The Rio Convention Center is already bustling with poker players and fans as the soft opening takes place. The Amazon Room is stocked and ready for action with a few cash games in session, and the single-table satellite room – now separate from the Amazon Room – is running satellites all day, every day.
The WSOP staff and the Amazon Room got its first work-out of the summer by running its first mega satellite on Thursday, May 29th. With the major action ready to begin on Friday, May 30th as the first bracelet event gets underway at noon, players seemed ready to get down to poker a day early and play for some WSOP main event seats.
The $500 + $50 mega satellite was actually sponsored by the World Poker Association (WPA), which was proud to announce the introduction of one of its new rules – nine-handed tables – to the WSOP during this mega. Players seemed genuinely excited about the rule, as indicated by resounding applause when announced at the beginning of the tournament.
For each $10,200 generated through the buy-ins to the mega satellite, one seat was to be awarded into the WSOP main event. Well over 200 players turned out, though an official count could not be obtained at the time of this article’s submission. The WPA officials in attendance seemed happy with the turnout, and satellite players were in full tournament mode in preparation for the WSOP.
Already running and continuing to do so throughout the majority of the 2008 World Series of Poker, the Rio will offer satellites daily at a variety of different buy-in levels to suit any range of player. Mega satellites of $330, $550, and $1060 will take place each day from now until July 1st, and more often from July 2nd through July 5th. There will also be mega satellites for the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament on May 31st, June 1st, June 16th, and June 20th and 21st requiring a $2250 buy-in.
The structure, times, and other details about the satellites offered can be found on the official WSOP website. There are also numerous staff members on hand at the Rio Convention Center to answer any questions and register players for any of the plethora of satellites available.