If you enjoy watching poker (almost as much as playing it) then you’ll be like me this June … watching in person when, for the first time in six years, the World Series of Poker will be presenting a Tournament of Champion.
The freeroll will feature 27 players and a $1 million prize pool, with $500,000 reserved for the winner. Not too shabby.
“we’re thrilled to reinvent (the Tournament of Champions) around a model that should elevate the game by engaging millions of poker fans,” said Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment vice president Ty Stewart, referencing the fact that 20 of the 27 players will earn entry into the tournament via a public poll on wsop.com. “we hope it’s here to stay.”
Only five players receive automatic entries to the event the past three TOC winners, and the reigning WSOP and WSOPE main-event champions? Joe Cada and Barry Shulman. The last two spots will come in the form of qualifiers, for which the details have not yet been released. Stewart said that it is possible that the qualifier(s) could come in the form of an online tournament.
The tournament will take place June 27, with the final table played on July 4 (to avoid other events going on at the World Series). ESPN will televise the event in a two-hour broadcast on Aug. 3.
Pros will undoubtedly be excited to see the return of a TV event with a sizable amount of free money on the line.
Fans will have three months to vote in their top 20 players.
The poll is now open at the WSOP site and closes June 15 at midnight.
Only players who have won a WSOP bracelet in their career are eligible to be voted in.
Stewart clarified that anyone of age will be able to compete in the qualifiers and that they won’t simply be at-large bids at the discretion of Harrah’s. The two spots will likely be highly sought after with so much money on the table.
The winner will take home $500,000, while second place gets $250,000, and third place earns $100,000. Fourth through ninth place will each take home $25,000, while the rest of the field will have to leave empty-handed.