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LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- The 2008 World Series of Poker kicked off its 39th run Friday with the first of eight different $10,000 buy-in championship events. The tournament, which runs through July 14 at the Rio, will feature 55 different events.
In addition to the $10,000 buy-in events, the tournament has eight $5,000 buy-in events.
The tournament, which is operated by Harrah's Entertainment, set records in 2007 for the most entrants, 54,288, and the largest total prize pool, $159.8 million.
The biggest change in the tournament will be with the main event, the $10,000 buy-in no-limit Texas Hold'em world championship. The final table will take place beginning Nov. 9, nearly four months after the nine players are determined. The move is being done to allow same-day prime time coverage of the championship on ESPN.
Harrah's vice president Jeffrey Pollack, who serves as the World Series of Poker commissioner, said the nine main event finalists will have time to secure sponsors, coaches and devise strategy before reconvening for the championship.
A relatively poker unknown has been crowned the world poker champion the last six years. Last year, 1989 world poker champion Phil Hellmuth won his 11th individual event, breaking a three-way tie with former world poker champions Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan.
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