On May 31st, 2008, the immense growth of the participants at the World Series of Poker Main Event ended last year, event hough the event still draws a lot of players. After the 2006 event which saw 8,773 participants, it dropped to 6,358 last year. After the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act(UIGEA) on October 13th, 2006, Internet casinos withdrew some of the sponsorships like paying the $10,000 buy-in cost for some participants.
After the change, the World Series of Poker also modified its rules, like not allowing 3rd party registrations by Internet gaming sites that accepts U.S. based players. Hundred of poker players who had won free slots to the event before were now left with no choice but to pay their own buy-in or sit out the event. But the player field this year should reached or surpassed 7,000 players, competing with each other for a bigger prize than the $8.25 million that Jerry Wang won last year.
Amateur poker players will outnumber poker professionals in a ratio of 20:1, so the chance that an amateur poker player will win the event is big. The event starts on July 3rd, 2008 at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas for the Main Event and will end in November, when the final table plays to determine the 2008 WSOP Main Event champion. ESPN will cover the entire event.
06/19/2008 03:15 PM