All-Star Event Planned For Next WSOP


Million dollar addition to World Series calendar

The World Series of Poker has announced its intention to add a prestigious, one million dollar All-Star event to its calendar.

The event will take place during the 2010 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions, during the 41st edition of the poker epic at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

ESPN will cover this No Limit Hold'em event for airing in a special two-hour telecast on Tuesday, August 3, 2010.

"The Tournament of Champions brand has heritage in delivering the big moments," said Harrah's Interacive Entertainment Vice President Ty Stewart. "We're thrilled to reinvent it around a model that should elevate the game by engaging millions of poker fans. We have received a lot of input from players and their affinity for the TOC, and we are excited for them and the fans and hope it's here to stay."

A total of 27 players will participate in the freeroll poker invitational, with 20 players selected by voting from the public. The voting window began this (March) month on www.WSOP.com and remains open until June 15, 2010 at midnight ET.

The top 20 vote-getters will be awarded entry. In the event anyone in the public's Top 20 is unable to participate, the next highest eligible and available vote-getter will be awarded the entry. To qualify as one of the 20 eligible fan-voted participants, players must be a WSOP bracelet holder. All living WSOP bracelet holders are able to receive votes, and currently there are 521 eligible players.

Five entries into the tournament are automatic. The three previous WSOP TOC winners gain automatic entry, plus the reigning WSOP champion and the reigning WSOP Europe champion get seats at the table. Therefore Annie Duke, Mike Matusow, Mike Sexton, Joe Cada and Barry Shulman will make up 5 of the 27 players for this event.

"Tournaments like the Tournament of Champions help elevate poker to the level it deserves and I am honored to participate," said inaugural TOC victor Annie Duke. "Winning the TOC marks one of the most memorable events in my poker career and I'm ecstatic that the WSOP is hosting this prestigious event."

Two sponsor exemptions will be awarded by the WSOP, with details forthcoming on how those seats can be won.

Play will convene at the Rio on Sunday, June 27, 2010 to begin the tournament. Play will halt once the final nine players are reached, and those nine return on Sunday, July 4, 2010 to play for their share of a million dollars and the title of 2010 WSOP TOC Champion. The tournament has been scheduled to avoid conflict with other WSOP events, as no new tournaments begin on either June 27 or July 4.

The TOC event last took place in 2006 at the Rio, when 27 of the game's greatest took to the felt in the freeroll, with the final table all walking away with prize money and 2009 Poker Hall of Fame inductee Sexton taking the top prize.

This year's TOC will be a No Limit Texas Hold'em tournament with the top nine places being paid. First place will win $500 000, the runner-up gets $250 000, third place earns $100 000 and the fourth through ninth place pocket $25 000 each.

The public will be able to track the voting, with the top 50 vote-getters listed and updated automatically after each ballot is completed. In an effort to avoid ballot-stuffing, the tally of individual votes won't be divulged during the open voting period, and balloters will be required to complete an authentication process to ensure one vote per email address.

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