believe operationally we have optimized the experience to provide players maximum choice and comfort and can’t wait to open the doors May 27.”
All Caesars Entertainment properties in Las Vegas offer reduced hotel room rates for entrants of WSOP bracelet events if they book early using the special advanced booking codes. The Rio is now offering its weekday (Sunday-Thursday) rates to WSOP players beginning at just $65. On the Las Vegas Strip there are plenty of options as well. Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Paris Las Vegas, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah’s Las Vegas, Bally’s Las Vegas and The Quad provide WSOP player rates as low as $40-$110 a night. To view a complete list of rates across all Caesars Entertainment properties, please visit our reservations page HERE. (Note: Rates are based on availability and are subject to blackout dates).
The 45th annual WSOP concludes with the grandest spectacle in all of gaming – the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship (aka “The Main Event”) (Event #65), where the winner walks away with $10,000,000. The quest begins Saturday, July 5 and will reach its final table (nine players) on Monday, July 14, at which time play will be halted until November.
The WSOP Main Event features three starting flights. Participants begin their journey to fame and fortune on Saturday, July 5 (Flight A), Sunday, July 6 (Flight B) or Monday, July 7 (Flight C) at 12 noon. Day 2 of the structure is Tuesday, July 8 for all players who played on Days 1A (Saturday) or 1B (Sunday). Day 1C (Monday) players who survive with chips play their Day 2 on Wednesday, July 9. All fields combine for Day 3 on Thursday, July 10. In totality, those playing Day 1A can reach the final table in, at most, 10 calendar days. Players choosing to start on Day 1C can reach the final table in just eight days. The event plays five full two-hour levels each day. The world’s best tournament structure remains exactly the same, with 30,000 in starting chips, two-hour levels and Level 1 starting at 50-100 blinds with no ante.
As is now customary with the Main Event, the delayed final table, aka “The November Nine” returns and is expected to air live on ESPN and ESPN2 during a two-night extravaganza on November 10 & 11, 2014.
July 4th will be a special Main Event “satellite day” at the Rio featuring a comprehensive slate of satellites, mega satellites and single-table satellites with entry fees as low as $125. (Satellites are tournaments which award tournament chips that can be used to enter larger buy-in tournaments).
Starting this month, WSOP.com in Nevada and New Jersey ramped up their WSOP satellite offerings. With freerolls and $1 Super Satellites, players can register and jump online to win their way to the WSOP. Can you imagine turning one dollar into the $10 million first place prize in the WSOP Main Event? It could happen. Go to WSOP.com for schedules and details.
Starting Times: Though most WSOP gold bracelet events begin at 12 noon or 4 p.m., there are exceptions. The Millionaire Maker (Event #8) has an 11 a.m. start for Flight A and a 5 p.m. start for Flight B. The Seniors Event (Event #17) will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 6. The Big One for ONE DROP will start at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 29. All other WSOP gold bracelet tournaments will begin at 12 p.m. or 4 p.m. Pacific Time each day, with a maximum of 10 one-hour levels being played for the noon starts if the field size is under 1,500 players. If the field size reaches 1,500 players or more, the event will play 11 levels on Day 1. Thus, noon tournaments will end at 12:40 a.m. and include four 20-minute breaks and a 90-minute dinner break after Level 6. For events where an 11th level is necessary, play will extend to 2 a.m., with an extra break of 20 minutes after Level 10.
The 4 p.m. events will consist of 10, one-hour levels on Day 1. Day 1 play is expected to conclude at 3 a.m. and feature 15-minute breaks after every two levels. For those advancing past the first day, re-starts for noon bracelet events are at 1 p.m. Events that start at 4 p.m. will restart at 2 p.m., with a maximum of 10 levels being played each day until a champion is crowned. The Main Event features two-hour levels, plays five levels a day, starts at noon daily and concludes at 12:40 a.m. each day.
Pre-registration for the 2014 WSOP is now available online through http://www.wsop.com/registration and can be done in person at the Rio main casino cage beginning March 1, 2014.
The 2014 WSOP marks the 45th running of the game’s most prestigious annual tournament. In 2013, the WSOP generated 79,471 entries, the most ever, from 107 different nations. Players competed for more than $197 million in prize money – the second-most ever – as a total of 62 championship gold bracelets, globally recognized as the game’s top prize, were awarded.
To view the entire schedule, visit WSOP.com/2014, where you will be able to download event structures, pre-registration forms and even link it to your Facebook, Twitter or other social network sites.
Other notable highlights of the 2014 schedule:
- Superb Structures & Starting Chips – Gold bracelet events in 2014 feature triple the buy-in in tournament chips and deep structures, providing plenty of play. (Event #51 has ten times chips)
- ONE DROP Charity – After terrific success with charitable giving in 2012 & 2013, with more than $11 million donated to charitable causes via the WSOP, all events will continue to offer an opportunity to donate. The “1% for ONE DROP” returns, where players cashing in any event, may donate 1% of their winnings to ONE DROP. In addition, Events #57 & #62 will each have specific charitable components to help raise funds for WSOP charitable partner, the ONE DROP organization (www.ONEDROP.org)
- The Seniors-Only No-Limit Hold’em Championship – On Friday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m., Event #17 featuring a $1,000 buy-in for all poker enthusiasts 50 years of age or older. In 2013, this event set another record when 4,407 players entered – the most ever for a one flight event -- and Ken Lind walked away with $634,890 for his $1,000 investment.
- Monster Stack No-Limit Hold’em – On Thursday, June 26 at 12 noon, the $1500 No-Limit Hold’em event (Event #51) features players beginning play with 15,000 in tournament chips, as opposed to the original 4,500. This amounts to ten times the buy-in amount, another new event wrinkle to help commemorate the 10th annual WSOP at the Rio. The event structure remains exactly the same in terms of blinds and levels, with a fourth day added to complete the event.
- The Ladies Only No-Limit Hold’em Championship – On Friday, June 27 at 12 p.m., featuring a $10,000 buy-in for the Ladies Championship (Event #53). Ladies enjoy a special discounted buy-in of $1,000. This continues to be the largest ladies poker tournament annually.
- Daily Deepstack No-Limit Hold’em Tournaments – The Rio will host three different daily No-Limit Hold’em tournaments from May 27 to July 14. The first one, at 3 p.m. daily, is a $235 buy-in that averaged more than 1,100 entries last year. At 6 p.m., players can play the daily $185 buy-in tournament and at 10 p.m., a daily $135 tournament will be offered. These are one-day structured tournaments, and non-bracelet events. These events will take place in the Pavilion Ballroom.
- Satellites Every Day! – A complete array of satellites, from single-table to mega, will be offered from May 28 - July 7. Mega satellites with buy-ins at $330 for the daily 5 p.m. and $550 buy-in for the daily 8 p.m. start. And $75 Turbo-Mega-Satellites begin at 9 a.m. daily.
The schedule, events, start times, end times and locations of events are subject to change. Tournament chips have no cash value. Winners will be required to provide a valid picture ID. Tax forms will be completed for those with winnings in excess of $5,000 net of event buy-in. Players without a Tax Identification Number and foreign players from non-tax treaty countries are subject to up to 30 percent tax withholding. WSOP reserves the right to cancel, change or modify the tournament or any tournament event, in part or in whole, without notice.
*Event #8 and Event #65 are offering first place payouts of $1 million and $10 million respectively. The funds for these payouts come directly off the top of the prize pool, with the remaining positions potentially adjusted to account for this. Roughly 10 percent of the field will be paid out in these events as is typical for WSOP events. The $20 million potentially being awarded in Event #57 is predicated on the event reaching a sellout of 56 players.