The 2022 World Series of Poker begins on Tuesday, and in advance of the series’ kickoff, WSOP officials held a press conference on Thursday detailing many of the changes in store as the series moves to its new on-Strip location at Paris and Bally’s.
The hour-long conference featured WSOP hosts and long-time commentators Lon McEachern and Norman Chad, along with three Caesars Entertainment executives — WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart, WSOP Vice President and head tournament director Jack Effel, and Senior VP and Senior VP and GM of Bally’s and Paris Jason Gregoric.
For those who missed Thursday’s conference, the WSOP has posted a replay on YouTube:
The recorded conference includes a canned introduction to the property as hosted by McEachern and Chad. The pair offer quips and quick takes from several of the focal points of the upcoming series, including the main registration cash and Caesars Rewards loyalty desk, which are almost immediately adjacent to where the hallway from the Paris parking garage leads into the casino proper. From there, it’s a brief stop in each of the three main halls at Paris and Bally’s that will host poker proceedings this year.
One note offered by McEachern and Chad early on is that the dedicated hall in Bally’s devoted to final-table action will contain five separate feature tables (up from three), each of which will have their own dedicated seating. One of those will be the famed “Mothership”, which was present in the past at the Rio and where the largest and most important final tables — including the Main Event — are held.
The officials offered several new nuggets on what is likely to be the largest-ever World Series of Poker in history, although whether this is the year that the Main Event reaches a new attendance high-water mark remains to be seen. The expanded location for the series will include a record 582 tables available for action, manned by over 1,000 dealers hired by the WSOP to date.
Attention paid to parking issues
As always, there remain concerns over parking at the new twin venues. Between Bally’s outdoor lot and Paris’s huge ramp, there are over 8,000 parking spots available, which is significantly more than what the Rio and its convention center actually offered. Most of those spots are in Paris’s spacious garage, but there’s a trick that may cause some hassles for novice visitors.
Unlike at the Rio, where the large outdoor lot was easily accessible from several directions, the Paris ramp has limited access, either off of Harmon or off a turn-in on the Strip itself, between Paris and another Caesars property, Planet Hollywood. Those then funnel into the entrance to the ramp itself. On weekends in particular, it can be a bottleneck, so players arriving by car should leave extra time for the expected wait in getting from the nearby streets into the ramp itself. Once inside, it’s a done deal, and a relatively short walk to the elevators which lead down to the casino and the WSOP.
The WSOP has also made one addition to its parking situation in response to complaints about high-parking fees, which over the course of a series could add up to many hundreds of dollars. The top Caesars Rewards loyalty levels — Seven Stars, Diamond, Platinum — already enjoy free parking, and the new addition to the parking situation is to add a weekly pass, for $100, to the already existing daily rates. At $18 a day otherwise, the weekly rate represents a $26 savings over seven individual day rates.
In much of the rest of the press conference, the WSOP execs and hosts presented some of the other changes that have already been announced online, such as Day 1 action largely being held in the spacious Paris Ballroom and later days’ play generally moving over to Bally’s. The WSOP was also quick to promote the expanded dining options now available to players, including dozens of options now closer to the tables than the quarter-mile walk to the Rio casino proper that awaited players at previous years’ WSOPs.
Featured image source: YouTube / WSOP