Event #1: $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold'em

Welcome to the 2011 World Series of Poker!

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It's that time of year again, folks! Today marks the start of the 2011 World Series of Poker -- the most prestigious poker tournament series on the entire planet! For the next seven weeks, the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be working tirelessly day in and day out to bring you the most intensive live coverage straight from the confines of the Rio here in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is our pleasure to have you with us following along wherever you may be and a great privilege of ours to capture summer in the poker history books.

Like last year, things will begin with the $500 Casino Employees event. Casino employees from all over the world will have a shot at their very own WSOP gold bracelet and a place in the record books. Last year, Hoai Pham conquered a field of 721 players to claim the $71,424 first-place prize and the coveted gold bracelet.

Play will kick off in the Rio Pavilion, which is jam packed with poker tables as far as the eye can see. Another massive field of entrants is expected for this event and it's going to be an exciting one. Things are set to kick off at noon local time here in the desert, so stay tuned for all of the action!