The main event, held at the Rio, lasts 13 days, most of which are 16-hour marathons in a convention room filled with 1,500 to 2,000 fellow competitors, all seated elbow to elbow. Sure, they’re only sitting there throwing cards around, but this isn’t a friendly game in your buddy’s basement. This is hours and hours of monotony, sitting in a thinly padded chair, playing hundreds of hands with very little action in a room that gets increasingly stuffy as the hours go by and fans ring the room crowding the players and gawking from behind velvet ropes.

Oh, and the grand prize is worth $11 million. The total number of entrants Monday hit about 8,725 — so many that organizers had to create four starting days of about 2,200 players each. It was the last day for alternates to buy in for $10,000 per seat.

While previous WSOPs have suggested that players like to throw back a few cocktails during this lengthy tournament, this year the beverage of choice is either water or Red Bull. The event is a marathon, not a sprint and most insiders suggest that age will play a factor in determining the ultimate winner.

As the prize money soars to epic proportions, players are appearing from all corners of the world, they have prepared themselves by going through some marathon card games that test their focus and durability. While poker is not a sport, the game is beginning to require a certain dedication to a healthy diet as the competition gets into the final days. The incredible media coverage and the mega-star actors and athletes that flock to these events can tax a player’s psyche.

Remember, this is a no-limit Hold’em where, unlike golf, if you have a bad opening round there is always Friday to get back in the running. One mistake and it is over!

Bob Acton
Online Sports Betting

About the Author

Bob Acton is an experienced sports writer and handicapper, who has written for the sports industry for over 10 years. His years of writing for Sports Scene, sports consulting on 33 Made for Television and Major Motion Pictures and his work as an instructor at Pro Teach Baseball Academy, have made Bob a trusted and respected source in the sports world.