This 42nd edition of the planet's most prestigious live poker championship will be keenly watched by industry observers interested in the possible impact of recent federal enforcement actions against online poker companies operating in the United States, and the service firms associated with them.
The online poker industry has traditionally contributed large numbers of entrants to WSOP events through qualifying and reward satellites and tournaments held on the internet, where winners receive prizes that enable them to take part in the Las Vegas spectacular.
This year's WSOP runs from May 31st to July 19 and comprises 58 events in which players can win large sums of money and the coveted WSOP gold winners' bracelets.
New events include a $25,000 buy-in NLHE competition which kicks the tournament off, along with the traditional $500 Casino Employees contest.
Another innovation is the Grudge Match promotion, where the organisers have strived to recreate classic heads-up battles in WSOP history. WSOP planners have put together Phil Hellmuth vs. Johnny Chan in a reprise of their classic 1989 clash, and a recreation of the 2003 match between Chris Moneymaker and Sammy Farha.
The third Grudge Match has been designed based on player votes and will see Johnny Chan and Erik Seidel re-playing their 1988 main event.
The 2011 Main Event starts July 7, and the number of entries will be a key indicator to many observers on the influence of major online gambling companies. The original field will play down to a final table of nine by July 19, when - as has now become s.o.p. - the nine finalists will break until November 5, when the final winner and 2011 champion will be decided.
Source: InfoPowa News