The 52nd annual World Series of Poker® (WSOP®) wrapped up its first week of play at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino this week, exceeding participation expectations as the series returns to in-person play this year. With record participation over the weekend, including nearly 13,000 players participating The Reunion No-Limit Hold’em, with 6,000 participants in the event on Sunday alone, and nearly 4,300 players participating in Monday’s No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack, the WSOP opening week delivered some heart-warming wins and exciting starts to the tournament.

Poker fans and interested media can tune into the weekly WSOP virtual press conference on Friday, Oct. 8 at 12 p.m. PST where host Tiffany Michelle will dive deeper into this week’s milestone events with special guests, bracelet winners and more. This week’s virtual press conference can be viewed on the WSOP YouTube channel. Be sure to check out last week’s press conference, with special guests WSOP Vice President, Jack Effel; Senior Vice President, General Manager of CLEAR Sports & Entertainment, Jerome Pickett; and world-renown professional poker players Maria Ho and Daniel Negreanu here.

Week 1 Highlights

George McBride cries tears of joy cashing the $500 The Reunion No-Limit Hold’em

Having only ever played $20 home games with friends, George McBride tried his hand at the WSOP Reunion event on Friday, Oct. 1. After narrowly surviving the money bubble burst, an emotional McBride cashed his winnings for the first-time ever. View the moving video that has already garnered 216.1k views on Twitter, here.

Newcomer Jesse Klein beats out poker veterans, winning $552,182 in the $25k H.O.R.S.E. event

Philadelphia local Jesse Klein took home a gold bracelet during the $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. event, claiming victory against vicious final table representing a combined 22 gold bracelets. Klein specifically came out to Las Vegas for the H.O.R.S.E event and will return home with $552,182 in earnings.

Caesars Palace dealer Jimmy Barnett wins gold bracelet, crowned $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em champion

Jimmy Barnett, a 36-year-old dealer at Caesars, earned his first WSOP gold bracelet and $39,013 during the very first event of the 2021 WSOP. Originally from California, Barnett moved to Vegas in 2018 to become a dealer at the Golden Nugget and has worked in the industry ever since.

Poker legend Phil Hellmuth makes run for 16th career gold bracelet

Playing 10 hours a day, for three days straight, poker royalty Phil Hellmuth makes his run for his 16th career gold bracelet. Don’t miss live coverage on PokerGo on Friday, Oct. 8 at 4:15 p.m.

What To Look Forward To

Friday, Oct. 8 – Event #17A: MILLIONAIRE MAKER No-Limit Hold’em
Players will face off for a chance at a guaranteed $1,000,000 first place prize in one of WSOP’s most popular events.
Sunday, Oct. 10 – Event #20A: Flip & Go No Limit Hold’em Presented by GGPoker
The popular online format will make its live poker debut at WSOP, offering players a chance to skip the beginning stages of the tournament and get right into the heat of the action.
Wednesday, Oct. 13 – Event #26: Freezeout No-Limit Holdem
One buy-in only. Players will be able to play in the same as the Main Event format at every popular buy-in level from $500 to $5,000.