There will be people playing, fans watching from the rails, and still more people hoping to get a good story or snag an interview and some pictures with the players. Harrah's took a proactive step by adding an extra day one to the event. Nobody knows how many entrants we'll have this year for the Main Event, but if last year was any indication, we are looking at upwards of 8000 people.
For those players that are interested in playing in the Main Event but haven't bought in yet, you still have time to play in a satellite. The Rio is running satellite games in the Amazon Room nightly at 9:00 p.m. The buy-in is $1060.00 and players begin with 5K in tournament chips. The blinds start at $25-$50 and the levels last for 30 minutes. Each level doubles, so level 2 is $50-$100 and level 3 is $100-$200. Antes start in the 4th level and play will continue until a winner is determined.
The floor manager told me they are giving away ten seats every night, sometimes more. Each day the line for the satellites seems to grow a little longer, so you might want to get here a little early to ensure your entry into the mega satellite.
I spoke with Mike from New Jersey as he was waiting in line to play in the satellite. He won a seat last year and was hoping to do the same thing again this year. Mike flies in every year for the Main Event. He has friends from work backing him, a supportive girlfriend here to cheer him on, family at home watching, and dreams of winning the bracelet. All through the year Mike plays on PokerStars to practice for the WSOP. He plays in a lot of MTT's and SNG's and he even took first place a few months ago in an online tournament - he won $10K. In addition to playing online, Mike drives to Atlantic City every few weeks to play poker. He could have simply bought in to the Main Event, but in his words "the fun is in the chase", so he's hoping to chase down a win tonight.
Jessica from Florida was looking over the tournament sheet when I caught up with her. This is her first year playing in the Main Event. Originally she was out here on vacation with family and took a chance in the noon tournament over at Caesar's Palace. She went on a heater at the final table and couldn't lose! She decided to take that money and buy in to a mega satellite. As she says "even if I don't win, at least I'll have a great story to tell my friends back home." I'll be watching both Mike and Jessica tonight from the rail.
The Main Event starts Friday, so your last chance to win a seat is obviously on Thursday night. The Rio will offer several last chance satellites on Wednesday and Thursday, so come on down and get in on the action.