World Series of Poker adds $40,000 buy-in game

The 40th version of the World Series of Poker will include a no-limit hold ’em game with a buy-in that marks the tournament’s anniversary.

For the second straight year, the tournament, which will take place at the Rio, will end in November. The $10,000 buy-in World Championship No-Limit Hold’em Main Event will begin play on July 3 and reach its final table of nine players July 15.

The players will then wait four months before returning to the Rio Nov. 7-10 to play for the championship, which ESPN will televise on a same-day taped delay.

Officials from Harrah’s Entertainment, which has owned and operated the World Series of Poker since 2004, hope the 2009 tournament will eclipse the record-setting 2008 event, which had 58,720 entries from 124 countries and awarded a prize pool of more than $180.7 million. The tournament awarded 55 gold bracelets for individual championships.

The World Series of Poker will begin play May 27 and include a one-time commemorative $40,000 buy-in no-limit hold ’em tournament to mark the tournament’s 40th anniversary.

Between the end of May and the beginning of July, the tournament will feature 57 gold bracelet events over 50 days. One of the kick-off events is a $1,000 buy-in no-limit hold ’em “stimulus special” on the opening weekend, which tournament officials are anticipating will draw the largest-ever live tournament field outside the Main Event and offer a prize pool approaching $5 million.

The 2009 World Series of Poker will feature 10 World Championship $10,000 buy-in events and seven $1,500 buy-in no-limit hold ’em tournaments. The $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. event, which mixes five different poker games, will take place June 26.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871.

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