World Series of Poker Europe
The World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) is the first expansion effort of
World Series of Poker-branded pokertournaments outside of the United States. Since 1970, the bracelet events have occurred every year in Las Vegas. The inaugural WSOPE, held in 2007, marked the first time that a WSOP bracelet was awarded outside of Las Vegas. [http://www.igamingbusiness.com/article-detail.php?articleID=12961 Harrah's Set to Launch World Series of Poker Europe] Feb 27, 2007. Gaming Business Accessed 7/25/07] The World Series of Poker Europehas a unique identity from the Las Vegas WSOP, but according to Harrah's will remain true to the traditions and heritage. [http://www.igamingbusiness.com/article-detail.php?articleID=12961 Harrah's Set to Launch World Series of Poker Europe] ]
In 2004, Harrah's Casinos purchased the rights to the WSOP label. Harrah's later purchased
London Club International(LCI). LCI operates three casinos in the London area - Fifty, Leicester Square, and The Sportsman. With the purchase of these casinos Harrah's decided to expand its WSOP label into Europe.Warner, Eric. [http://www.pokerlistings.com/stay-classy-london-jeffrey-pollack-on-the-world-series-of-poker-europe Stay classy, London: Jeffrey Pollack on the World Series of Poker Europe] Feb 27, 2007. Pokerlisting.com Accessed 7/25/07]
European casinos typically have a different environment than those in the United States.
Jeffrey Pollack, the WSOP Commissioner, indicated that the WSOPE would have a "style and flair that is both unique and appropriate to the setting. So don't be surprised if we require participants to wear blazers at the tables. If James Bond were hosting a poker tournamentit may look like the World Series of Poker Europe."
The WSOPE will be entering a crowded field as many major
pokertournaments are already established in Europe. Pollack, however, believes that brand recognition of the WSOP and that the "WSOP bracelet is the most recognized poker hardware globally will allow the WSOPE to quickly catch up." [http://www.pokerpages.com/poker-news/news/world-series-of-poker-wsop-comes-to-europe-this-fall-29565.htm World Series of Poker (WSOP) Comes to Europe This Fall] February 27, 2007. Pokerpages.com. Accessed 7/25/07]
The WSOP, however, isn't relying upon its reputation alone. On
July 5, 2007 Harrah's announced an alliance with Betfair, one of the largest online gaming companies in the world located in England. The agreement, the largest-ever union of an online and offline gaming company, is intended to play on Betfair's European reputation in advertising the WSOPE. [ [http://www.prweb.com/releases/2007/7/prweb537695.htm Harrah's Selects Betfair.com as 'Presenting Sponsor' of World Series of Poker Europe] July 5, 2007. PRWeb.com Accessed 7/25/07]
In 2007, U.S. laws prevented the WSOP from accepting money from online gambling companies. This prevented the WSOP from acknowledging WSOP qualifiers from online events. The WSOPE will not be bound by this limitation. The U.K. Gambling Act of 2005, which goes into effect in September, will allow for legal regulated online poker sites. As the laws governing the age of gambling differ in England than the U.S. The WSOPE admitted younger players. One of these younger players, 18 year old Annette "Annette_15" Obrestad became the youngest player to ever make it to win a WSOP bracelet event.
A fourth event will be introduced in 2008, a £1,500 no limit Texas hold 'em event.
While no definitive plans have been announced, Pollack has indicated that in then next one to three years that other venues may start holding WSOP events. Two locations that have been mentioned as possible expansion sites are Egypt and South Africa because Harrah's owns casinos in those two locations.Bambach, Mike. [http://www.usatoday.com/sports/poker/2007-06-28-poker-europe_N.htm?csp=34 World Series of Poker ups the ante, expands event to Europe] 6-28-07. USA Today. Accessed 7/25/07]
The WSOPE 2008 schedule will consist of four bracelet events, planned as follows [ [http://uk.pokernews.com/news/2008/7/wsope-schedule-2008.htm Pokernews.com: WSOP-E Schedule is Announced] ] :
September 19th , 2008 - Event #1£1,500 – No-Limit Hold’em Day 1A (3-day event/2 opening days)
September 22nd , 2008 - Event #2£2,500 – H.O.R.S.E. (3-day event)
September 24th , 2008 - Event #3£5,000 – Pot Limit Omaha (3-day event)
September 27th , 2008 - Event #4£10,000 – World Championship No-Limit Hold’em (5-day Event/2 opening days)
* [http://wsope.betfair.com/ Official site]
* [http://betting.betfair.com/poker/press-releases/wsop-europe-annoucement-040808.html 2008 Event Schedule]
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