The first hands have been dealt at the 2022 World Series of Poker, with celebrity restaurateur Lisa Vanderpump on hand to officially open the 2022 WSOP with the traditional “Shuffle Up and Deal!” for players in the first event on the schedule, the $500 Casino Employees Event #1
The summer poker festival began shortly after 11:00 a.m. local time with WSOP Vice President and head tournament director taking the stage in the spacious Paris Ballroom, where 309 tables have begun being used. Effel welcomed players to the WSOP’s new home before turning over the microphone to Vanderpump, the reality-TV star of such shows as The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Vanderpump Rules, and Vanderpump Dogs. Effel noted that the scene in the Paris Ballroom and the WSOP in general amounted to “the largest poker layout ever set forth in history.”
Vanderpump, a native of London, had more than just poker on her mind while speaking briefly to gathered media and fans. Vanderpump was also there to promote her new restaurant within Paris casino, Vanderpump à Paris, a French-themed eatery to which she invited all WSOP attendees. Vanderpump’s new restaurant is only a short walk down the Paris’s Grand Bazaar walkway of retail outlets and eateries.
Vanderpump then took a seat at one of the tables in the just-underway Casino Employees event, though her table was then quickly swamped by mainstream news outlets on hand to grab the photo op, an unusual image for personality-based news. Meanwhile, nearly 600 players had entered the Employees event within the first two levels, boding well for turnout as more than seven weeks of action at Paris and Bally’s begins.
Today’s opening day also marks what will likely be the only day during the 2022 WSOP where all action will be conducted inside the huge Paris Ballroom. The first high-roller event of the series, Event #2, $100,000 High Roller Bounty No-Limit Hold’em, begins at 3:00 p.m. in another area of the Paris Ballroom. The 88,000 square-foot room is also hosting all cash games, single-table satellites and daily non-bracelet events. Early action was slow in those areas early on, as many arrivals took some time to familiarize themselves with the WSOP’s new layout before settling into the action at the tables.
Featured image source: Haley Hintze