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World Series of Poker Main Event Takes Off at Rio

Last updated: July 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm. Posted by in Gaming, Las Vegas Casinos, Rio Las Vegas, Things to Do in Las Vegas. Comments Off on World Series of Poker Main Event Takes Off at Rio.

The Main Event of the world’s largest poker showdown, the World Series of Poker, began today (July 7) at Rio Las Vegas. The “Shuffle up and deal!” opening ceremony honors were performed by poker legend Doyle Brunson, greeted by an enthusiastic standing ovation.

The top names in poker will battle it out until July 19 for a shot at millions in prize money and the highly-coveted WSOP gold bracelet. By July 19, the field will be narrowed down to just nine sleep-deprived players, nicknamed the “November Nine” because the final group returns in November (long story) for the tournament’s grand finale.

The cost to enter the World Series of Poker Main Event? A mere $10,000. Hey, poker is serious business, folks. Last year’s winner, Canadian Jonathan Duhamel (pictured below), snagged the $8.9 million top prize.

Jonathan Duhamel

Jonathan Duhamel fights the temptation to roll around in his winnings. In public, anyway.

Players from more than 100 countries are expected to participate in the Main Event at Rio Vegas.

Upcoming appearance worth noting: On July 10 at noon, the sonsy Holly Madison, star of Peepshow at Planet Hollywood, will take part in a “Shuffle up and deal!” photo op. As if our interest in poker weren’t already piqued.

Jason Alexander

Actor Jason Alexander is among the WSOP Main Event's hopefuls.

In other WSOP news, submissions are currently being taken for the 2011 Poker Hall of Fame. Find out more and nominate your favorite poker virtuoso. Inductees include names like Benny Binion, “Amarillo Slim” Preston, Johnny Chan, Phil Hellmuth, Barbara Enright (the only woman to reach the Final Table of the WSOP) and even “Wild Bill” Hickok.

If you’re in town for the World Series of Poker, here’s a little insider tip. Text “NOV9” to 227466 (through July 20) and you could win a prize package featuring a three-night VIP stay at Rio Las Vegas, limo transportation, a $100 dining certificate at Martorano’s at Rio and a VIP seat to view the Main Event Final Table. And possibly an intimate backrub from this Las Vegas blog. (Subject to availability and level of intoxication.)

Find out all the details about the most prestigious event of its kind in the world, the World Series of Poker, at the official site or follow the WSOP on Twitter. There’s even a WSOP blog. Blogs are the greatest thing ever.

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