With less than a month to go before the biggest event on the pro poker calendar gets underway, there are still places available at the table for aspiring poker players at this year’s WSOP event in Las Vegas. WSOP attracts both professional and amateur players from across the US and the globe. Last year, a record 182,000 players took part in 89 events, playing for a total prize pool of more than $330 million.
Can 2023 beat that? The short answer is yes, there will be more than 90 events this year. However, those who want to be in with a shot at some prize money are facing a few eextra challenges this year.
Fire? What fire? Horeshoe plays down blaze
Like last year, the WSOP will be jointly hosted by two casinos. But 2023 sees the long-awaited return of a famous name from the past. The Horseshoe Las Vegas hosted the very first WSOP way back in 1970, when just seven players participated. 53 years later, the venue might have changed but the Horseshoe is back and will co-host in partnership with Paris Casino.
That is despite a scare just weeks after opening, when fire broke out on the 19th floor of the newly rebranded casino hotel. Public information officials and management from the Horseshoe were quick to downplay the incident, describing the fire as “small” and confirming that fire suppression systems kept it restricted.
Nevertheless, Las Vegas Boulevard was closed while 20 fire engines and more than 70 firefighters attended. It is a comforting indication that the fire department was ready for anything. 43 years on, many remember that this same building was the site of a deadly blaze in 1980 that claimed 85 lives. It was therefore a relief to hear that there were no serious injuries and nobody needed hospital attention.
Online poker players studying the rule books
60 million Americans play poker online. They range from professional high rollers to absolute beginners, but they all have one thing in common – dreams of a seat at the Main Event in Vegas. It’s a dream that will come true for some lucky players – if they happen to live in the right US state.
Several hundred seats have been set aside and can be accessed through a range of online feeder tournaments via the WSOP site and other platforms. However, these tournaments are only open to players in certain states. We won’t open that regulatory can of worms here – if you want chapter and verse, you can check out what the experts say about online poker laws at the Legal US Poker Sites website.
The main point is that for residents of Nevada, New Jersey, Michigan and Pennsylvania, there is the potential to get a seat at the Main Event for a starting buy-in that can be as low as $15 – but that will increase should you progress deeper!
More competition than ever before
Last year, there were 8,663 entrants who arrived in Vegas for the WSOP Main Event. That’s a crazy number, but it was not quite a record. In 2006, 8,773 players contested the Main Event. Naturally, that was also the year of the biggest ever prize – Jamie Gold pocketed $12 million, one of the largest poker prizes ever.
Both these numbers are expected to be beaten at the forthcoming WSOP, with organizers confident that this year will see more than 10,000 entrants for the Main Event alone. See you there!