The World Series of Poker held its annual conference call on Tuesday to pimp their 2012 extravaganza, which gets underway at the Rio in Las Vegas on May 27th with the Casino Employees NLHE event. WSOP exec director Ty Stewart and tournament director Jack Effel revealed that the 2012 confab will feature around 470 tables, (closer to 500, if you count the tables at the Buzios’ room). Organizers claim pre-registrations for 2012 are exceeding last year’s numbers, creating expectations of topping last year’s main event field of 6,865.
The Big One For One Drop $1m buy-in event has around 40 deep-pocketed players already committed, and Stewart claims it’s “very realistic” that the event will reach its 48-player maximum. The Big One will also lead off ESPN’s WSOP coverage on Tuesday, July 3, followed by the National Championship on Aug. 7. Main event coverage will start Aug. 14, continuing every following Tuesday until the final table plays out ‘almost live’ (with a 15-minute delay) on Oct. 30 – earlier than usual to avoid being overshadowed by the US elections in November.
Last year’s much loathed ‘celebration rule’ will reportedly be loosened a little, but determining exactly how much end zone dancing is appropriate will be left to individual officials on the scene. Players will also be allowed more freedom to verbalize at the tables, so long as they don’t expose their hand, re-open play or cause officials to suspect collusion. Men are not encouraged to take part in the Ladies Event, but WSOP lawyers say there’s no legal restriction against dicks taking part.
WSOP owner Caesars Entertainment has also decided to provide WSOP entrants with credits toward their Total Rewards accounts. Players who sign up for the rewards program will receive credits for taking part in WSOP gold bracelet events, Deepstack tournaments and Mega-Satellites. Said credits can be used at any Caesars property on tourney entry fees, hotel rooms, entertainment, etc. The plan replaces the food vouchers Caesars used to provide, but (like everything else) Stewart claims the switch is actually costing Caesars more money in the short term, which it hopes to realize down the road via consumer loyalty.