Yes, I 100% went for the cliché in the headline. I’m not a tournament director, so I need to take the one really good opportunity I have per year to use it. Maybe two, if I go for the gold on Day 1 of the Main Event. But yes, the 2023 World Series of Poker is here, so let the poker world celebrate.
Opening day isn’t a gigantic one – the craziness really starts tomorrow – but it should still be a really fun intro to the next month and a half. As always, the very first tournament is the $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em Event. It’s been this way for eons and will likely be this way for eons more. It kicks off at 10:00am PT.
The other tournament on Tuesday is Event #2: $25,000 High Roller Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em, starting at 2:00pm PT. Because of the high buy-in, it should be a very small field, but the competition should be fierce. Both events allow for one re-entry and are scheduled to last two days.
Wednesday is when action at Horseshoe Las Vegas and Paris Las Vegas should really pick up. Event #3 is the $1,000 Mystery Millions, with the first of four flights running tomorrow. $300 from each buy-in will go toward the bounty pool; the WSOP has guaranteed a top bounty of $1 million.
The standard payout structure begins on Day 1, but bounties do not start until Day 2 (June 4). Beginning on Day 2, every time a player is knocked out, the person who does the eliminating gets to draw a random bounty prize, hoping to get one of the big ones. Last year, Matt Glantz was the lucky winner of the million-dollar bounty.
Event #4 on Wednesday is the Tournament of Champions, which moves from the end of the WSOP last year to the beginning of the WSOP this year. The event is limited to those who won a WSOP Circuit ring (live or online) during the 2022/2023 season and bracelet winners from 2022 WSOP Online and 2022 WSOP Europe. It is a freeroll with a $1 million prize pool.
The third event that begins on Wednesday is Event #5: $1,500 Dealers Choice Six-Handed.
The 95 bracelets to be awarded at the 2023 WSOP are the most in the festival’s history. On top of that there are 20 New Jersey/Nevada online bracelets and seven bracelet events each on WSOP.com in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Tournament organizers expect this year’s Series to be the largest ever. Last year’s Main Event was just 110 entries shy of the record set in 2006, so if the momentum continues, it is entirely possible that that mark is broken, but that we see the first 9,000-player Main Event in World Series history. Regardless of what happens, this is the most exciting time of the year in the poker world and we hope everyone who is heading to Las Vegas to participate has tons of fun.