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Seth Palansky: No One Should be Concerned About a Rio Sale; 2015 WSOPE to Move to an Exciting New Destination

On the 8 Oct., 2014, 2+2 poster ‘KKAnderson’ opened a thread called “Gossip: Rio to be Closed,” claiming that he had been advised by a confidential employee that the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas was going to close, prompting the question: “What would happen to the World Series of Poker (WSOP)?”

It’s not the first time that rumors have flown regarding the sale of the home of the WSOP, and it prompted the normal barrage of questions.

What property falling within the Caesars’ portfolio has the size to host the WSOP?

Would they outsource to a competitor?

What would we do with more toilets and better food options?

Likely new homes were Planet Hollywood, or Caesars, although there were also a few shouts for outsourcing to the likes of Mandalay Bay, or even over to our favorite online gambling hater, Sheldon Adelson, and the Las Vegas Sands Convention Centre.

Lovers of the Rio worry no more.

I have heard it from an even more reliable source that the Rio is not closing.

If I got just $1 for every time I was asked about this or the rumor was printed, I would have had enough money to buy the Rio myself and enter every single high roller poker tournament until I died,” said Seth Palansky, VP of Corporate Communications, Caesars Interactive Entertainment Inc., before continuing, “Then I would have bought the Rio and put this rumor to rest once and for all! The WSOP will be at the Rio in 2015 and beyond. No one should be concerned about a Rio sale.”

The New Home of the WSOPE is?

During a recent confab with Mr. Palansky, I asked him to comment on the future of the WSOPE and WSOP-APAC events. His response regarding the WSOP-APAC was, “We’re not sure the future,” but his response on the future of the WSOPE event was intriguing.

We do intend, like we announced previously, to be back in Europe for WSOP Europe in odd calendar years, thus 2015. In fact, we have a very exciting destination in mind and we’re hopeful we’ll be in position to announce something soon. It is a new spot we haven’t been before and we think it stands the chance to be the most successful European version of WSOPE we’ve ever put on.”

So there will be a WSOPE in 2015 – but it won’t be held in Paris, Cannes, or London. So what other venue does Europe offer that could create the ‘most successful European version of the WSOPE we’ve ever put on?’

My instinctive response was to think of Barcelona. Grand Final apart, it has become the most eagerly anticipated European Poker Tour (EPT) of the year, with the 11th Season Catalan opener setting 17 different attendance records, including 2,560 players for the Estrellas Main Event, and 1,496 players for the Main Event.

It’s an easy place to get to, the weather is always amazing, and the beach side location of the Casino Barcelona is perfect for those who get unlucky at the tables.

So Barcelona it is then?

Not so fast.

My little birdies have told me that Berlin is the most likely candidate. The poker playing community were far from happy when the EPT pulled out of the German capital – are the WSOP going to come to the rescue by hosting the 2015 WSOPE there?

That’s my bet.

What’s yours?



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Lee Davy

Life can be viewed as the sum of the parts or the parts themselves. I believe in the holistic view of life, or the sum. When dealing with individual parts you develop whack-a-mole syndrome; each time you clobber one problem with your hammer another one just pops up.