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World Series of Poker Circuit -- Africa Event Scheduled for October

Circuit Tour Expands to a Second International Stop This Fall

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South African Poker Professional Raymond RahmeBefore 2010, the biggest claim to fame that South Africa had in terms of the World Series of Poker came when resident Raymond Rahme finished third in the 2007 main event for over $3 million.

That soon will change, because the WSOP is adding a new stop to its circuit tour this October — the Emerald Resort and Casino in South Africa. According to reports from timeslive.co.za, the event will run Oct. 24-31, and there are currently two tournaments on the schedule. The Emerald Casino is located an hour south of Johannesburg.

“Poker has, over the past half-decade, accelerated in popularity,” said Emerald Resort and Casino CEO Martin Rice. “Our Emerald Poker Series, and its growing fields, is testament to the unlimited success of the sport. It was only natural to follow on its popularity with the greatest tournament on the planet. Rugby, soccer, and cricket each have a World Cup, Poker has the WSOP.”

WSOP media director Seth Palansky confirmed today that the WSOP Africa event will be a WSOP Circuit event with gold rings up for grabs. The thinking on the part of Harrah’s was to build on the World Cup soccer fever that will envelop the host nation this summer. This marks the second country that the WSOP has ventured outside of the United States and into the international poker market. It first did so with the WSOP Europe in London, England in 2007.

There are currently two events on the schedule for the WSOP Africa circuit stop. The first is a $1,100 buy-in pot-limit Omaha tournament, with $300 rebuys for three hours, and a $400 add-on available at the end of the rebuy period. Levels will be 60 minutes long and the tournament will be capped at 200 players. Players will begin with 2,500 in chips and the blinds begin at 25-50.

The circuit championship event will be a $5,000 no-limit hold’em event with a tournament cap of 500 players. Players will begin with 40,000 in chips and blinds will begin at 50-100. Levels will be 60-minutes long during this four-day event.

Previous big buy-in poker tournaments hosted on the African continent include the Sun City Million Dollar Poker Tournament in South Africa in September 2008, and a World Poker Tour event in Marrakech in October 2009.