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September 30, 2014

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WSOP 2014: More players, bigger pots

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Steve Marcus

The final cards are displayed on a video monitor during the World Series of Poker $10,000 buy-in no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em tournament at the Rio Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013.

Caesars Entertainment strives to make each six-week edition of the World Series of Poker a little different from the last.

So what’s the buzz this year, for the 45th annual tournament that starts Tuesday?

A $10 million guarantee

The 2014 Main Event champion will earn at least the second-biggest prize in the tournament’s history. The winner has made out with an eight-figure payday only once, when Jamie Gold prevailed in 2006 over a record field of 8,773 players for $12 million. But the WSOP promises that this year, someone will get a 1,000 percent return on their $10,000 entry fee.

The Big One For One Drop, No. 2

The $1 million buy-in tournament to benefit Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte’s One Drop Foundation, which provides water to poverty-stricken areas worldwide, is back after a one-year hiatus, and it’s guaranteed to go down as the largest prize pool in tournament poker history. This year, the limit of players has jumped to 56, and 33 spots already were claimed.

Online poker influence

For the first time in tournament history, online poker is legal in Nevada, and organizers say they will work to accommodate people who want to try the action on WSOP.com. Laptops are allowed at the table for those who want to play online simultaneously with live tournaments, and the WSOP plans to set up a “Grind Room” where players can gamble using built-in computers with dedicated Internet connections.

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