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WSOP 2011

Looking back, it’s hard to believe that the WSOP was a 6-player poker tournament back in 1970, which didn’t even award real money prizes… Times are sure a-changing in live poker, and from its humble beginnings, the WSOP has slowly but surely developed into the biggest yearly live poker festival on the planet. That’s right. These days it is indeed a genuine poker Woodstock. We’re talking about 58 events, each of which offers players the chance to grab one of poker’s most prestigious status-symbols: a gold WSOP bracelet. While some of these events feature out of this world buy-ins, others are well within the means of average poker players. As a matter of fact, thanks to the flurry of online poker qualifiers that sites pin to their schedules a good half year before the actual Big Dance gets underway, grabbing a WSOP seat is now possible for as little as $1 or sometimes even completely free.

In order to maintain player interest and to constantly innovate (and improve) changes are made every year: in the tournament formats, in the number of events and in the buy-ins.

The 2011 WSOP kicks off on May 31 and it lasts till July 19, with the final table of the Main Event once again reconvening in November.

The first event of the Series will once again be the familiar $500 Casino Employees event, but Event #2 will be different from last year’s: the heads-up NL Holdem Championship will feature a $25k buy-in and it will accept 256 registrants, thus giving the winner the chance to take down a $1.5 million prize.

Other new 2011 additions are events #29 and #35. Event #19, the $2,500 10-Game Mixed event will see Badugi played for the first time ever at the WSOP.

Truly prestigious events will once again be the “Championship” ones, and there will definitely be plenty such poker tournaments at the 2011 WSOP. No fewer than 12 events will carry the “Championship” tag, among them $50k Players’ Championship.
The WSOP tournaments is not all about bracelet events though. There will be 24 hour cash games as well as a whole bunch of single table and multi table satellites. This brings us to the issue of registration. The most straightforward way is to show up and buy into the event of your choice, but playing for your seat online is a much more cost-effective alternative. All the major online poker rooms will offer qualifiers as well as sub-qualifiers, so get going in time as it may take a few tries to land that coveted WSOP seat.
What else will be new at the 2011 Big Dance? The Ante Up for Africa charity event was removed from the schedule, but that doesn’t mean organizers are less charitable now: word has it that a different charity event will be added in its place.
Only 5 $1,000 events will be held this time, two of which will feature 2 day 1 flights.

If you feel like you belong in the midst of the WSOP phenomenon, look around at and browse around for qualifying opportunities. At the scene registration will always be there as a last resort option anyway.

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