The 43rd annual World Series of Poker Presented by Jack Link’s Beef Jerky will kick off on Sunday, May 27, 2012. The first open WSOP gold bracelet event will take place on Memorial Day Monday, May 28 – with a $1500 No-Limit Hold’em tournament to start things off in exciting fashion. A total of 61 coveted WSOP gold bracelets will be up for grabs in 2012 – three more than last year.
“This year’s WSOP schedule is very exciting,” said WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel, who will oversee the event for the seventh consecutive year.
“We’re introducing some fantastic new events, while bringing back many successful stalwarts that our players love. We will expand our footprint this year to include extra tables dedicated to cash games, as well as plenty of satellite and single-day tournament space, so players will have an easy time finding a desirable game without ever having to leave the Rio Convention Center.”
In terms of layout, 2012 promises to be the biggest yet. An additional 92 poker tables will be put in play in 2012, with the Brasilia Ballroom providing the additional tables not in use last year. In all, the WSOP anticipates 470 poker tables in use throughout the summer – up from 378 in play during last year’s record-setting series in the Rio’s Convention Center.
Throughout June, Saturday and Sunday action will remain focused on catering to the so-called “weekend warriors,” with affordable buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournaments for WSOP gold bracelets at $1500 on Saturdays and $1000 on Sundays.
The opening weekend (June 2 & 3) features a re-entry $1500 No-Limit Hold’em tournament (Event 9A/B), where players can play on Saturday and re-enter on Sunday if they get knocked out the first day.
July 4 and 5 will feature a multi-day start $1000 No-Limit Hold’em tournament (Event #59) and serve as the entrée prior to the start of every poker player’s favorite main course – the WSOP Main Event Championship. Poker history will also be made on July 1 when the World Series of Poker will contest the highest buy-in poker tournament in history – at $1,000,000.
The 43rd annual WSOP concludes with the grandest spectacle in all of gaming – the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Championship (aka “The Main Event”), which begins play Saturday, July 7 and will reach its final table (nine players) on Monday, July 16, at which time play will be halted.
Due to the increased table capacity, just three starting days will be necessary for the WSOP Main Event. Participants will begin their journey to fame and fortune on Saturday, July 7, Sunday, July 8 or Monday, July 9. Day 2 of the structure will be contested on Tuesday, July 10 for all players who played on Days 1A (Saturday) or 1B (Sunday). Survivors, who started playing on Day 1C (Monday) and still have chips, will play their Day 2 on Wednesday, July 11.
All fields will combine for the first time to form Day 3 on Thursday, July 12. Note that there will be no scheduled off day this year. In totality, those playing the Day 1A session can reach the final table in, at most, 10 days. Players choosing to start on Day 1C can reach the final table in just eight days. The event will play five full levels each day, shaving one more day from last year’s schedule.
These changes provide many benefits to the players. Most important is the time commitment when determining whether to enter the event. Shortening the WSOP Main Event by three full days is expected to encourage greater participation. In addition, the costs associated with playing the event are reduced and there is less downtime between play.
It is important to note that changes to the WSOP Main Event do not include the tournament structure itself. The world’s best tournament structure remains exactly the same, with 30,000 in starting chips, two-hour levels, with Level 1 starting at 50-100 blinds with no ante. In short, the 2012 WSOP keeps the most popular aspects of the tournament that have worked so well in the past, enhanced by a more convenient schedule.
One more important note relating to the WSOP Main Event: as is now customary, the delayed final table shall return but will be contested one week earlier than in previous years. With the US Presidential Election slated for the first Tuesday in November, the WSOP Main Event final table will be held in two stages, from nine players playing down to two on Sunday, October 28, with heads up play on Tuesday, October 30. Once again, the Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio will host the finale, in front of an anticipated live television audience on ESPN and ESPN2.
Registration for all bracelet events will remain open through four levels of play – or until all available seats have been sold. This means players can register as late as 4.40pm for noon tournaments and 9.45pm for the 5pm tournaments. The only exceptions to this are the Main Event, which will remain open for its customary two levels (or four hours of play) and the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, which will take registrants until the start of play on Day 2, which is the start of Level 6 of the structure. Pre-registration for the 2012 WSOP will be available online beginning February 8, 2012.
Among the highlights of the 2012 schedule are:
New Event: $3000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha – To inject this year’s WSOP with some early excitement, this event (Event #3) combines the two most popular games played today in a Heads Up format (512 player cap) and should be a thrilling rollercoaster ride for the game’s young guns. Players will alternate between games each 20-minute level. Debuts Tuesday, May 29 at noon.
New Event: $5000 Mix-Max No Limit Hold’em – Playing in this event will require players to have the skills to play 9-handed (on Day 1), 6-handed (on Day 2) and in a heads-up format, if they can make it to the final 32 players in the event. Players will carry their chips throughout and be re-seeded when 32 players remain, with the highest chip total facing the lowest, etc. The event (Event #6) is structured as a four-day event and begins on Thursday, May 31 at noon. This event was played at WSOP Europe with Michael Mizrachi winning.
New Event: $2500 Four-Handed No Limit Hold’em – It’s not Heads Up poker, nor is it six-handed; it’s a new variation, four-handed No Limit Hold’em, where each table will start with a maximum of four players. For those action junkies who excel at No Limit Hold’em, this is a game created for you. It is Event #28 on the schedule, debuting Thursday, June 14 at noon.
New Event: $1500 Ante Only No Limit Hold’em – In a twist on traditional No Limit Hold’em poker, this event will be played without the small and big blind bets. All players at the table will ante to begin every hand, with the person to the left of the button starting the action with a choice of folding or bringing in the minimum chip amount in play. The event will create a lot of action and multiple-player pots. It’s Event #49 starting on Wednesday, June 27 at noon.
New Event: $1,000,000 buy-in, Big One For ONE DROP – Never before has a player had to pony up $1,000,000 just to enter a poker tournament. Typically this is what players are accustomed to winning, but for the first time, the WSOP will put on a $1,000,000 buy-in bracelet event. The event (Event #55) will begin at 1.11pm on Sunday, July 1 and play out as a three-day event and likely award the largest first place prize in poker history. The event will be televised by ESPN. 11.1% of the buy-in will support www.onedrop.org.
New Exhibition Event: $560 Doubles No Limit Hold’em – Find a partner and take a seat! In this special one-day, non-bracelet event, players will pair up and work together to win. Players will alternate playing each level, using one stack to guide their team to victory. Scheduled on Saturday, June 30 at 10am.
New Exhibition Event: $560 Bracelet Bounty No Limit Hold’em – To reward the fraternity of players with a bracelet, all are welcome to enter this one-day non-bracelet event that will feature bounties placed on any WSOP bracelet winners in the field. It will occur on Friday, July 6 at noon. Who will knock out the most bracelet winners and will a bracelet winner be able to outlast this field gunning for them?
$50K Poker Players Championship – The Chip Reese Memorial Trophy is up for grabs at the $50,000 buy-in eight-game mixed event, also dubbed the “Poker Players Championship.” This eight-game format will serve as the true test of the game’s greatest all-around player. Event #45 starts on Sunday, June 24 at 5pm. Registration will remain open until the start of Day 2, which is just prior to the start of Level 6 of the event.
The Seniors-Only No Limit Hold’em Championship – On Friday, June 15 at 10am, Event #29 features a $1000 buy-in for all poker enthusiasts 50 years of age or older. In 2011, this event set a record when 3752 players entered – the most ever on one day – and the winner walked away with $557,435 for his $1000 investment.
The Ladies Only No Limit Hold’em Championship – On Friday, June 29 at noon, this event features a $1000 buy-in for the Ladies world championship (Event #51).
• Daily Deepstack No Limit Hold’em Tournaments – The Rio will host three different daily No Limit Hold’em tournaments from May 27 to July 16. At 2pm daily, $235 buy-in events begin. At 6pm, players can play the daily $185 buy-in tournament and at 10pm, a daily $135 tournament will be offered. These are one-day structured tournaments, and not bracelet events. These events will take place in the Pavilion Ballroom.
To view the 2012 WSOP schedule: Click Here