Jun 1, 2011 11:04 AM by Michael Macias
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A group of 128 gamblers has plunked down
$25,000 each to compete in the first tournament of this year's World Series of Poker, generating the largest-ever pool for a heads-up, no-limit Texas Hold `em tournament amid a state of weakness for online poker in the United States.
The field of popular poker professionals began competing Tuesday for a piece of a $3 million prize pool, with the winner gettingmore than $851,000.
Players crowded a section of a tournament room at the Rio
All-Suite Hotel & Casino to watch the bracket-style matchups get randomly chosen by a computer.
Competitors include 2010 World Series of Poker champion Jonathan Duhamel, eight-time gold bracelet winner Erik Seidel and Daniel Cates, a 21-year-old online sensation making his first start at the series.