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Online Casino News - July, 2008

2008 WSOP Final Event in Full Swing, Marking Richest Year



  Seed Newsvine

by Elizabeth Nguyen, News Staff Writer

July 10, 2008

As the final event for the 2008 World Series of Poker tournament comes into full gear, WSOP owner and casino gambling empire - Harrah's Entertainment - has announced this year's tournament will become the richest year ever in the WSOP's 39-year history. Pledging to be even richer, or should I say "better" in 2009, Harrah's VP and WSOP Commissioner, Jeffrey Pollack, said the 2008 tournament panned out just as expected.

There certainly is something to be said for about the popularity and reliability of tournament poker these days. In fact (but don't quote me on this), a share in Harrah's or anything casino-poker related is probably one of your better stock options for a good while. And even though the gambling revenue has been declining this year on the Vegas Strip, the Vegas 2008 WSOP finale has been a big boost for Harrah's and the gambling industry as a whole.

For the final event alone, which is the $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold'em World Championship, 6,844 players entered to create a prize pool worth over $64.3 million. This is the second-largest field in the tournament's history. It was with the help of previous tournaments this year, including eight different $10,000 buy-ins and eight $1,500 buy-ins, that WSOP 2008 has surpassed the 2007 tournament.

Just how much of this was contributed by the online poker sector remains to be seen, as Harrah's does not take entries from third parties, i.e. online poker rooms. However, this certainly does not stop poker rooms from holding online satellite tournaments and fronting the cash to winners, who in turn, use the money to buy a seat.

Compared to 2007, in total, 2008 saw an 8% increase in entries (58,720), and nearly a $21 million increase in total prize pool over the course of the 55-event, 47-day poker tournament held at the Rio Casino on the Strip. This year's winner (which incidentally will not be defending champion Jerry Yang, who was eliminated yesterday) will walk away with nearly $1 million more in winnings ($9.12 million).

As tournament play continued through Thursday, there were no more than 2,000 players left standing. By late Monday or early Tuesday next week, the filed will be eliminated down to the final table of nine, at which point the tournament will be put on hold for nearly two months. No doubt giving Harrah's ample time to hype up the final table, November 9 (9/9) will be the date in which nine players will start to dwindle down to just 2. Head-to-head action will take place on the 10th, all of which will be televised by ESPN in a two-hour special broadcast that evening.



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