July 5, 2010 (CAP News Wire) – This year’s last World Series of Poker tournament, which culminates in November’s final table, is now underway at the Rio Las Vegas.

The WSOP Main Event started just after noon on Monday, July 5. The $10,000 buy-in event is a no-limit Texas Hold’em game, with the amount of prize money varying according to number of entries (last year’s first prize was $8.55 million, according to NBC Sports).

The WSOP Main Event is played daily starting today through July 17 (with no play on July 11), and then finishing with the final table on a yet-to-be-announced date in November. Players still alive after July 10 all join together in one room on July 12, “playing each day until nine players remain, expected July 17 or early July 18,” continues MSNBC.

The WSOP is poker’s biggest event, and, being televised on ESPN, the Main Event yields an above-average level of interest in poker throughout the U.S. (and abroad, too, to a lesser extent). “After devoting earlier coverage in 2009 to other events in the WSOP, the ESPN programming was pegged to Main Event coverage with an all-time high of 24 hours of Main Event coverage,” writes sports journalist Rachel Church-Sanders in iGaming Business’ Global Poker Report. “For ESPN coordinating producer Jami Horowitz, a decision to show more of the main event and less of other bracelet events … was based on fan interest.”

Smart poker affiliate marketers can take advantage of this uptick in interest to offer special WSOP promotions (most of the major poker affiliate programs offer these, particularly CEREUS poker rooms UB.com and Absolute Poker, which have rolled out a consistent number of WSOP-related promos during and even before the tournament began in May).

“Over 2 million people watched the 2008 WSOP Main Event Final after its 117-day break, a 52% increases over 2007 numbers,” the Global Poker Report adds. The Global Poker Report is available from iGaming Business; contact them here

Check out the official WSOP website here. Bluff Magazine also offers excellent, regularly updated Main Event coverage.

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