WSOP Weekly: What to Expect in the First Week of Action at Bally’s/Paris

May 30, 2022
WSOP Weekly: What to Expect in the First Week of Action at Bally’s/Paris

The action at the World Series of Poker gets back underway beginning Tuesday. It’s only been about six months since the last series concluded in the fall and now players will shift to Bally’s/Paris for this year’s festivities.

The first week of action brings plenty of big events for players heading to Las Vegas. That includes a massive high roller right out of the gate to get the action started.

However, plenty of options ate on tap for those with smaller buy-ins including a $500 event with a seven-figure guarantee. Online poker players will have to wait just a bit as those events get started on June 5.

With travel restrictions, mask mandates, and vaccine requirements all gone, tournament organizers are expecting one of the biggest series in history. Here’s a look at some of the early-week action as the festival gets underway.

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Event 1: $500 Casino Employees NLHE (May 31)

This annual event has traditionally kicked off the series for several years and does so again Tuesday. The event is meant as a way to recognize employees within the casino industry.

Last year saw 419 entries for a $175,980 prize pool. Caesars floorman and poker dealer Jimmy Barnett, 36, came out on top for $39,013.

“I haven’t been happier,” he said afterward. “I could have lost this and it would’ve hurt obviously, but I get to play a game for fun. I get to work at Caesars where I would stay growing up. I really am living the dream.I’m one of the luckiest people you’ll know because I have great friends, family, and doing something I love. It’s work but it’s not, it’s awesome. To win this is just the icing on the cake.”

Event 2: $100,000 High Roller Bounty (May 31)

The six-figure action should attract plenty of high rollers looking to cash in early. This is a new event on the schedule, with a bounty element now added to the six-figure buy-in.

The $100,000 High Roller also remains on the schedule for later in the series. In 2021, Australia’s Michael Addamo proved why he’s one of the best in the game and took down that event for nearly $2 million. He topped a field of 64 in an event that produced a $6.2 million prize pool.

With this event at the beginning of the series and more players heading to Vegas from around the world, this may see even bigger numbers.

As the series gets closer, Daniel Negreanu started his pre-tournament preparation over the weekend. He’ll be among those in the field.

Event 3: $2,500 Freezeout NLHE (June 1)

The WSOP tries to offer more freezeout events than other series and this mid-week event should bring in plenty of rounders.

Carlso Chang scored the title last year for $364,589. The tournament attracted 896 entries for almost a $2 million prize pool.

Event 4: $1,500 Dealer’s Choice (June 1)

Brush up on plenty of games as this event kicks off the mixed-game action. Players will have to know numerous poker variants – from regulars like No Limit Hold’em and Omaha to the more obscure like Badugi to Ace-Five Lowball.

Dealer’s choice events have become popular with players as mixed games have grown in number. Jaswinder Lally scored the title last year for $97,915. Look for that total and prize pool to increase this year.

Event 5: $500 Housewarming (June 2)

This event welcomes players from around the world to the WSOP’s new venue on the Vegas Strip. The tournament comes with a nice $5 million guarantee and should be another massive turnout event.

The first starting flight is set for Thursday with three more planned in the coming days. There should be plenty of activity in the venue as “weekend warriors” head to the Strip hoping for a huge payday.

Event 6: $25,000 Heads-up NLHE (June 2)

Look for more high rollers seeking to come out on top in this popular event. The buy-in was increased from $10,000 last year with GGPoker ambassador Jason Koon scoring the title for $243,981.

That tournament attracted 57 players for a $1.3 million prize pool. Some of the biggest names in the game should be lining up for this one.

Online opportunities still available

While the online bracelet action hasn’t gotten underway yet, plenty of satellite and qualifying opportunities are available at WSOP.com.

The site is even offering a freeroll on May 31 for a $10,000 Main Event seat on May 31.

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