Tuesday May 29, 2012 : GOOD TURNOUT FOR FIRST WORLD SERIES OF POKER OPEN EVENT
 
Ace Phil Ivey among over 2,000 entrants.
 
Following Sunday's WSOP kick-off event for casino employees  the first of the open events, a $1,500 buy-in  No Limit Hold'em competition, started Monday with internationally famous ace and eight-time winner bracelet recipient Phil Ivey among the more than 2,000 entrants – his first appearance at WSOP since 2010 following the Full Tilt Poker and Black Friday debacles.
 
Other poker luminaries spotted among players taking their seats included Daniel Negreanu and Allen Cunningham.
 
The Rio hotel and resort was packed as the action in the first event, expected to run for around three days, started.
 
WSOP spokesman Seth Palansky explained to the Associated Press news agency that the preponderance of young men at the tables was possibly linked to the stamina needed to play through long periods of intense and extremely tough and competitive poker.
 
Last year the main event at the World Series of Poker was won by the 22-year-old German player, Pius Heinz, who took home the main prize of $8.72 million; it was not known if Heinz will again compete this year.
 
AP reports that in the 2011 WSOP 75,000 players competed overall, around 95 percent of them men.