WSOP Day 1: 50th Annual WSOP Begins with Casino Employees Championship and $10K Super Turbo Bounty

2019 World Series of Poker Day 1

The moment that all poker players and enthusiasts have been waiting for has finally begun. The 50th annual World Series of Poker returns to the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino today with a record 89 events, Daily DeepStacks tournaments, and big cash game action.

The tournament structures are the best in WSOP history with players kicking off events with more chips than ever before. So get your game face on if you're playing, or get ready for hundreds of hours of live streamed action and daily live updates, interviews, and much more, right here on PokerNews.

Here's what's on tap today, in the daily What to Watch For on PokerNews, sponsored by 888poker.

Event #1: $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold'em

As has become a tradition, the WSOP kicks off its 2019 schedule by showing gratitude to casino dealers, cage employees, pit bosses, bartenders, and any other worldwide casino workers. They all have a chance at WSOP gold with a special tournament featuring a buy-in of $500.

Last year, the tournament attracted 566 entrants to generate a $283,000 prize pool. On the second day of play, Aria poker dealer and floorman Jordan Hufty defeated Jodie Sanders in an almost four hour long heads-up match to win a WSOP gold bracelet and the $61,909 top prize.

Jordan Hufty
Jordan Hufty

The event has a long and storied tradition dating back to 2000 when it was known as the Dealers World Poker Championship and was only open to casino dealers. With the inaugural event attracting just 109 players, it was expanded the following year. It is still not considered an open event as it is only open to those that work for a licensed gaming facility including cardrooms, casinos, racetracks, etc.

While the recent version of the event features no-limit hold'em, this was not always the case as the first four years of its existence it took place in limit hold'em.

The Casino Employees event received a massive overhaul this year. Last year, players received 5,000 in chips and played for two days with 30-minute blind levels starting with blinds at 25/25. The structure is deeper this year with players kicking off the action with 25,000 in chips and will play for three days with 40-minute blind levels starting at 100/100.

The event kicks off today at 11 a.m PST. To follow the PokerNews live updates of this event, click here.

Casino Employees Tournament Winners

2000Dave Alizadeth$21,800
2001Travis Jonas$40,200
2002David Warga$47,300
2003David Lukaszewski$35,800
2004Carl Nessel$40,000
2005Anthony Nguyen$83,390
2006Chris Gros$127,496
2007Frederick Narciso$104,701
2008Jonathan Kotula$87,929
2009Andrew Cohen$83,833
2010Hoai Pham$71,424
2011Sean Drake$82,292
2012Chiab "Chip" Saechao$70,859
2013Chad Holloway$84,915
2014Roland Reparejo$82,835
2015Brandon Barnette$75,704
2016C.J. Sand$71,157
2017Bryan Hollis$68,817
2018Jordan Hufty$61,909

Event #2: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Super Turbo Bounty

For the second straight year, the first day of the WSOP brings high stakes players to the tournament arena for some high-octane poker. Elio Fox added a second WSOP bracelet to his collection by taking down the event last year. The event featured 243 entrants and a $2,284,200 prize pool, with $393,693 set aside for Fox in the inaugural event.

Elio Fox
Elio Fox

Last year's event proved to be a one-day marathon with 50,000 in starting chips, 20-minute blind levels, and blinds starting at 100/200.

The structure is even deeper this year and has been extended to a two-day event featuring 60,000 in starting chips, and 20-minute blinds levels starting with blinds at 100/100. As was the case last year, bounties will continue to be worth $3,000 each.

The event kicks at noon PST. Follow the PokerNews live updates to catch the action. Don’t miss a hand!

More Chips in All Events

The WSOP overhauled its schedule in 2019 to add more chips in every event. In some cases, the increase is small. For example; in $10,000 buy-in events, including in today's $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty, starting stacks increase from 50,000 last year to 60,000 this year.

In other events, there is a vast difference, including all $500 buy-in events where stacks increase from 5,000 to 50,000.

The new structure is "Chainsaw Approved" with the notoriously hard to please Allen Kessler sharing his pleasure when the changes were announced months ago.

"Limit mixed players get last years' structures or better but have more starting chips, which makes late reg a much better value," said Kessler. "The smaller no-limits are way more competitive this year with deeper starting stacks and more play throughout."

Also, players should see more hands than ever before with the WSOP adopting a big blind format for all of the events on its schedule.

Price Point2018 Stack2019 Stack
$1,500 NL/PLO7,50025,000
$1,500 Limit7,50010,000

Daily DeepStacks

The popular Daily DeepStacks have returned once again from the start of the series on May 28 to its conclusion on July 16. The only buy-in change is that the 7 p.m. event has moved from a $365 to a $400 price point.

These non-bracelet tournaments boast value for those on a more limited bankroll and last only one day. Here is the daily schedule:

  • $250 No-Limit Hold'em, 1 p.m.
  • $200 No-Limit Hold'em, 4 p.m.
  • $400 No-Limit Hold'em, 7 p.m. (Accelerated Format)
  • $150 No-Limit Hold'em, 10 p.m. (Accelerated Format)

More Ways to Watch

Along with taking in the action live at the Rio, fans at home will have plenty of options to choose from to follow the action in our blog or some feature table action live streamed. After last year's success, the WSOP’s deals with Poker Central and ESPN allow fans to view the scene like never before.

WSOP Main Event broadcasts this year will air on ESPN2 and ESPN starting with Day 1a coverage on ESPN on July 3. The coverage continues until a champion is crowned on July 16 or early morning hours of July 17. For the full ESPN schedule, click here.

Once again, fans will be able to watch plenty of side event activity on Poker Central’s PokerGO streaming service. What's new is that CBS All Access, the network's streaming platform, will also provide coverage with exclusive broadcasting of 25 events, plus eight more in tandem with PokerGO. PokerGO will pick up an additional eight exclusive events, making for 41 total live streams.

“The World Series of Poker, which is the pinnacle of the game, will be a fantastic addition to our digital and cable channels,” said Dan Weinberg, Executive Vice President of Programming, CBS Sports. “We’re very pleased to bring this engaging content to poker fans across platforms.”

Coverage of the 2019 WSOP will begin May 30 with the final table of $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty. For the full Poker Go and CBS All Access schedule, click here.

Whatever your game or bankroll, whether a pro, recreational player or just a fan; there will be plenty to check out this summer. There’s something for everyone – from online bracelets to DeepStacks events, to $100,000 buy-ins, to massive field “bargain” events. And if you can’t make it to Vegas, grab your laptop or remote control and follow along.

And of course – check back to PokerNews for WSOP live updates, player features, and plenty of action.

  • Learn about what's happening on Day 1 of the 2019 World Series of Poker.

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