The official 2012 WSOP schedule has been announced, which will see a record 61 bracelet events held as well as the addition of a new event with a huge $1 million buy-in.
While some were expecting more significant changes -- including ditching the controversial November Nine format that sees the conclusion of the WSOP Main Event delayed a few months -- the final schedule for 2012 WSOP events included only a few relatively minor changes.
The November Nine format will return but the final table of nine players will pause on July 16 and resume in late October this year instead of November to avoid conflicting with US Presidential primary elections.
The $10,000 buy-in Main Event will also only feature three starting days in 2012 instead of four as in past years, with the start of play kicking off on July 7.
Many had feared that the 2011 WSOP would be a bust after the US government indicted online poker sites Full Tilt and PokerStars (which in past years had sent thousands of online qualifiers to play in the Main Event) but attendance was up for most events, with the main Event drawing a very large field.
The 2012 schedule will also feature some new events including the $1,000,000 buy-in Big One for ONE DROP tournament, which is part charity event but will also award a WSOP bracelet and sport the largest buy-in ever for a poker tournament.
As in past years the Main Event will serve as the capper of more than a month and a half of non-stop poker action at the Rio in Las Vegas, with more than $100 million in prize money awarded in total.
The Main Event serves as the unofficial world championship of poker each year, with the winner walking away with close to $10 million in cash and joining the elite members of the poker world that have won poker's biggest prize.