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The 2005 World Series of Poker is the 36th installment of the most popular poker event in the world. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) boasts some of the largest prize pools available in organized tournament poker, consistently attracting poker's most famous stars.

The 2005 World Series of Poker will run from June 2 to July 15. For the first time ever, it will be held at Harrah's Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV, Harrah's having recently taken over management of Binion's Horseshoe Casino and Hotel, the original and long-running host of the WSOP.

This year, Binion's will still host the all-important two-day conclusion. Portions of the event, as in years past, will be broadcast on ESPN. An estimated 5,000 players, double the number at last year's event, are expected to pay the $10,000 buy-in for a seat in the No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em "Main Event".

As the legend goes: in 1949 Nick 'the Greek' Dandolos asked renowned gambler Benny Binion to help him set up a head-to-head challenge with poker icon Johnny Moss. The game lasted 5 months with breaks only for sleep. At game's end Johnny Moss was victorious and approximately $2 million richer.

In 1970 Binion reprised the event at the Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas. This time, there were seven players, and after multiple games of every version of poker under the sun, the winner was decided by popular vote.
Once again, Johnny Moss won. The following year’s WSOP was the first "freeze-out", a winner-take-all game decided by the simple process of elimination: again Johnny Moss came out on top. Since then, participation in this tournament has grown exponentially until, just last year, in 2004, 2,576 players competed for $49 million in prize money.

The 2005 World Series of Poker, as with its predecessors, consists of multiple games with varying buy-ins and prize pools. The various tournaments leading up to the Main Event will take place from June 2 to June 6. Last year, there were a total of 36 events: Limit and No Limit Hold 'Em, Omaha (with or without a hi-lo split), Seven-Card Stud, Ladies' events, Seniors' events, and Celebrity/Charity events, to name a few. Several events even offer the opportunity to re-buy (allowing anyone who's lost all their chips to buy-in again and continue playing). Each event's winner takes home, in addition to their prize money, a coveted golden bracelet.

This year, for the first time, there are numerous additional WSOP-sponsored tournaments, called "Circuit Tournaments" leading up to the 2005 World Series of Poker.
For the 2005 World Series of Poker schedule (including circuit tournaments), with details on the games being played each day and their respective buy-ins, you can visit www.worldseriesofpoker.com. As the tournament progresses, the winners of each event will be posted there.

Now here comes the most exciting part for online players. In the past the WSOP was solely the turf of the professional poker player. Those naive amateurs daring to tread in these shark-infested waters were thought of as nothing but "dead money". But thanks to television and, especially, the internet, now it's anybody's game, often much to the professionals' chagrin.

In fact, past two years in a row, the winner of the Main Event was an amateur who won his seat in the tournament through an inexpensive, online satellite game. In 2003, 27 year-old Chris Moneymaker took home $2.5 million. In 2004, Greg "Fossilman" Raymer wore his trademark hologram-sunglasses all the way to the $5 million first prize. Both men won their respective winning seats at Poker Stars, with initial buy-ins of only $40.

Now their proud faces have joined the likes of Amarillo "Slim" Preston, Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Phil Hellmuth, Dan Harrington, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, and a select few others on the Gallery of Champions wall at Binion's Horseshoe Casino and Hotel. Will yours be next?


There are many websites offering opportunities to seek glory and riches at the 2005 World Series of Poker including, but not limited to, Party Poker, Empire Poker, and Paradise Poker.

Incidentally, you must be 21 or over to participate in the 2005 World Series of Poker.

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