World Series of Poker kicks off with live stream from Vegas
LOS ANGELES, May 31 — During the 43rd annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas from May 30-July 8, all 60 of the final tables will be streamed at the official website, www.wsop.com, from the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino Convention Center.
Live video is scheduled to stream at 1 and 2pm PT on a five-minute delay. Times are approximate and will be announced on the Twitter feed: http://www.twitter.com/WSOP.
The primary webcasts from the Amazon Ballroom will feature 34 WSOP gold bracelet events, the ultimate prize in poker, along with cash winnings. Archives will also allow watching a replay of events. In addition, the games are exclusively televised on cable/satellite channel ESPN in 25 countries.
WSOP, the World Series of Poker, the largest and longest-running poker tournament in the world, has grown significantly over the last several years from 7,572 entrants in 2003 to 75,672 entrants in 2011. From 105 countries, they compete for US$192 million (RM595 million) in prizes at 61 tournaments and 480 tables.
Key players include last year’s defending champion Pius Heinz, a 23-year-old player from Germany who won US$8,715,638. The runner-up was Czech player Martin Staszko. Last year’s Player of the Year was Ben Lamb, a 27-year-old American professional poker and former dealer from Oklahoma. Phil Hellmuth has won a record 11 bracelets.
Famous winners include French actor/singer Patrick Bruel in 1998, Danish footballer Jan Vang Sorensen in 2002, and American actress Jennifer Tilly (“Monsters, Inc”, “Bullets Over Broadway”) in 2005. Other celebrities who play poker seriously, though not professionally, include Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Tobey Maguire.
The first World Series of Poker championship outside of Las Vegas was held in London in 2007 and won by Norwegian online prodigy Annette Obrestad the day before she turned 19. (The minimum gambling age in Nevada is 21.) The European event occurs in the fall and the Asia-Pacific WSOP will be held in Australia in April 2013.
The culmination of the all the tournaments at WSOP will be the US$10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event on July 7, considered the World Championship of Poker, resulting in a multi-million dollar prize. Last year, 6,865 entrants participated in the Main Event, down from 8,773 in 2006, before online gambling became illegal in the US. — AFP-Relaxnews