Poker’s very first fan-voted Tournament of Champions will feature 20 of the game’s most notable players at this year's World Series of Poker, and VictoryPoker.net Team pro Antonio Esfandiari is on his way to winning his share of the $1 Million prize pool. Harrah's Entertainment made the official announcement of confirmed participants on Wednesday afternoon.
A total of 355,081 votes were cast to determine who will compete on Sunday, June 27 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Voting was open on WSOP.com from March 15 through June 15 at midnight.
Play will convene at the Rio on Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 12 noon to begin the tournament. Players will play until they bust out or complete four one-hour levels, whichever comes first. Then all remaining players will return the next day, on Monday, June 28 at 12 noon to play up to an additional four levels.
Play will then halt at that point, and all remaining players will return on Sunday, July 4, 2010 to play for their share of 1,000,000 dollars and the title of 2010 WSOP TOC Champion. The tournament times and dates have been scheduled to minimize conflict with other WSOP events. WSOP Event #46 final table will begin at 4:00 PM on June 27 as part of the scheduling.
ESPN will televise this event as part of their coverage of the 41st Annual World Series of Poker, with a two-hour special broadcast set to air on Tuesday, August 3 at 8:00 PM ET.
The WSOP Tournament of Champions was started by the WSOP in 2004, after Harrah’s took ownership of the World Series of Poker brand. In the inaugural event, ten top names were invited to participate in the freeroll event structured as a winner-take-all. Duke won the event at the Rio. In 2005, the TOC was won by Matusow at Caesars Palace, with an expanded field of 114 entrants competing in the freeroll, with the top nine places cashing. The TOC event last took place in 2006 at the Rio, when 27 of the games greatest took to the felt in the freeroll, with the final table all walking away with prize money and 2009 Poker Hall of Fame inductee Sexton walking away with the top prize.
This year’s TOC will be a No Limit Texas Hold’em tournament with the top nine places being paid. First place will win $500,000, the runner-up gets $250,000, third place earns $100,000 and the fourth through ninth place pockets $25,000 each.