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The WSOP Champions Invitational Begins on May 31st, 2009

The WSOP Champions Invitational, which will start on May 31st, 2009, is freeroll poker event open only to the twenty-five surviving WSOP Main Event champions. It is one of the only 4 world series of poker events to be shown on ESPN this summer. There is no cash prize and there is no World Series of Poker bracelet but the champion will take home a trophy named in honor of the WSOP founders, the Binion family as well as a fully restored 1970 corvette.

WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla said that the buzz from the Champions Invitational will perhaps be bigger than anything else in the WSOP, aside from the WSOP Main Event. Around 33 players have won the Main Event championship over its thirty-nine year run. 8 of those champions-including three-time champions Johnny Moss and Stu Ungar-are now deceased and 1978 champion Bobby Baldwin reportedly stated that he would not participate.

Among the rest of the WSOP Main Event champions, there is a growing excitement. 1989 WSOP Champion Phil Hellmuth said that he will participate because he loves playing with his peers. 2004 champion Greg Raymer said that he will also participate in the event. Reigning champion Peter Eastgate said that he though that he should be considered as the favorite for the event be he has emerged from the 2nd largest field.

But Eastgate said that champions like Doyle Brunson and Phil Hellmuth should not be disregarded because they are formidable poker players. By Eastgate's calculation, his main competition should be 2006 WSOP Main Event champion Jamie Gold, who won a total of $12 million for edging out the biggest playing field in Main Event history-8,773 participants.


06/08/2009, Monday
Todd Sanders

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