The Palm Beach Kennel Club officially announced Thursday that it's going to hold the largest guaranteed World Series of Poker Circuit Event of all time: $1 million in prize money.
Buy-in is $500 plus a $55 fee. It'll be event No. 1 when the series stops for the second year at the kennel club in West Palm Beach. The idea: to separate this venue from others in the 17-stop circuit.
"$1 million on a $500 event gets people to change their plans," Poker Room Director Noah Carbone said.
So will the first prize money: Presuming it's 25 percent to the winner, that'd be a $250,000 first prize, which organizers called a good "ballpark" number.
The series, consisting of 12 events, runs from Feb. 16 through Feb. 27. The main event, which carries a $1,500 buy-in, starts Feb. 25.
The kennel club says it's adding tables, which it will have to do in order to run the three flights of 700 players each for the $1 million event (they have 64; they'll grow to 75). Carbone cautioned players to sign up for Day 1A, to avoid being shut out. The tournament is tied to PokerTickets.com for those wishing to preregister.
To break even on their guarantee, they'll need 2,000 entrants, a big jump from last year, when they set a state record (later broken by other card rooms) with 877.
WSOP officials called last year "a success," especially because it was the first WSOP series held at a kennel club. There were more than 7,000 overall entrants, with 64 percent of them coming from outside of the county -- an indication that the WSOP drew new faces to Palm Beach County.
At least two players will go to the WSOP circuit end-of-season free roll in Vegas: the overall points winner and the main event winner. Carbone mentioned that last year's winner, John Riordan, was under 21, so he was not eligible for the Vegas trip because poker in Florida is 18 and over, while Vegas has a minimum age of 21.
Carbone also pointed out that this year might have a rush of younger players, because Black Friday on April 15 shut down the internet as a form of getting to play, and internet poker skews young.
The four aces: Jimmy Sommerfeld, WSOP Tournament Director; Noah Carbone, PBKC Poker Room Director; Bill Bruce, WSOP Asst. Tournament Director; Tim Wright, PBKC Poker Manager (photo/courtesy of PB Kennel Club)