It is by invitation only that poker players can have the opportunity to participate in the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions. This tournament is a freeroll poker event, which means that no entry fees are charged, but it can be misleading to use the terms ‘free’ and ‘no entry fee’, since payment can be required at some point to gain entry to a tournament. Donations from the house, sponsorship fees, or combinations of these are contributed to the prize pool. These invitation-only tournaments are regularly freerolls.The most sought-after non-monetary prize a poker player can win is the WSOP bracelet, and since 1976, every winner of the annual WSOP have been awarded a bracelet, and the WSOP championships are now counted as ‘bracelets’, even those victories that occurred before 1976. Very few bracelets were awarded in the early years of the WSOP, 14 bracelets were awarded in 1990, 24 in 2000 and 57 in 2009. As the prestige of the events had grown, so did the quality of the bracelets, today all the bracelets are designed by the jeweler Corum. The winner of the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions will not receive an official WSOP bracelet, but will receive a large trophy in the shape of an official Word Series of Poker logo.The World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions has a rich history. In 2004 only ten of the most well-known names on the poker tournament circuit were invited. The event took place on 1 September 2004 and the winner took home $2,000,000 prize money while none of the other participants received any prize money.Caesars Palace in Las Vegas hosted the next event which was held between 6 November and 8 November 2005. Any World Series of Poker circuit event had to be won to qualify for the Tournament of Champions, or the players must have reached the final table of the 2005 WSOP $10000 no limit Texas Hold’em Championship event to be included in the event. Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan were granted Sponsor Exemptions by Pepsi, the event’s sponsor. Controversy erupted since players claimed that they were lied to as the event was promoted as one that one had to qualify for. Harrah Entertainments newly hired Vice President insisted that the three participate, and while Chan and Brunson missed the final table, Hellmuth finished third. Harrah’s laid down a new rule, and from 2006 onward, they reserved the right to enter six players via sponsor’s exemptions.Twenty-seven players participate during 2006 Tournament of Champions, included was the 9 players who made the final table in the WSOP 2005 main event, the 11 winners of the WSOP Circuit events the preceding year, and the selected sponsor exemptions. Unfortunately in 2007, Harrah’s Entertainment put the Tournament of Champions on hold for an indefinite period.On 15 March 2010, Harrah’s and the World Series of Poker announced that the WSOP Tournament of Champions will return on 27 June 2010, and 27 players will partake in the freeroll event to win the $1 million prize money. The organizers had decided to use the same format as an All-Star Event, and the decision of which players will participate in the event will be decided by the public. The organizers will put a list of 521 current, living WSOP bracelet-holders on the WSOP’s online site, and the public will be able to select 20 players via online vote. Fans had three months to vote for their top 20 players, but 40 000 votes were cast within the first 24 hours.After months of anticipation and hype, the field was set for the first-ever-fan-voted World Series of Poker Tournament, and after 350 000 ballots were submitted, the voting was led by Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu, they were separated by less than 30 votes.The reigning WSOP Champion Joe Cada, Barry Shulman the reigning WSOP Europe Champion and three previous TOC winners, Mike Matusow, Annie Duke and Mike Sexton were automatically included. The remaining two sponsor’s exemptions seats went to Andrew Barton and Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier.The event took place in the Amazon Room at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and on 27 June 2010 27 players started the event. On 4 July 2010 the final nine players returned to play the final table at the same location. A No Limit Hold’em game was featured at the 2010 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions.The event had a $1,000,000 prize pool, allocating $500,000 to the winner; $250,000 to second place, $100,000 to third place and 4th through 9th place will receive $25,000.The play extended over eight days, of the 27 people starting on June 27th, seventeen players made the final day. Huck Seed was declared the winner after a 16 hour final session.The new Tournament of Champions format have definitely uplifted the game of poker, and even though the Tournament of Champions disappeared for three years, the event is back now, bigger and strong than ever, engaging millions of poker fans.
Without a doubt, Texas Holdem is unquestionably the most popular poker game in the world today. For the most part, there are two variations of Texas Holdem: Limit Texas Holdem and No Limit Texas Holdem. A majority of online poker card rooms play Limit Holdem, as the No Limit game has more risk (and higher stakes) associated with it. Some of the bigger players (and bigger risk takers) gravitate towards the No Limit rooms. Although basically the same game, it is important to distinguish the differences between the Limit and No Limit versions of this game.In Limit Texas Holdem, the betting mechanism is quite structured, since bets are made at required levels, and there is nothing a player can do to alter that. In a “2-4” Limit game, for example, you have to bet in $ 2 increments for the first two betting rounds and then bet in $ 4 increments for the remaining two betting rounds. The four rounds of betting are: 1) After the pocket cards are dealt; 2) after the three-card community flop is displayed on the board; 3) after the “turn” (or fourth) card is revealed; and 4) after the “river” card (or fifth) card is dealt face-up. Players are usually allowed to make a single bet of the prescribed level, and up to three subsequent raises. Most of the online poker rooms today, offer many different type of Limit rooms, the smallest being the “.01-.02” rooms. Some Limit rooms, however, have fairly large betting requirements like “50-100”.In No Limit Texas Holdem, each player starts at a certain minimum amount, but after this initial ante, they are allowed to bet anything over that, during any part of the game. They are effectively allowed to bet any amount up to the amount that they have in remaining chips. Whenever a player bets everything they have, this constitutes what is known as being “all in”. A player simply announces that he or she is going all in, when it is their turn, and they are considered to have made a bet representing their remaining chips, regardless of whether or not they physically push their entire chip allotment into the pot or not. Many of you may already be familiar with the No Limit version of Holdem, if you have watched the World Series of Poker on television. The World Series of Poker is the pinnacle of professional poker tournaments, and are largely responsible for cultivating and promoting the No Limit version of Holdem.