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Harrah's Adds $50,000 Event to WSOP, Forms Player Advisory Panel

Panel is Made of Six Poker Greats, Will Give Players a Direct Line to Executives

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Harrah's Entertainment made two major announcements concerning its popular World Series of Poker franchise.

The company added a $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E event to the 2006 WSOP, which is the first time an event with a buy-in of more than $10,000 will take place at the WSOP. A date hasn't been set yet. The 2006 WSOP will be made up of 45 poker tournaments that take place between June 25 and Aug. 10 at the Rio in Las Vegas.

H.O.R.S.E is considered one of the toughest tournament games because players take turns playing five different kinds of poker during the event: hold'em, Omaha, razz, stud, and stud 8-or-better.

The second announcement shows that Harrah's officials agree that players should have a voice when it comes to its poker tournaments.

Half a dozen of the most recognizable tournament pros have joined a player advisory panel created by Harrah's to help guide and improve players' experiences at WSOP events.

WSOP main event champions Chris "Jesus" Ferguson" and Scotty Nguyen will join bracelet winners Jennifer Harman, Howard Lederer, Daniel Negreanu, and Robert Williamson III in accepting a one-year post on a player advisory council that will work with Harrah's executives to help enhance player experience at WSOP events.

The panel will meet regularly with Jeffrey Pollack, WSOP commissioner and vice president of sports and entertainment marketing for Harrah's, and other Harrah's executives to provide their opinions and suggestions about WSOP.

According to Pollack, Harrah's goal in creating the panel is to have a clear communications process between players in which a wide-range of issues can be aired.

The panel will soon add one nonprofessional player.

Negreanu is optimistic that the move will be good for the WSOP and the players who play in its events.

"Now that players have a voice, I believe we'll see changes that will be in their best interests as a whole," he said in a press release. "Harrah's determination to listen to players who love this game will help protect the tournaments' integrity while continuing to increase the popularity of the World Series of Poker."