It seems that 2011 is going to be 12 months of colossal high-roller events, with various six-figure buy-ins having already taken place providing seven-figure pay days for the lucky – and skillful – winners.
Now the World Poker Tour has joined the outrageous tournament buy-in action by announcing a $100,000 Las Vegas event for this season.
Details are still a bit sparse, but the May 18-19 event – to be hosted by The Bellagio as part of its forthcoming Five Diamond Series – will happen just two days before the WPT World Championship.
The event’s main attraction will be the $25,000 Main Event Championship, which is sure to draw a star-studded line-up, including recent big winners David Williams and Yevgeniy Timoshenko.
Jack McClelland, The Bellagio’s tournament director, said he’s “looking to get somewhere between 30 and 60 players” for the event – although that might be slightly hopeful, even considering the high-rollers that will already be in Vegas to play in the $25,000 WPT World Championship on May 20.
McClelland also added that on the 17th the casino will stage “a super-satellite for a $1000 buy-in with re-buys so the little guy’s got a shot to get in”.
However, with the previously announced Onyx Cup Series, from Full Tilt, running in Vegas a mere seven days earlier, it might be tough to attract players as some won’t be willing to stump up $200,000 in buy-ins over just two weeks.
Still, it seems that six-figure buy-ins is a trend that is picking up steam, with McClelland saying: “For years we had a dream of making the World Series bigger and in fact in 1998, if (tournament director) Jim Albrecht and I hadn’t left the Horseshoe, we were going to make the championship event $20,000 next year.
“The reason for that was because some of the high level players like Doyle [Brunson] and Chip [Reese] came up and said, ‘Aw, these fields are three and four hundred people and are just too big for the good players to get through. We need bigger buy-ins’. So, guess what, here they are.”
Already in Vegas, Zynga’s Poker Con gets under way today with the two-day event packed full of seminars to be directed by Annie Duke – the 2004 World Series of Poker $2000 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better event.
Seminar participants will immediately have the opportunity to practice what they have just learned when competing in a $1000 freeroll at the Palms Casino Resort
Some of the world’s biggest stars are on hand, too, including Mike Sexton, Doyle Brunson, David Williams, Vanessa Rousso, Scotty Nguyen and Gavin Smith.
Meanwhile, Nottinghamshire youngster Sam ‘Tricky’ Trickett can’t wait to get stuck in about some of the world’s most famous players when the PartyPoker Big Game gets underway at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham on April 15-17.
With the likes of Tony G and Annette Obrestad lined up to play, the 48-hour cash game is going to be an exciting affair.
However, 24-year-old Trickett, from nearby East Retford, is not intimidated, having cashed for over $3million in under a month at the start of the year in small field, super-high buy-in no-limit hold’em events.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to playing in my home town of Nottingham – Dusk Till Dawn is a fitting venue for a prestigious event like the 48-hour cash game. The line-up is even sicker than last year, so I’ll have to be on my A-game.”
Finally, The International Club is providing a massive selection of action in London next week, but be quick as each event is being capped at 150 entrants.
The London Poker Masters begins on Sunday at 6pm with a £200 H.O.R.S.E two-day event. But the biggest attraction is sure to be the £400 No Limit Hold’em Main Event over two days that starts on Saturday, March 26, at 2pm.