World Series of Poker to Leave Rio, Moving to Bally’s, Paris Las Vegas in 2022

Posted on: November 17, 2021, 08:44h. 

Last updated on: November 17, 2021, 11:40h.

This is the final year that the World Series of Poker (WSOP) will be held at the Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino. From 2022, the event will move to the Strip, where it will be hosted jointly by Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas, organizers said Tuesday.

WSOP moving from Rio
The Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino has been the WSOP’s home for the past 16 years. But the event is heading to the Strip for 2022. (Image: Caesars Entertainment)

WSOP vice president Jack Effel also said the series will be moved back to its regular summer slot, having been delayed until fall this year because of the pandemic.

The WSOP is owned by Caesars Entertainment, which sold the off-Strip Rio to New York-based property developer Dreamscape Companies in a deal announced in September 2019. Caesars will continue to operate the property on behalf of the new owner until 2023.

Rumors of a venue change for poker’s biggest event have been swirling for some time, predating the sale of the Rio. The property was not included in a series of upgrades on a Caesars’ property undertaken several years ago. In 2018, it was rumored to be in line for demolition.

WSOP’s Long Journey to the Strip

The WSOP has been held at the Rio since 2005, when it outgrew its previous home, Binion’s Horseshoe, on Fremont St.

Caesars, then known as Harrah’s Entertainment, had acquired the Series a year earlier when it purchased Binion’s Horseshoe from the Binion family.

The family patriarch, Benny Binion, founded the event in 1970. The first WSOP was an invitation-only series of cash games that featured just seven players.

The legendary Johnny Moss became the first world champion after a vote by his peers. Anecdotally, the vote had to be recast after each player initially voted for himself.

The following year, the Binions developed the tournament freezeout poker format, now played globally.

Caesars sold Binion’s Horseshoe soon after the 2005 event but kept the rights to the WSOP brand, which it went on to expand across America and internationally.

Aldemir Leads, Play Resumes Tonight

Tonight, for the last time at the Rio, a new champion will be crowned. With three players left from a field of 6,650, Germany’s Koray Aldemir holds a commanding chip lead, with $264M in chips, or 165 big blinds.

That’s more than a 3:1 lead over British player Jack Oliver, who sits in second with $77M, or 48 big blinds.

The last American standing is amateur player George Holmes, who has only recorded one previous tournament cash. With $57M, or 36 big blinds, he’ll be hoping to catch a few cards.

Each player is guaranteed at least $3M. The eventual winner will take home $8M.