The winner of the 2014 Main Event at the World Series of Poker will collect $10 million to celebrate the tournament’s 10th year at Rio.
Caesars Entertainment Corp., which owns the World Series of Poker, announced the 45th annual tournament will kick off after Memorial Day Weekend on May 27. Sixty-five bracelet events will be offered.
The $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em World Championship, often referred to as the Main Event, will begin July 5. The competition will cover 10 days until the final table of nine is reached. Those players return to the Rio in November.
Tournament officials decided to adjust the prize pool to honor the Rio’s 10-year anniversary in hosting the World Series of Poker.
“It’s primarily a modified payout approach, and we’re upfront in that regard,” World Series of Poker Executive Director Ty Stewart said. “We understand focusing on first place is a different approach than most tournaments take with respect to guarantees, but, then again, the Main Event at the World Series of Poker is different than most tournaments.”
The $10 million Main Event first-place prize would be second only to the $12 million Jamie Gold received for winning the Main Event in 2006. That year, the event drew a record 8,773 players, many of whom won seats through Internet poker tournaments.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act’s signing in October 2006 diminished the number of poker websites available to American gamblers. The field for the World Series of Poker decreased.
Ryan Riess of Michigan won the 2013 Main Event, topping a field of 6,352 players to earn $8.36 million.
“Obviously, our goal is to generate (Main Event) attendees higher than our 10-year average of 6,380 players,” Stewart said.
One way will be through the company’s legal Internet poker operations in Nevada and New Jersey. Stewart said Caesars plans to award seats in the Main Event and other World Series of Poker events at the Rio, through the websites.
The 2014 World Series of Poker will include a new $25,000 buy-in Mixed Max No-Limit Hold’em event, the $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship, 13 different $10,000 buy-in events and the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop, where a portion of the entries will be donated to the One Drop water awareness charity.
The World Series of Poker will also offer a smaller-scale One Drop event with a buy-in of $1,111.
Tournament officials expect the 2014 prize pool to top $200 million.
Contact reporter Howard Stutz at email@example.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.