This year’s World Series of Poker, the 41st annual edition, will see the return of the Tournament of Champions (TOC) event, in a made-for-TV tournament due to be aired by sports giants ESPN. The idea behind it is to have an all-star game similar to ones held by the NBA and NFL. In this case 27 players will battle it out for a share of the $1,000,000 on offer.
The tournament will span two days with play beginning on June 27th and the final table being played out on July 4th, Independence Day. After consulting the players who participated at the WSOP last year there will be no other
running on July 4th so it is the ideal date to fit in this show-piece event.
Of the 27 places available for this invite-only event, five have been reserved for previous winners of the TOC and also for the current reigning WSOP and WSOPE Main Event champions. This means Annie Duke (2004 TOC winner), Mike Matusow (2005 TOC winner), Mike Sexton (2006 TOC winner), Barry Shulman (2009 WSOPE winner) and Joe Cada (2009 WSOP winner) are guaranteed to be taking part in the event.
Two of the other places are going to be filled by the hosts Harrah’s, probably through an internet promotion but there has been no confirmation to confirm or deny this. The remaining 20 places are all going to be allocated to the top 20 vote earners in a special ballot currently being held on the WSOP website.
Anybody registering with the site can place a single vote on up to 20 living WSOP bracelet winners and whoever has the most votes when voting ends on June 15 will be selected to play in the tournament. As potential entrants have to have won at least one bracelet means the likes of Tom “Durrrr” Dwan, Gus Hansen and Patrik Antonius are ineligible to play, but you can chose from 521 living bracelet winners including Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth and Phil Ivey.
The prizes for cashing in this event are quite substantial, with the winner taking home the lion’s share of the prize money with $500,000, the runner-up will win $250,000 whilst a third place finish is worth $100,000. Any player finishing in positions four through nine will win $25,000 each. Not bad for less than two day’s work.