The World Series of Poker held its annual preview conference call at 1 p.m. EST on Wednesday and offered members of the media to ask questions regarding this year's series. WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart and WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel discussed what players can expect at this year's WSOP and participated in a Q&A session. Here are some of the highlights from the call.
Kicking Things Off with a Bang
"One of our big goals over the past few years has been to kick off the series with a bang," Stewart said at the beginning of the call before explaining how they'll do just that in 2013.
- They're particularly excited about the $1,500 buy-in "Millionaire Maker" event, which will award a guaranteed first-place prize of $1 million.
- Thanks to the WSOP Asia-Pacific, the WSOP Player of the Year Race is already underway. The man to catch is Daniel Negreanu. It was also revealed that the winner of the WSOP POY will receive a trophy at the final table in November as well as entries into the WSOP, WSOP Europe and WSOP APAC Main Events.
- The Daily Deepstack events will be tracked and the top performer in those events will receive a $10,000 seat into the Main Event.
- Everyone can get involved in Fantasy Poker fun as the WSOP has partnered with Fantasy Poker Manager, which is powered by the GPI formula.
The ESPN Broadcast
- They expect over 40 hours of coverage this year.
- New episodes will debut July 23 with the WSOP APAC followed by the WSOP Circuit National Championship, which will be held in New Orleans later this month. Coverage from the WSOP Main Event will begin on August 6 at 9 p.m.
- Will once again have hand-for-hand coverage at the final table. The final will feature hole cards on a 30-minute day.
- WSOP.com will feature live streams of all WSOP final tables. Feature event will be hosted by David Tuchman and will use RIFD technology to reveal hole cards.
WSOP.com Online Poker Plans
- Will launch sometime this summer and players will be able to register at the Rio. "I think the market is ready for a first-class product," Stewart said. "We're absolutely thrilled to get WSOP.com up and ready concurrent with our signature offline series."
- They're hard at work completing the steps to bring it to launch, but they can't confirm a firm launch date.
The Reintroduction of the Carnivale of Poker
- Was at one time the second largest poker event in the world, but only ran from 1998-2000. Saw all the champions of the game play and the Rio will be bringing it back during the WSOP.
- The 2013 Carnivale of Poker will be a bit different in that it will offer 21 tournaments ranging from $365-$1,675, similar to the WSOP Circuit. Will be able to play on Mondays and Tuesdays at 11 a.m. PST throughout the summer. Will be predominately no-limit hold'em tournaments. When there are no WSOP events at 5 p.m. on those days, the Carnivale of Poker will feature various mixed games.
- Once the Main Event is underway, more Carnivale of Poker tournaments will be offered for those who bust and want more action.
- Will feature a $1,675 Championship event.
- The $5,000 Open-Face Chinese event will be a part of the Carnivale of Poker series.
- Winners of each event will receive a specially-crafted gold and diamond medallion.
- $100,000 will be split among the top 10 point earners during the Carnivale of Poker.
Other Odds and Ends:
- All-American Dave has secured all the proper permits to allow onsite meal delivery. He is also partnering with the Rio on a food truck to offer his product to more players.
- They tip their hat to Doyle Brunson, who has opted to retire from playing WSOP tournaments. With that said, they're hopeful they can talk him into playing the Main Event.
- Players may be subject to random checks, but they're still allowed to bring in bags, backpacks, etc. They will not rule out any options to increase security, but players can expect a similar experience as last year.
- Players not encouraged to play beyond 10 levels of play. Will be similar to last year with hard-stop time. "I can tell you 99 out of 100 times we're not going to play more than 11 levels [on any day]," tournament director Jack Effel explained.
- Re-entry events are popular and more are being offered at the WSOP. With that said, Effel assured players that the Main Event will never be a re-entry.
- Due to scheduling difficulties, betting on the final tables, which was offered at the Rio Sports book, has been discontinued. With that said, it will be offered for the November Nine.
PokerNews is once again the exclusive live reporting provider for the WSOP. We'll be at the Rio all summer long, and you can follow the action from every gold bracelet event in our live reporting section.