he WSOP Main Event begins on July 3rd, though controversially it will end in only in November. This $10,000 buy in event puts it out of the reach of many good poker players.
Two sponsors that have come up with schemes currently in the news are America Online and Pacific Poker.
In order or bring in fresh faces into the world of poker most poker organizations, be they online poker rooms or poker magazines more “sponsor entrants” are coming in to this prestigious tour.
America Online, through AOL’s Games.com, is sponsoring players now for the third year in a row. It is holding free roll tournaments in partnership with Harrah’s Entertainment to select six players for the WSOP. These free rolls have already started and will run till mid June. All through the week tournaments will be held to decide the daily qualifiers who will then compete on Sunday for one of the seats to the WSOP Main Event. In this way the six-week tournament will generate six winners. A feast is in store for the six winners. Each will obviously get the $10,000 buy in but will also get free travel from anywhere in the United States to Las Vegas and free accommodation at Las Vegas. Troy O’Brien, a firefighter from New Jersey, was one of those sponsored by AOL last year. He did not make millions but did end up with $51,000, which is nothing to complain about. Before the WSOP 2007 Tony said that he wanted to take his family on a summer vacation and with his winnings he must have had a good holiday. The partnership between AOL and Harrah is a win-win one for both. AOL sponsors players to WSOP, which is great for the tournament. Harrah provides AOL’s Games.com with exclusive use of its poker software.
Pacific Poker, in conjunction with PokerNews, is sponsoring two seats to the WSOP Main Event that are valued at $17,000 but are worth much more. Each package includes the $10,000 buy in, 10 nights stay at the luxurious Palazzo Tower of the Venetian Hotel, $2,500 cash for travel and $2,000 spending money. The other benefits include Pacific Poker merchandise pack, invites to both the 888 Welcome Party and the private poker event hosted by cricketer-turned poker player, Shane Warne, and an invite to the Team PokerNews Welcome Party. The two qualifying tournaments take place on May 31 and June 11. Entries to these free roll tournaments is by finishing in the top three of a PokerNews Daily WSOP Qualifier Freeroll or finishing in the top eight of a PokerNews Daily Qualifier that has a nominal $5 buy in.
For many years poker amateurs all over the world have dreamed of entering a major tournament through a free roll and winning the big prize. Then in 2003 Chris Moneymaker turned this dream into reality. He entered the WSOP Main EVENT through a $39 satellite tournament and won the first prize of $2.5 million. This set off an explosion in the poker world and the beneficiaries are paying back by sponsoring more and more players.