The World Series of Poker has announced some big changes that will really shake things up at the 53rd Annual WSOP in 2022. Next year, the event will take place at Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas from May 31 to July 19, with actor and poker aficionado Vince Vaughn signing on as the official Master of Ceremonies.
At the Heart of the Las Vegas Strip
For 17 years, the World Series of Poker has taken place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. While it has served has a great venue for the tournament, it is a little bit off the beaten path since it’s a 20-minute walk to the Las Vegas Strip.
Bally’s and Paris are both more traditionally “luxurious” casinos, as well. However, The Rio is certainly steeped in poker history and players are sure to miss it as the host of the World Series of Poker.
WSOP’s History at the Rio
The World Series of Poker was launched in 1970 when infamous gambler Benny Binion invited the most renowned poker players to his Horseshoe Casino for a tournament. For the next 34 years, the event would be held at Binion’s venue where legends like Stu Ungar, Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson competed. Even Phil Hellmuth got his first WSOP bracelet at Binion’s Horseshoe, becoming the youngest player to win the Main Event.
In 2004, Harrah’s (which is now Caesars Entertainment) bought Binion’s Horseshoe Casino, and along with it came the rights to the World Series of Poker brand. At that time, the company announced that the next year’s WSOP would be held at the Rio – and, that’s where it’s been hosted for the past 17 years.
The Rio’s huge capacity meant that the World Series of Poker could expand exponentially, and it did. In 2003, when the event was last held at Binion’s, the Main Event attracted just over 800 entries. The next year, at The Rio, the field tripled to over 2,500 – with the first-ever prize pool of over $10,000,000.
Since then, the WSOP has gone from strength to strength. Dozens more events have been added and hundreds of millions of dollars have been awarded as prizes. The Rio has become an iconic poker setting, and is where the World Series of Poker came into its own as the most prestigious poker series in the world.
“For poker fans who have never been here before, I always tell them it’s like a baseball fan walking into Yankee Stadium for the first time. It can stop you in your tracks.” – Norman Chad, WSOP commentator.
In 2019, The Rio was sold to a real estate company named Imperial Companies. It will be turned into a Hyatt Regency, so it’s only natural that Caesars would move the World Series of Poker over to one of it’s other, more central venues.
2022 WSOP Master of Ceremonies
The announcement of the new venue for the World Series of Poker was accompanied by some other interesting news, as Vince Vaughn has been announced as the 2022 event’s Master of Ceremonies. The World Series of Poker has never had a Master of Ceremonies before, so this is certainly an indication that the event will be going in a new direction next year.
Vaughn has been active in the poker community for years, making appearances at many charity poker tournaments. He’s also worked with Virtue Poker on an NFT that offers entry into a celebrity poker game.
“I have such a strong connection to Las Vegas and am honored to be selected as the Master of Ceremonies for what is set to be the most anticipated World Series of Poker tournament ever” – Vaughn says.
To Find Out More About the 2022 WSOP…
…you’ll have to wait until January. At the start of next year, a schedule will be released. It is sure to include plenty of surprises as big changes are afoot for the WSOP.