Tuesday’s opening day at the 2022 World Series of Poker was both a reunion and a new beginning, marked by Day 1 action in two events and plenty of players and industry people alike trying to figure out the location of various functions at the WSOP’s new home — or at least the Paris casino portion of it, as no play was conducted on the Bally’s side of the twin-casino complex.
The mass of players that marks the full capacity of the WSOP had yet to appear. Between the casino employees event and the $100,000 high-roller, there were plenty of big names present, but not so many of the everyday sort of poker pros who grind away throughout the series. Many of those players began to arrive for Wednesday’s action, and by the weekend, the 2022 WSOP will reach high gear.
In this first installment of what will be a irregularly appearing installment from this admittedly amateur photographer, we’ll share some images from the WSOP. Tuesday was a day of easing in, without much controversy but a few entertaining nuggets to share. Following the ceremonial “Shuffle Up and Deal” by restaurateur Lisa Vanderpump, the poker itself began.
First casualties of the series — The first drink spilled on a table felt occurred about an hour into the employees event (miscreant not shown), but a rather more serious calamity occurred a few hours later, when folks unidentified managed to take down one of the poker tables beyond immediate repair. The legs were bent or broken, and the players had to be moved to a new table. “Maintenance!”
DraftKings wins the unofficial “Most Players Logoed” honor for the Casino Employees event — It’s always interesting to see what corporate entities have lots of employees entered in the tourney. Though it’s a highly unofficial count, it was likely Caesars’ sports-betting partner DraftKings that had the most logoed players, topping betting favorite PokerNews for the honor. And that’s an old familiar face sporting the DraftKings gear, none other than well-known former online and live pro Jon Aguiar, making a rare return here to the series.
“You call this a honeymoon?” — Among the players present at Paris on Tuesday who wasn’t playing was actor James Woods, accompanied by his new wife, Sara. They just got married on Saturday, and on Tuesday, there they were. Woods did play the $1,500 Dealers Choice on Wednesday. Congrats to the newlyweds!
The spacious Paris Ballroom — The new Paris Ballroom dwarfs the old Miranda Room at the Rio, which was the largest room available at the Rio. The entire playing field of the Employees event fit in roughly one fourth of the available space. That’s the northwest corner of the room, the area closest to where players enter the WSOP footprint and register for events. When high-roller and championship events run, many of them will take place in the room’s far southwest corner, visible in the background of the same shot.
And in the eastern half of the room, more tables for larger events’ Day 1s, plus space for the dailies. Cash games will run, way, way in the far southeast corner of the ballroom.
Like many things, the cash-game area was still under construction.
Faces in the crowd — Casino Employees Event #1
Faces in the crowd — $100,000 NLH High-Roller Event #2
Just hangin’ around
Featured image source: Haley Hintze