World Series of Poker 2012 Schedule Details

Even in the midst of some very notable live tournaments like the Aussie Millions and the Borgata Winter Poker Open, much of the poker industry is still quietly wondering what will go down at the biggest event of the year, the World Series of Poker. The 2011 World Series of Poker may be months away, but players with bracelet ambitions can start planning their trip to Las Vegas now thanks to the recent release of the 2011 tournament’s official schedule.

What’s the plan for the 42nd annual World Series of Poker? “Something for everyone,” said WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel. This year’s WSOP has grown by one event since the 2010 tournament; that means WSOP hopefuls will have 58 shots at a title. Also, in keeping with the new high stakes tournament trend, the WSOP has upped their biggest buy-in from $10,000 to $25,000 for the $25,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em Championship. That event kicks off the bracelet race on May 31. It is limited to 256 entries, and you can rest assured that those seats are going to be filled with the best of the best, ensuring an appropriately newsworthy opening.

The WSOP also continues to cater to amateurs by scheduling the most popular low buy-in events for weekends. The new time restrictions will also no doubt be nice for weekend warriors and multi-event grinders alike as players will no longer have to sit for 12 hours straight with a limit of 10 one-hour levels of play on days where an event starts at noon and eight for events starting at five.

Speaking of multi-event players, to accommodate players that can’t make it to the early stages of an event’s sign-up the WSOP is now allowing buy-ins through the fourth level (or until the seats are sold out), with the obvious exception of the Main Event. It’ll be interesting to see how that little rule change will affect Phil Ivey’s buy-ins this year. This year also marks the first that Badugi will be featured. While it doesn’t have its own event yet, fans can still see a bit of Badugi action as part of Event #29: 10-Game Mixed Six Max.

The Main Event competition has also been tweaked to suit most players’ nocturnal schedules which means that all four of the Day 1 events will start at noon. In case you’re wondering, Day 1A kicks off on July 7. The final table will reconvene on November 5-7, and ESPN will once again air their live coverage of it on November 8.

If the schedule’s got you revved up and ready to get your own piece of the World Series of Poker action, the bad news is that you’re going to have to take a two-week breather. Pre-registration doesn’t begin until February 7. At that time, players can buy in at either the Main Cage of the Rio Casino in Las Vegas or online at the WSOP’s official website.

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