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Tournament of Champions

World Series of Poker: Tournament of Champions
by Chad Holloway of

Do you remember a few years back when the Tournament of Champions was broadcast on ESPN? Annie Duke’s victory over nine tough male competitions (Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson, Chip Reese, and Phil Ivey just to name a few) was epic and a part of poker lore. Well good news for those of you who enjoyed the Tournament of Champions. Harrah’s recently announced that they will be brining back the tournament at the 2010 World Series of Poker.

This will be the first Tournament of Champions since 2006 and will feature 27 players competing for a $1 million prize pool, with half that amount going to the winner (The winner will take home $500,000, second $250,000, third $100,000. Fourth-ninth $25,000). The field will be a mish-mash of players. For instance, the past three TOC winners (Mike Matusow, Mike Sexton, and Annie Duke) will play as will the reigning WSOP and WSOPE main-event winners (Joe Cada and Barry Shulman). In addition, two spots will be qualifiers, of what has not been determined (although it has been hinted they may be online qualifiers). The other 20 spots will be given away to the top vote-earners from a public poll on

“We’re thrilled to reinvent (the Tournament of Champions) around a model that should elevate the game by engaging millions of poker fans,” said Ty Stewart, Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment vice, “We have received a lot of input from players and their affinity for the TOC, and we are excited for them and the fans and hope it’s here to stay.”

It is worth noting that only players who have won a WSOP bracelet in the past will be eligible to be voted in, so no Patrik Antonius, Tom Dwan or Phil Laak (There are currently 521 surviving WSOP bracelet holders). Poker fans can vote for their favorite players for three months on The poll is open now and closes June 15, 2010 at midnight. The tournament itself will take place June 27, with the final table played on July 4. The event will be broadcast on ESPN in a two-hour broadcast on Aug. 3. Excitement over the return of the TOC as a television event and as a sizable freeroll has clearly spread throughout the poker world:

“Tournaments like the Tournament of Champions help elevate poker to the level it deserves and I am honored to participate,” Annie Duke said in a statement in a press release announcing the news. “Winning the TOC marks one of the most memorable events in my poker career and I’m ecstatic that the WSOP is hosting this prestigious event.”

The 2010 World Series of Poker runs May 27 to July 17 at the Rio in Las Vegas.

For those of you not able to make it out to Vegas, check out all the big money poker tournaments that are offered at Poker Stars.

Weekly Tournaments

Online poker tournaments can be life altering events. Each week, many of the biggest card rooms around the net offer up everything from 100K tourneys to million dollar prizes. Sure, many enter and the odds are thin, but SOMEBODY has to win and why can't that somebody be you? Check out Bovada Poker and take your shot at something huge, like winning enough loot to buy a Ferrari or pay your house off!

Tips and Advice

Introduction to Tournament Poker - Loki covers everything from the buy in to prize payouts!

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