2019 World Series of Poker

Event #1: $500 Casino Employees Event
Days: 1

The 2019 WSOP Kicks Off Today With the Casino Employees Event!

Jordan Hufty, winner of last year's Casino Employees Event
Jordan Hufty, winner of last year's Casino Employees Event

The moment that all poker players and poker 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.

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.

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 even 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.

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

Tags: Jordan Hufty