The 36th Annual World Series of Poker is set to kick off forty five days of poker action on June 2nd, which is a scant two weeks away. While those who make their living (or those who make an annual pilgrimage to the legendary tournament) know the ins and outs of working their way around the WSOP, a new player may have some burning questions regarding everything about the event.
I was able to get in touch with Gary Thompson, the Director of World Series of Poker Tournament Operations and Communications regarding these questions and he was more than happy to give us answers to some of the questions a new player might have.
PN: What are the registration procedures for a player looking to get into any of the events at the World Series?
GT: Individual players can register either at the Rio, prior to the event they want to enter, or online at worldseriesofpoker.com. Instructions are available at the Web site. In addition, for events that are not sold out, satellite events will be held during the conduct of the World Series as well.
PN: What form of payment is accepted for entry into the tournaments?
GT: Cash, check, money order or credit-card entries will be accepted. It's important to note, however, that checks will need to be cleared, so pre-registration is recommended if you are paying by that method.
PN: For the preliminary tournaments, is registration limited to the day before the event alone?
GT: No. We're already accepting registrations for preliminary events.
PN: Are satellites currently running for the Main Event? What level buy-ins are available?
GT: Yes, satellites will be conducted, both now and throughout the actual World Series itself, and information on the buy-ins and schedules are at worldseriesofpoker.com.
PN: Are there any other satellites for any other events?
GT: There will be a variety of satellites, including one-table events, throughout the tournament.
PN: What does someone have to do to enter these satellites?
GT: Simple...sign up and pay the entry fee in advance of the start time.
PN: Can players purchase more than one entry for a tournament?
GT: Players can buy entries for other players but, except for the rebuy events, a player will not be able to buy in more than once for themselves.
PN: Are there any caps on player numbers for any of the events?
GT: Yes. We have 200 tables available in the tournament area and we will be limited to accommodating specific numbers of players for any single event, depending on the type of game being played. A sold-out Seven-stud tournament would have fewer players than a sold-out Hold 'Em event, for example. For the $10,000 buy-in Main Event No-Limit Hold 'Em World Championship, we have scheduled a staggered opening round spread over three days. Thus, we theoretically could host 6,600 players — 11 players per table times 200 tables times three days. The remaining players would be consolidated on the fourth day of that event.
PN: What time does registration cut off for entering particular events?
GT: Most events start at 12 noon, so registration may be cut at that time. There is also a schedule of events on the website. If there are more players than seats, we may offer the opportunity for players to join as alternates once seated players are eliminated.
PN: What are the restrictions that players must remember as far as apparel?
GT: It is important that players remember that they will be allowed to wear one item of apparel with a logo 1"x 3" in size. They may not wear costumes or other paraphenalia that we deem inappropriate.
PN: What is the audience policy for people who want to watch the tournaments? What are those policies for the Final Table events?
GT: Spectators may watch tournament play "outside the rail," but will not be allowed to walk among tournament tables. The final two days of the Main Event will be held at Binion's in downtown Las Vegas in honor of the Las Vegas Centennial, and we're working with the owners of that property on details of the final two days. However, space will be limited and we may have to restrict the number of spectators due to the smaller size of the Binion's property.
PN: Any suggestions for players who wish to walk up and register for any of the events?
GT: Because it's difficult to predict the total number of entrants for any event, we urge players to register as early as possible.
PN: Thank you very much and have a great tournament, Gary!
GT: Thank you, Earl! Hope to see you there!
Hopefully these questions may have eased any new tournament players fears as they prepare to head for what will be the biggest poker tournament ever! It is expected that, over the forty-five days of tournament action, there will be over $100 million up for grabs among an estimated 20,000 players.
I would like to thank Gary Thompson for his time. When it comes to anything that I have asked regarding the World Series, he has always had the time to respond to my questions. It is now just about time for the cards to fly in the greatest poker tournament on Earth!
Ed note: Speaking of satellites to the WSOP, Full Tilt is guaranteeing 30 seats to the main event...in one tournament!