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Binion's Horseshoe in Las Vegas Sets Schedule for World Series of Poker

16 February 2000

Binion's Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas has announced the schedule for this year's World Series of Poker. It begins with satellite tournaments on April 20 and culminates in the World Championship, no-limit Texas Hold 'Em contest from May 15 through May 18.

This is the 31st year for the legendary series of tournaments. The final four-day event attracts top players from around the world, who pay $10,000 each for a seat at the tables.

Top prize for the championship round is a minimum of $1 million. This year, if there are at least 450 entries for the finals, the top prize will be $1.5 million. In 1999, 393 players entered the finals.

Becky Binion Behnen, the daughter of the famous Benny Binion, said the World Series has awarded more than $140 million in prize money since it began. The total will surpass $150 million with this year's tournament, she said.

Although the final event is a Texas Hold 'Em game, the smaller tournaments in the preceding days feature several other games, including Seven Card Stud, Omaha, Lowball and variations of these games. There's a Dealers Tournament, with a $500 buy-in, on April 22. The Women's Championship on May 14 has a $1,000 buy-in, and will be half Hold 'Em and half Seven Card Stud.

The other tournaments have buy-ins ranging from $1,500 to $5,000. There are 25 events this year, up from 16 in 1999. Anyone 21 years old or older can enter.

"For atmosphere, tension and high-voltage pressure, other sports events pale in comparison,'' Mrs. Behnen said. "When Tiger Woods, for example, plays in the Masters, he is not betting his own money.''

The $1 million champion last year was an amateur player from Ireland, Noel Furlong.

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