15 more bracelets up for grabs

The 2023 World Series of Poker Europe is underway at King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, setting off on a three week festival during which 15 gold bracelets will be awarded. The Main event for the 14th running of WSOP Europe is slated to begin November 10.

When the schedule was announced in July, King’s Resort owner and poker aficionado Leon Tsoukernik said, “We’re absolutely thrilled to continue hosting the most prestigious tournament series in Europe, this year offering even higher guaranteed prize pools and new exciting events.”

Unlike the traditional World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, every event at WSOP Europe has a guaranteed prize pool. In all, there is €14 million guaranteed across the 15 bracelet events.

Today kicks off with Event #1: €350 2023 No-Limit Hold’em Opener, which comes with a €1 million prize pool. Wednesday is the first of six starting flights. Day 1B is the only tournament on the schedule for tomorrow, while Day 1C will share Friday with Day 1D and the first of three flights of Event #2: €550 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Max.

Looking to set more records

The 2022 WSOP Europe Main Event was the largest in history, with 763 entries, generating a €7,248,500 prize pool. Omar Eljach won the tournament, earning his first gold bracelet and the €1,380,129 first prize.

“The buzz surrounding poker has surged following this year’s Main Event in Vegas,” said WSOP Executive Director and Senior Vice President Ty Stewart this summer. “We’re not stopping at setting 12 new records. We expect the WSOP Europe to ride the momentum and break its Main Event record once again this year as players from around the globe try their hand in the richest, most prestigious sport in the world.”

And if trends continue, the WSOP Europe, along with the other events, will break records. This summer’s Main Event in Las Vegas shattered the nearly two-decade-old record, fielding 10,043 players and creating a $93,399,900 prize pool. The previous record of 8,773 was set back in 2006. The 2022 WSOP Main Event was just slightly more than 100 away from setting a new mark, but it would’ve been smashed this year, anyway.

One difference between traditional Main Event and the WSOP Europe Main Event is that the Las Vegas edition is a freezeout, while the WSOP Europe version allows for one re-entry per player.

For its first few years, attendance at the WSOP Europe Main Event held fairly steady, as the tournament had fields in the mid-300s. That jumped to nearly 600 in 2011 before sliding each year through 2015, where it bottomed out at 313. The field size has increased every year since and considering what happened at the WSOP in Las Vegas and the overall enthusiasm for live poker since the COVID-19 shutdowns, expect a fantastic turnout at King’s Resort this year.

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