The World Series of Poker announced today that poker's most famed tournament institution will expand into Europe this September, with several events hosted across three separate London Clubs International casinos in festivities that will, once the final schedule is released, span eleven days. The London festivities mark the first time that WSOP champions' bracelets, perhaps the most treasured baubles in pokerdom, are awarded outside of Las Vegas.
While the complete schedule of events, including satellites, will not be released until May, three large tourneys are already on the slate. The inaugural WSOP Europe will open on September 6th with a three-day H.O.R.S.E. event with a £2,500 (approx. US $4,900) buy-in, with the tourney held at the Leicester Square casino, a brand new property that won't even be open for business until April.
Players not at the final table in the H.O.R.S.E. event can then prepare for the next announced event, a £5,000 (US $9,800) buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha competition. This one kicks off on September 8th and will also be hosted at Leicester Square.
September 10th is the kickoff of the inaugural WSOP Europe Main Event. The No-Limit Texas Hold'em tourney features a hefty £10,000 (US $19,600) buy-in, and will include the Sportsman and Filly casinos in addition to Leicester Square. Play will continue at all three sites simultaneously until September 13th, when the survivors will all return to Leicester Square, to continue late-table action, concluding on September 16th.
LCI will be the exclusive offline host for WSOP Europe, according to Bill Timmins, the firm's CEO. "We are honored to host this unique extension of the world's richest and oldest poker tournament," added Timmins. Qualifiers will be offered at every LCI property, including sites in London, Manchester, Nottingham, Southend and Brighton.
The global push for the WSOP has long been expected as its next logical step. "This new tournament has been designed with European players in mind," said World Series of Poker Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack, "but registrants from every country are welcome. We hope it becomes an annual tradition for poker enthusiasts and a home for WSOP fans after the action concludes in Las Vegas each summer."