The World Series of Poker wants to create several millionaires during its 2013 tournament and not just the winner and final table participants in the Main Event.
The schedule for the 44th annual poker tournament was released Thursday and had a record 62 events that will award championship gold bracelets to the winners.
The World Series of Poker will run May 29 through July 15 at the Rio and take over nearly all of the resort’s convention center with 480 poker tables spread throughout three ballrooms.
Last year’s World Series of Poker drew 74,766 entries in bracelet events and awarded more than $222 million in prize money.
The prize pool was helped by the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop event, which drew 48 players, raised more than $5.3 million for international water advocacy charity One Drop and was won by Antonio Esfandiari, who collected $18,346,673, the richest top prize in poker history.
The Big One for One Drop won’t be held in 2013 but will be replaced by two One Drop events that have lower entry fees but could result in million-dollar payouts.
The 2013 WSOP will offer five events that have the potential for multimillion-dollar awards.
“We think this is the most diverse schedule we’ve ever had,” WSOP tournament director Jack Effel said.
The tournament’s opening weekend will have the Millionaire Maker, a $1,500 buy-in no limit hold ’em event that allows a single re-entry and guarantees the winner $1 million.
The two One Drop events include the “One Drop High Roller” on June 26, which has a $111,111 buy-in for the no limit hold ’em event. The Rio will donate its 3 percent house fees to the One Drop organization.
On July 3, the “Little One for One Drop” will feature a $1,111 buy-in no limit hold ’em event that allows unlimited re-entries for eliminated players. One Drop will received $111 from each buy-in.
The $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship, an eight-game mixed event, kicks off on June 30. The winner earns a gold bracelet and has his or her name added to the Chip Reese Trophy.
Michael Mizrachi of Miami became the first two-time championship winner last year and earned $1.45 million.
The Main Event, the $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold ’em World Championship, begins on July 6 and runs through July 15, when the final table of nine is determined. The players will the return to the Rio in November to play for poker’s world championship.
Greg Merson of Laurel, Md., won the 2012 Main Event, earning $8,531,853. Merson topped a field of 6,598 players.
“From the opening weekend, (when) we will make yet another millionaire, to the Main Event, which awards the largest single prize in the world, the WSOP is an annual affirmation about the strength and global appeal of the game,” said Ty Stewart, the tournament’s executive director.
Caesars Entertainment Corp., through its Caesars Interactive subsidiary, owns the World Series of Poker.
Contact reporter Howard Stutz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.