WSOP DAILY – MAY 29: Cards are in the air, online site ready for play

Highlights from day 1 of the 2013 WSOP (May 29)

Welcome to PokerMedia Australia’s coverage of the 2013 World Series of Poker from the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, just off the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This year’s WSOP runs from May 29 until July 15 while the November Nine will play down to a new World Champion on November 4-5. This year’s features 62 bracelet events, one more than offered last year. The bracelets are once again furnished by Jason of Beverly Hills. We’re also relieved to report that tournament coverage has returned to PokerNews.

A field of 898 players took to the felt for the traditional series opener, the $500 buy-in Casino Employees No Limit Hold’em event while the $5000 No Limit Hold’em Eight-handed event is also underway.
Players spotted on the felt included former champion swimmer Michael Phelps. Phil Ivey, Antonio Esfandiari, Barry Greenstein, Jonathan Duhamel, Vanessa Selbst, Daniel Negreanu with a rare appearance from Erick Lindgren.

Tomorrow marks the start of event 3, the $1000 No Limit Hold’em event, with two flights scheduled and players eliminated from 1A allowed to re-enter later in the day.

• On the same day that the WSOP kicked off, Caesars Interactive released its US online poker client even though only play-money games are available at this time. WSOP.com is set to be the second online poker site to begin taking real-money wagers in Nevada this summer.

Players may not be able to play with real money, but there’s no shortage of prizes up for grabs. Anyone who signs up for a WSOP.com account will automatically be entered into a ‘36-Seat Giveaway’ where the randomly-selected winner will win a seat into the next day’s first WSOP gold bracelet event.

One of the events in this promotion is the $111,111 One Drop High-Rollers No-Limit Hold’em tournament that is expected to feature a $10,000,000 prize pool. In total, $182,333 in WSOP seats, including a seat to the WSOP Main Event is being given away during this one-of-a-kind WSOP.com promotion.

Aussies heading to Vegas will be able to open an account and play on WSOP.com but only while they are physically present in Nevada.

• The other big promotions planned for the launch of WSOP.com are the “Online Nine” and the “WSOP.com Online Championships” with $500,000 in added money to be given away.

Anyone who signs up for a WSOP.com online account at the WSOP is automatically entered into a $100,000 Freeroll planned for October. This online poker tournament will be Event #1 of the WSOP.com Online Championships. There will be no cost to enter but players will need to be in Nevada to participate.

The winner of the $100K Freeroll will not only win the largest portion of the prize pool, but also become the first member of the “Online Nine” competing for an additional $100,000 as part of the WSOP Main Event final table “November Nine” festivities at the Rio.

For eight consecutive nights following the $100K Freeroll, WSOP.com will hold online tournaments for those in Nevada with added money going into the prize pool. Those eight tournaments will feature a combined $300,000 in additional money from WSOP.com. The winners of these eight tournaments will become the remaining members of the “Online Nine”.

On November 4, the “Online Nine” will begin their one-table finale, and play down online to two players.  The final two players return on November 5, to play down to the winner, preceding the November Nine final battle.

• Additional reporting, picture with thanks to WSOP.com. Note: these reports will be dated a day earlier due to the time difference between Australia and Las Vegas.

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