The 54th edition World Series of Poker officially kicked off Tuesday with the traditional $500 Casino Employees event, open only to those working in the gambling industry.
The usual “shuffle and deal” announcement was delivered by WSOP Vice President and Tournament Director Jack Effel, who led players into the room in a moment of silence for the recently deceased Doyle Brunson.
Brunson, 10 times WSOP A bracelet winner who was in attendance at the first ever Summer Series in 1970, passed away earlier this month at the age of 89.
“While we take another one WSOP ongoing, we are reminded how much we are indebted to the colossal impact Doyle had on the WSOP and the game of poker itself,” Effel said. “Doyle was the sport’s greatest ambassador who helped bring poker into the mainstream. He’s a legend we’ve had the honor of working with for more than 50 years We owe Doyle so much and look forward to setting records this summer as a special tribute to his legacy.”
Players were also shown a Brunson tribute video, which you can watch below.
Brunson was buried in a private funeral in late May, however his son and fellow Poker Hall of Famer Todd Brunson announced on Twitter that “there will be a celebration of life during the WSOP to which all will be welcome.
This is the second year that the WSOP will take place on the Las Vegas Strip, splitting events between the Paris Casino and the new Horseshoe Casino.
Tournament organizers are hoping this will be the largest attendance in the series’ history, with 95 live events taking place between May 30 and July 18.
Visit the Card Player 2023 World Series of Poker page for schedules, news, interviews, and the latest results from the event.