Anyone who’s interested in playing poker will know that the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event has just taken place in Nevada at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, where in total 65 bracelet events took place. This is the 45th WSOP Main Event and the tournament gets bigger every year. The most well-known and anticipated bracelet event is the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Main Event which started on 5 July and the starting field of 6,683 has now been whittled down to nine finalists.

The nine finalists who make it to the final table are known as the November Nine. The Main Event used to be played straight through to its conclusion, but since 2008, the Main Event final table game has been put on hold until just before its scheduled broadcast by ESPN. This is to allow the TV network to cover the tournament that leads to the final table without the audience knowing who the winner is before the shows have been aired. This year the finalists will return to play on 10 November.

From a prize pool of $62,820,200, the finalists are guaranteed a minimum prize of $730,725 and the winner a cool $10 million. It’s certainly a prize worth playing for.But what  if you’re just starting out in the game of poker? How do you go from being an interested amateur to making your way into live tournaments such as the WSOP Main Event?

Getting started in poker

For anyone who’s not played poker, it’s a game that’s much easier to get into than it used to be, thanks to the presence of so many online casinos and poker sites. A complete novice can learn how to play poker at no risk at all, by making use of the many freeroll tournaments that are around.

A new player who decides to play online at 32Red today will automatically qualify for six weekly entries to the $500 New Player Freeroll tournaments on the site. Other casino sites like 888 casino host freerolls for their new players too; check that the site that you’re thinking of playing on gives you the same option before you sign up. At a freeroll, there’s no deposit required and all of the players are novices, so it’s a level playing field.

This is important in the world of online poker, as many people who play online do so at a semi-professional level and tend to be able to beat new players very easily. When you play a freeroll you not only stand a better chance of winning but there’s nothing like a real game to teach you tricks of the trade and to develop your skills at making decisions and placing bets.

At 32red, as well as entries to the freerolls for new players, there is also the possibility of playing six of the $500 Guaranteed New Player Turbo tournaments. These tournaments only cost a $1 to play, but come with a guaranteed prize pool of $500 – so again, there’s plenty for a new player to put their skills to the test for. It’s a great way for new players to get involved in high-value games without having to put in a significant amount of their own cash.

It’ll be a while before a novice player is ready to take on a challenge like the WSOP main event, but many of today’s top players cut their poker playing teeth in online poker rooms so even if you’re just starting out in the world of poker, there’s no reason not to set your sights high.

As for the November Nine, the finalists are as follows. The current leader with 38, 375,000 chips is Dutch player Jorryt van Hoof. He’ll be joined at the finalist table by Mark Newhouse (USA), Felix Stephensen (Norway), Martin Jacobson (Sweden), Dan Sindelar (USA), William Pappaconstantinou (USA), Bruno Politano (Brazil), Andoni Larrabe (Spain), William Tonking (USA).

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