World’s Longest-Running, Largest, and Most Prestigious Poker Tournament Set to Run From May 31 - July 19, 2011 at the Rio® All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (Jan. 24, 2011) – The 42nd annual World Series of Poker® (WSOP®) -- a set of poker tournaments open to anyone 21 years of age or older – officially puts cards in the air on Tuesday, May 31, 2011. 

The annual poker extravaganza, which dates back to 1970, is televised exclusively on ESPN from the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  The tournament series consists of a comprehensive slate of the game’s most popular poker variations running from May 31 - July 19.

A total of 58 coveted gold bracelets will be up for grabs in 2011 – one more than last year. 

On Tuesday, May 31 at 5:00 PM, the first open bracelet tournament will be a new event – a $25,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em Championship.  It will be open to a maximum of 256 players. 

The opening weekend (June 4-5), features a $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament, which in the past has drawn more than 6,000 entrants.  The event includes two starting flights – one each on Saturday and Sunday at 12 noon.  Day 2 for all surviving players will be Monday, June 6. 

Throughout June the weekends will remain focused on the “weekend warriors” with affordable buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournaments for WSOP gold bracelets at $1,500 on Saturdays and $1,000 on Sundays.  July 2 and 3 will feature our only other multi-day start $1,000 tournament and we will conclude with one last No Limit Hold’em extravaganza on Tuesday, July 5 at 12 noon.

The 42nd annual WSOP will conclude with the grandest spectacle in all of gaming – the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship (aka “The Main Event”), which begins play Thursday, July 7 and will reach its final table (nine players) on Tuesday, July 19, at which time play will be halted.  

The WSOP Main Event will feature four starting flights -- one each day at 12 noon on July 7, July 8, July 9 and July 10.  The only way to guarantee your starting day is to pre-register for the event prior to the WSOP commencing. 

The famed tournament’s culmination will be held with the play of the “November Nine®” from November 5-7, before a live audience with special primetime coverage from ESPN on Tuesday, November 8, 2011. 

"Something for everyone is the best way to describe the 2011 World Series of Poker schedule,” said WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel, who will oversee the event for the sixth consecutive year.  "It’s staggering to think that last year alone the WSOP hosted nine of the 17 largest tournaments in poker history.  We had 44 events produce more than a $1 million prize pool, so we can’t wait to get at it again and offer players at all levels the best poker action on the planet."

The entire convention center of the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino once again will be exclusively dedicated to the 2011 World Series of Poker, with tournament tables in the 58,000 square foot Pavilion and the 38,000 square-foot Amazon Room.  The final number of tables in play is subject to regulatory approval, given just prior to the tournament commencing, but is expected to be similar to the 370 which were utilized in 2010.

Player comfort is also being addressed by new rules regulating the duration of daily play.  Excluding the Main Event, gold bracelet tournaments will begin at 12 noon and 5 PM Pacific Time each day, with a maximum of 10-one hour levels being played for the noon starts; the 5 PM events will be comprised of a maximum of eight one-hour levels on Day 1.   Day 1 play is expected to conclude at 12:45 AM for noon starts and 2:00 AM for the 5 PM starts.  For those advancing past the first day, re-starts for noon bracelet events will be at 2:30 PM, and 5 PM tournaments will restart at 3 PM, with a maximum of 10 levels being played each day until a champion is crowned.  The Main Event features two-hour levels, with play beginning at 12 noon each day.

Registration for all bracelet events will remain open through four levels of play – or until all available seats have been sold.   This is twice as long as previous years.  The only exception to this is the Main Event, which will remain open for it’s customary two levels (or four hours of play).

Pre-registration for the 2011 WSOP will be available on-site at the Main Cage of the Rio in Las Vegas and online through www.WSOP.com beginning February 7, 2011. 

All Caesars Entertainment properties in Las Vegas offer special reduced hotel room rates for entrants of WSOP bracelet events.  Rates start as low as $69 for players staying at the host property, the Rio.  Imperial Palace offers rates as low as $35, and Bally’s, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Paris and Caesars Palace provide WSOP player rates as low as $45-$110 a night.  Click here for the special WSOP player hotel rates.

The 2011 WSOP marks the 42nd running of the game’s most prestigious annual tournament.   In 2010, the WSOP generated the most entries ever (72,966) from 117 different countries.  Players competed for more than $187 million as a total of 57 championship gold bracelets, globally recognized as the game’s top prize, were awarded.  Attendance in 2010 was up 20 percent year-over-year.

To view the entire schedule, visit WSOP.com/2011, where you will be able to download event structures, pre-registration forms or save the schedule to your calendar and even link it to your Facebook, Twitter or other social network sites. 

Among the highlights of the 2011 schedule:

• 58 gold bracelet events over 50 days.

• Sensational Structures & Starting Chips – All gold bracelet events in 2011 will feature triple the buy-in in starting chips and deep structures, providing plenty of play.

• Hard Stop Times – The maximum a playing day will last is 10 levels each day, regardless of the number of players remaining.  This includes re-starts and final table days.  If we have not reached a winner or a final table after 10 levels of play, all remaining players left in the tournament will return at 3:00 PM to resume the tournament.  This will ensure tournament play each day concludes at approximately 3:00 AM for re-starts and allow a 12-hour break before play resumes.  Important:  This may cause some tournaments to exceed their scheduled three-day structure; however it will only affect the remaining players at that stage of the tournament.

• New Event -- $25,000 buy-in, No Limit Hold’em Heads-Up Championship – Are you the best one-on-one player in the world?  The winner of this event will be able to claim that title.  Up to 256 players will compete in this first-time event which will be the first open bracelet awarded at the 2011 WSOP.  This is Event #2 on the schedule, and begins on Tuesday, May 31 at 5:00 PM in the famed Amazon Room.

• New Event -- $2,500 buy-in 10-Game Mix/Six-Handed (Event #29) – On Thursday, June 16 at 5:00 PM, the WSOP introduces a new short-handed event – with a mix of 10 different poker games, including Badugi.  The 10 games that will be played are: No Limit Hold’em; Seven Card Razz; Limit Hold’em; Badugi (Limit); Seven Card Stud; 2-7 Draw Lowball (No Limit); Omaha Hi-Low Split 8 or Better; Pot Limit Omaha; 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) and Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split 8 or Better.

• New Event -- $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha/Six-Handed (Event #35) – Continuing with the popular trend of short-handed events, a new $5,000 six-handed Pot Limit Omaha tournament has been scheduled for Monday, June 20 at 12 noon.

• Back by Popular Demand – The $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8 or Better tournament is back on the schedule this year.  Event #47 will begin on Monday, June 27 at 5:00 PM.

• $50K Poker Players Championship – The Chip Reese Memorial Trophy is up for grabs at the $50,000 buy-in eight-game mixed event, also dubbed the “Poker Players Championship.”  This eight-game format will serve as the true test of the game’s greatest all-around player.  Event #55 starts on Saturday, July 2 at 5:00 PM.

• The Seniors-Only No-Limit Hold’em Championship – On Friday, June 17 at 12 noon, featuring a $1,000 buy-in for all poker enthusiasts 50 years of age or older.  In 2010, this event set a record when 3,142 players entered and the winner walked away with just under $500,000 for his $1,000 investment.

• The Ladies Only No-Limit Hold’em Championship – On Friday, July 1 at 12 noon, featuring a $1,000 buy-in.

• Triple Chance Tournaments – With the popularity of our Triple Chance tournaments, we have added an event this year, to offer this format twice. Event #12, on Tuesday, June 7 at 12 noon offers a $1,500 Triple Chance No Limit Hold’em event and on Wednesday, June 29 at 12 noon, Event #50 features a $5,000 buy-in version.

• Daily Deepstack No-Limit Hold’em Tournaments – The Rio will host three different daily No-Limit Hold’em tournaments from May 30 to July 16.  At 2:00 PM daily, $235 buy-in events begin.  At 6:00 PM, players can play the daily $185 buy-in tournament and at 10:00 PM, a daily $135 tournament will be offered. These are one-day structured tournaments, and not bracelet events.

• Satellites Every Day! -- A complete array of satellites, from single-table to mega, will be offered from May 30 - July 10.  Mega satellites with buy-ins at $330 for the daily 4 PM and $550 buy-in for the daily 8 PM start.

All winners will be required to provide a valid picture ID.  Tax forms will be completed for those with winnings in excess of $5,000 net of event buy-in.  Players without a Tax Identification Number and foreign players from non-tax treaty countries are subject to up to 30 percent tax withholding.  WSOP reserves the right to cancel, change or modify the tournament or any tournament event, in part or in whole, without notice.

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world awarding millions of dollars in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet, globally recognized as the sport’s top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker’s longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970.  In 2010, the event attracted 72,966 entrants from 117 different countries to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and awarded over $187 million in prize money.  The WSOP in December, 2008 was named the 7th most admired sports brand in North America by the Turnkey Sports Survey, trailing only the older and more established NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR and PGA Tour among sports properties.  In addition, the WSOP has experienced groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent in 2007 of the World Series of Poker EuropeSM.