Caesars releases 2012 WSOP schedule
By Aaron Todd
The most notable change to the Main Event, which will run from July 7-16, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, will be a reduction in the number of days it will take to play down to the final table. Tournament officials have eliminated one of the four Day 1s as well as the day off between Day 2s and Day 3. Day 1 fields will stay together for two entire days, with Day 1A and Day 1B resuming in separate rooms on July 10, while Day 1C players will reconvene to play their Day 2 on July 11. The entire tournament field will be consolidated on July 12.
Tournament officials also plan on playing down to a final table on Day 7 instead of Day 8. Last year, the final table was determined as Level 36 neared its end. This year, each day will consist of five levels of play, except Day 7, which will last until the final table is determined. Tournament officials do reserve the right, however, to modify the schedule as needed.
The decrease in starting days is possible because there will be 470 available tables this year, up 92 from last year, as space in the Rio’s Brasilia Room will now be available for tournament play.
The final table will continue to be delayed until the fall, though the "November Nine" moniker will need some updating, as the tournament will reconvene on Oct. 28 to play down to the final two players. Heads-up play will begin on Oct. 30. For the past four years, the WSOP Main Event final table has been held on the first Sunday and Tuesday of November. However, this year, the first Tuesday of November is Election Day, so the WSOP moved the final table a week earlier.
The number of bracelet events continued to increase, up to 61 from 57 last year. New events on the schedule include the Big One for One Drop, a $1 million buy-in no-limit Hold'em event, a $3,000 heads-up no-limit Hold'em/pot-limit Omaha mixed event, a $5,000 mixed max no-limit Hold'em event (Day 1 is nine-handed, Day 2 is six-handed, Days 3 and 4 are heads-up), a $2,500 four-handed no-limit Hold'em event, and a $1,500 ante-only no-limit Hold'em event.
The $50,000 Poker Players Championship returns to the schedule. The tournament will showcase the same eight-game format that the $50,000 buy-in event has seen since 2010. Last year's $25,000 heads-up no-limit Hold'em event had its buy-in reduced to $10,000, and several other events saw buy-ins shrink. Last year, there were nine $10,000 events other than the Main Event. This year there are just six.
Last year's $3,000 triple chance no-limit Hold'em event is no longer on the schedule, but new this year is a $1,500 no-limit Hold'em re-entry event; players who bust out on Day 1A may buy back in and attempt to advance to the second day of play on Day 1B.
The WSOP will also feature two new non-bracelet events. The first, scheduled for June 30, is a $560 doubles no-limit Hold'em that will allow players to share a stack of chips, alternating with a teammate during each level. The second, which will be held on July 6, the day before the Main Event begins, is a $560 bracelet bounty event. All players are welcome to enter the tournament, and any player who eliminates a former bracelet winner will be awarded a bounty.
Play opens on Sunday, May 27, with the $500 casino employees no-limit Hold'em event.
The complete schedule is available at www.WSOP.com.