Hats Off at the Rio World Series

07/15/2011
By Tommie ClarkGoogle

As large crowds of excited onlookers and stern-faced poker professionals enter the Rio today, so begins the 42nd annual World Series of Poker, the greater poker tournament in the world, while poker is becoming increasingly popular in mainstream American culture.

 

One might notice some subtle differences in this year’s crowd compared to last year’s.  The tournament’s owner, Caesars Entertainment, has enacted a series of regulations on logoed attire worn by tournament-comers.  At first thought, one might come to the conclusion that this is a direct result of the US Department of Justice indicting three major online poker sites.  However, as tournament spokesman Seth Polansky explains, the real reason for the regulations is commercial – due to the growth in popularity of poker in recent years, this year’s tournament will be broadcast in over 50 countries, including live coverage on ESPN.  As a result of the broadcasting, therefore, logoed hats are forbidden, and any other article of clothing is limited to one logo of no more than 12 square inches.

 

The popularity hike in recent years is due in large part to online poker websites.  These websites have provided the poker-playing masses with a cheap and easy way to play the game and hone their skills.  Caesars Entertainment does not allow poker websites to have booths at the tournament, however, their presence is none-the-less noticed on player’s uniforms – some players are sponsored by the big poker websites (in accordance with regulations).  This year’s tournament is expected to draw large crowds here in Vegas and around the world.

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