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World Series of Poker expects record prize pool
World Series of Poker officials expect this summer's Series to award a record prize pool of over $200 million to thousands of players.
8 May 2012
By Aaron Todd
A good chunk of that prize pool will come as a result of just two events: the $10,000 Main Event, which drew 6,865 players for a prize pool of $64.5 million in 2011, and The Big One for One Drop, a $1 million buy-in event new to the series this year, which will be capped at a maximum of 48 players.
"I actually believe that we'll hit the cap at this point," said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart in a conference call with reporters today. "With the 30-some-odd commitments that we have, nearly approaching 40, and with the recognition of who is in the field, there is a lot of activity by players trying to find their way in."
Even with 11.11 percent of the buy-in being donated to charity, a 48-player field would build a prize pool of more than $42.6 million, which, combined with the expected prize pool for the Main Event, would total more than $100 million.
Several hours before the conference call, ESPN announced its WSOP coverage plans. The final table for both the Main Event and the $1 million event will be broadcast on a 15-minute delay.
The daily live coverage of earlier play in the Main Event that debuted in 2011 has been cut, in part, because ESPN’s Tuesday night episodes saw an erosion of ratings last year, WSOP officials said.
The final table of all events not covered by ESPN will be streamed on WSOP.com with live commentary by David Tuchman. The network will also air the final table of the WSOP National Championship, a new event that will pit the top 100 players from this year's WSOP Circuit Tour against up to 100 players who have done well in WSOP bracelet events in the last two years.
WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel also revealed two big changes to tournament rules that had several well-known pros cheering. Players will now be able to talk about the contents of their hands, so long as there is no possible action after them. For instance, if a player moves all in and another player is the last person to act and is considering a call, they can talk through the decision out loud to see if they can get a reaction from their opponent. Tournament officials will also ease up on giving penalties to players for excessive celebration after winning big hands.
"Great job @WSOP for fixing the no talking and celebration rule," tweeted Daniel Negreanu. "Nice to see that when the masses speak, the people at WSOP listen."
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