Just six months and one week since the 2021 World Series of Poker drew to a close, the 2022 edition of the series will begin. Festivities get underway on May 31st. The early summer slot for the Holy Grail of live poker represents a return to tradition. As was the case in 2021, the 2022 series will feature 88 live bracelet events. But, elsewhere, there are many changes.
Ending on July 20th, the 2022 World Series of Poker will be a week shorter than its 2021 counterpart. It will conclude with a brand-new competition, the ‘Tournament of Champions’. This is a $1 million freeroll tournament restricted to the preceding 88 bracelet winners and gold ring winners from the 2022 WSOP Circuit season.
The need for Covid-19 vaccination certificates has been removed. Organizers have also stated the wearing of face masks will not be mandatory unless there is a change to the current Coronavirus rules in Nevada.
Rebranded Bally’s Will Offer the Full Horseshoe Experience
Naturally, the biggest change of all is the venue transfer of the World Series from the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino – the event’s home since 2005 – to the Horseshoe (currently called Bally’s) and Paris Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.
The two buildings are connected and share a parking garage. The move will create the largest tournament capacity in the event’s history with over 200,000 square feet and 600 poker tables.
Speaking about the rebranding of Bally’s to Horseshoe Jason Gregorec, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Bally’s, told USA Today: “The Horseshoe brand is the most legendary brand in gaming. To be able to bring the Horseshoe brand to the Las Vegas Strip at the most iconic intersection of Las Vegas is a perfect fit.”
The original Horseshoe Casino – what is now Binion’s Gambling Hall & Hotel in Downtown Vegas – hosted the first World Series of Poker in 1970. In 2005 only the final two days of the Main Event were played there.
“I think it’s going to be very exciting for the players of the World Series to be actually on the Las Vegas Strip. The original Horseshoe put poker on the map,” Gregorec said when discussing the venue change.
“It’s important for us to reestablish that on the Las Vegas Strip. When you go in there [the new Horseshoe card room], you will definitely feel the World Series of Poker in images, upgraded experiences, tables and chairs.”
Biggest and Most Anticipated
Ty Stewart, the World Series of Poker’s Executive Director will preside over his 17th World Series. Of the forthcoming 53rd edition of the event, he recently declared: “The schedule is jam-packed with first-class events and we expect this to be the biggest and most anticipated World Series yet.”
This year, the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em ‘Main Event’ will begin on July 3rd. Last year the showpiece tournament attracted 6,650 players. The Main Event attendance record, set in 2006, is 8,773. In total, 25 competitions in this year’s series will demand an entry fee of $10,000 or more.
$500 Competitions to Kick-off
The 2022 series kicks off with its traditional $500 ‘Casino Employees’ event. On day three, a guaranteed $5 million prize pool is up for grabs in a $500 buy-in tournament titled ‘The Housewarming’.
World Series organizers have pointed out that $500 is a “popular price point for the opening weekend and has generated some of the largest field sizes in the history of poker.” Last year’s ‘Reunion’ tournament – a similar event – attracted a remarkable 12,973 entrants. Organizers are “expecting an even larger field” as the event returns to its traditional summer schedule.
Historically, the World Series of Poker has proven itself to be the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world. To date, it has awarded more than $3.5 billion in prize money.
As has become a tradition since online qualifier, Chris Moneymaker won the World Series ‘Main Event’ in 2003, the best online poker sites will run numerous satellites to the 2022 ‘Main Event’ during the coming weeks.
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