Running from May 26 through July 15, the tournament kicks off inside the famed Amazon Room at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino with registration and satellites starting on May 26 and the first public tournament starting on May 28. The tournament is celebrating its 40th year as the longest-running, and largest, poker tournament.
There are 57 coveted WSOP bracelets up for grabs this year, up from 55 in 2008 which was a record year with 58,720 entrants from 124 countries and more than $180,774,427 in prize money.
"Whether you play poker around the kitchen table or consider yourself a professional, you will find a comfortable seat at the 2009 World Series of Poker," said Jeffrey Pollack, commissioner of the World Series of Poker (pictured).
In addition to the excitement of the 40th anniversary, this year's tournament is probably notable for having the most variety in games than any of the previous 39 WSOPs. In honor of the 40 years, there is a $40,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em tournament Thursday, May 28 with a special one-time commemorative gold bracelet.
Even the current economic times are being addressed with a Stimulus Special tournament on opening weekend, (May 30-31) -- a $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em tournament. The prize is anticipated to draw the largest-ever live tournament field outside the WSOP Main Event with a prize pool approaching $5 million.
Other tournaments include the third installment of the five-day $50K buy-in H.O.R.S.E. tournament starting on June 26 with the winner taking home an enhanced gold bracelet and the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy, not to mention the cash. Poker pro Scotty Ngyuen added almost $2 million to his bankroll last year at the same tournament and is the defending H.O.R.S.E. champ. It's also the third year for the Ante Up For Africa $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em celebrity and charity tournament on July 2 -- the day before the Main Event begins.
The Ladies Only No-Limit Hold'em World Championship deals on June 7 and helps raise awareness for the Nevada Cancer Institute, the official community relations partner of the World Series of Poker. There are 10 $10K World Champion
There are 10 "World Championship" $10,000 buy-in events in the various poker disciplines (e.g. Omaha Hi-Lo, Seven Card Stud, etc.). Not to be confused with the famous $10,000 buy-in Main Event, the title "World Championship" refers to tournaments with a buy-in of $10,000.
Speaking of the Main Event, it kicks off on July 3 with the first of four round one flights to accomodate the masses and runs consecutively until July 15 when the field of thousands is busted down to the nine players of the "final table." As in the 2008, those players are then known as the November Nine since they will return to Vegas Nov. 7-10 to battle for title in front of a live audience and ESPN primetime coverage.
"This year's schedule offers more variety than ever before and we look forward to welcoming players from around the world to the Rio for our 40th annual extravaganza this summer," Commisioner Pollack.
All tournaments are open to players aged 21 and over. For a full World Series of Poker schedule, including buy-ins and satellite structures, visit the official WSOP site.