2009 WSOP Now Underway

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The poker world is buzzing as the 2009 World Series of Poker has officially kicked off in Las Vegas.  The first event of the season is a new tournament designed to commemorate the series' 40th anniversary and is a no limit hold em tournament featuring a $40,000 buy in.  Thursday was day 1 of the event and the high price tag is expected to only draw in the poker elite, perhaps setting the stage for one of the most highly competitive fields the poker world has ever seen.

Announced in January of this year by WSOP host Harrah's, this year's opening event is the 2nd most expensive tournament in the series, trailing only the prestigious $50,000 HORSE event.  Though it's price tag is hefty, Harrah's does not expect it to replace the main event in terms of it's significance.  Ensuring this is the fact that the tournament will not be an annual occurrence.  Tournament directors and Harrah's representatives would not speculate as to how often this tournament will actually be offered.

It seems that some pro players may be skeptical about the decision of running such a high priced tournament so early in the series.  Though he will be participating, Mike Matusow stated,

Why would they possibly want to break everybody on Day 1?"  He did not, however, dispute the fact that it will surely be a popular draw.  "All the internet (poker) kids and anybody who can come up with 40 grand is going to play in this tournament," said Matusow. "If they've got $60,000 to play [with]...they're putting up $40,000 for this tournament because they know it's televised and they know that the winner of this tournament is going to be considered the world champion over the main event."

Harrah's is not shying away from any potential controversy.  Last year, they came under fire for their decision to have the final table of the main event take place a full 3 months after the 2008 World Series ended.  Harrah's was quick to defend that particular strategy by stating that the ratings were up 46% from 2007.

So it begins, with the whole poker world watching.

Source:  www.aintluck.com

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