As anticipation builds for the event – as well as the demand from the players – officials from King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, and the World Series of Poker have announced changes to the guarantees for the upcoming 2017 World Series of Poker Europe.
The biggest announcement was regarding the guaranteed prize pool for the Main Event of the WSOP Europe. Instead of a €4 million guaranteed prize pool for the Main Event, another €1 million has been added to bring the total pool up to €5 million. The increased money will allow the eventual champion of the Main Event to walk away with a €1 million payday.
“We are encouraged by the number of early bookings for the WSOP-E, so much so that we have raised the total guarantee of the Main Event to €5,000,000 and now guarantee €1,000,000 to the winner,” said King’s Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik, according to PokerNews.com’s Brett Collson. “My advice is to book now and secure your spot.”
The news regarding the increase of the Main Event prize pool was big, but further details regarding the biggest buy-in event at the WSOP-E continue to build the excitement. According to Tsoukernik, 90 players have committed to take part in the €111,111 High Roller event, scheduled to begin on November 3. Some of the players committed to the event include High Roller stalwarts such as Fedor Holz and Antonio Esfandiari and include others such as Phil Hellmuth, Gus Hansen and Antanas “Tony G” Guoga.
With the field capped at 111 players for the High Roller (and a guaranteed prize pool of €10 million), Tsoukernik has pledged to give up his seat should it be required. Tsoukernik, in an act of philanthropy, stated that should he walk away from the High Roller event, he would still allow his €11,111 deposit for his seat to be kept. The “juice” in the High Roller, that €11,111, will go to the One Drop Foundation, the organization founded by Canadian poker player/businessman/Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Lalliberte to ensure all people around the world have access to water.
The remainder of the WSOP-E schedule features nine other bracelet events, all with guaranteed prize pools from €500,000 to €2 million. The €2 million guaranteed prize pool will be “The Colossus,” a €550 buy-in event that would have to bring in 4000 entries to break even. Beginning on October 27, there will be 10 flights run to attempt to reach that magical figure.
There is a tremendous amount of history in the WSOP-E despite its short tenure. The inaugural WSOP-E Main Event saw the youngest ever WSOP bracelet winner, Annette Obrestad, pick up her first bracelet one day shy of her 19th birthday. In 2008, the final table of the Main Event featured Ivan Demidov, who became the first (and, so far, only) person to make the final table of the Main Event in Las Vegas and Europe in the same year. Demidov’s feat was joined by the crowning of John Juanda as the champion of the Main Event.
In 2009, a stirring battle between (now) Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu and CardPlayer Magazine owner Barry Shulman was the highlight of the WSOP-E. After five hours of heads-up play, Shulman was eventually able to defeat Negreanu to capture his second WSOP bracelet. 2010 would see the U. K.’s James Bord take down the WSOP-E Main Event championship in front of his countrymen.
In 2011, the WSOP-E decided to hit the road. Going from the Casino at the Empire in London to the Majestic Barriere Cannes and the Le Croisette Barriere in Cannes, seven bracelets were awarded as Elio Fox stopped Chris Moorman from taking his first WSOP bracelet. 2012 would be a historic year as Phil Hellmuth became the first player to win both the WSOP Main Events in Las Vegas and in Europe and, in 2013, Adrian Mateos picked up his first WSOP bracelet in defeating Fabrice Soulier for the crown.
At the end of 2013, it was announced that the WSOP-E and its international counterpart, the WSOP Asia/Pacific, would alternate years instead of being contested each year. The WSOP Asia/Pacific would take the even-numbered years and the WSOP-E would take the odd-numbered years. Thus, the WSOP-E would not be contested until 2015, when it was moved to the Spielbank Berlin in Germany. Kevin MacPhee defeated a 313-player field to win the bracelet that year.
What memorable events will be etched into the history books from the trip to the Czech Republic? It will all unfold beginning on October 19 when the World Series of Poker Europe starts.