Employees Event, Michael Phelps Highlight WSOP Day 1 Start

Olympian Michael Phelps was among the many famous faces to show up for the $5,000 No Limit Hold'em Eight-Max.

Olympian Michael Phelps was among the many famous faces to show up for the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Eight-Max.

Action officially kicked off at 12 pm Wednesday setting the 2013 WSOP at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in motion. Accordingly, 2012 Dealer of the Year turned floorman Tim Louie announced the traditional ‘Shuffle Up and Deal’ to start the first event of the Series, the $500 Casino Employees No Limit Hold’em. At 5 pm streams of players began taking their seats in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Eight-Max and a plethora of pros along with Olympian Michael Phelps were seen throughout the Pavilion Room.

One of the biggest announcements of the day came when the WSOP revealed they will be giving away more than $700,000 in cash and tournament seats as they set to launch a real-money online gaming site in Nevada.

$500 Casino Employees No Limit Hold’em 

The traditional starting event of the WSOP got underway at 12 pm today with 898 casino employees turning out to make a run for WSOP hardware. The field produced a prize pool of $404,100 and $84,915 will go to the last player standing when the two-day event wraps up Thursday. The final 90 players will take home no less than $909 and players are expected to reach the money bubble before the night ends.

Poker professional-turned online gaming company employee Terrence Chan, poker pro Bernard Lee and WSOP Circuit Council Bluffs Main Event third place finisher Sean Small were among the notables in the field.

$5,000 No Limit Hold’em Eight-Max

The eight-max is a new addition to the WSOP schedule and that means a brand new winner will make WSOP history when the tournament comes to a close June 1.

Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps has been appearing at more and more poker tournaments recently and surprised the poker room when he joined the field in the $5,000 tournament.  BLUFF Power Rankings leader Marvin RettenmaierPhil Ivey, current WSOP Player of the Year front-runner Daniel Negreanu, Benjamin Pollak, Antonio Esfandiari, Matt Salsberg, Matt Giannetti, Mike Sexton, Tony Dunst, Faraz Jaka and Joseph Cheong are just a few of the  many notables who have already taken their seat’s in the field.

The final numbers for the field size and prize pool will be released after registration closes at 9:45 pm.

$235 Daily Deepstack Series (2 pm)

The first of the Daily Deepstack Series began at 2 pm Wednesday with 514 players putting up the $235 buy-in. The total prize pool added up to $97,660. Players have more incentive to play the daily tournament’s this year as BLUFF recently announced it will be backing a new addition to the WSOP: the Daily Deepstack Player of the Series. BLUFF will use its Player of the Year formula to follow the best WSOP Daily Deepstack players from May 29 through June 30.

Continue to follow BLUFF.com as the action continues throughout the evening.

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