‘This Week That Year’ is an article series that will provide ‘a blast from the past’ in poker. Here we will feature some memorable events that happened in poker during a particular week in a previous year. From the smaller poker events that hardly anyone noticed to the big poker extravaganzas, we will give you a trip down poker history; week by week.
This week we bring to you one of the biggest events in the history of World Series of Poker(WSOP), the biggest poker tournament in the world. On February 26th, 2007 it was announced that the WSOP will expand its tournament series to Europe and a WSOP Europe(WSOPE) will be formed. This was revolutionary for this poker extravaganza and the poker players alike with Europe getting a slice of the WSOP Pie. Read on to understand what happened and how….
Feb 26th, 2007 was historical for the World Series of Poker(WSOP) since they announced that from September that year, they will also start a tournament series in Europe. This was the first time that the sought after WSOP Gold Bracelets would be awarded outside Las Vegas. The inaugural edition would be hosted across a 11 day schedule in 3 different London casinos.
Apparently, Harrah’s(Now called Caesar’s Entertainment) Casino which held the right to the WSOP Label purchased London Clubs International which in turn had 3 casinos in London namely- Fifty, Leicester Square and The Sportsman. The acquisition of these three casinos initiated WSOP’s arrival in Europe. The inaugural edition, it was declared would be held across these 3 casinos.
While the complete schedule of events, including satellites, was to be announced in May 2007 , it was declared that three large tourneys would be held for sure. The inaugural WSOP Europe, it was declared would open on September 6th, 2007 with a three-day H.O.R.S.E. event with GBP 2,500 (approx. US $4,900) buy-in,the Leicester Square casino. This casino would also play host to GBP 5,000 (US $9,800) buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha competition from Sept 8th.
September 10th was marked as the start of the inaugural WSOP Europe Main Event. The No-Limit Texas Hold’em tourney was to feature a GBP 10,000 (US $19,600) buy-in, and would be held across include the Sportsman and Filly casinos in addition to Leicester Square. Play will continue at all three sites simultaneously until September 13th, when the survivors will all return to Leicester Square, to continue late-table action, concluding on September 16th.
This global expansion of the WSOP was long expected but revealed only on Feb 26th 2007 and made headlines across the poker community. While poker players from all countries were allowed to register but the poker tournament was designed keeping the european players taste.
Post this, a successful first edition was held in Sept 2007. Subsequently, WSOPE has become a regular feature in the poker calendar of Europe.