Thursday May 30, 2019 at 7:05 pm

The World Series of Poker is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year in Las Vegas. The Rio Casino will host the WSOP once again for its expanded schedule featuring 89 events. The special BIG 50 begins today with the $50K High Roller on the slate for this weekend.

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And so it begins. The annual running of the donks in Las Vegas began this week with the launch of the 2019 World Series of Poker. The WSOP attracts players from all walks of life and from all over the globe. Poker players, both amateurs and pros, descend upon Sin City for the next 6-7 weeks of action. Players are seeking stacks of cash, fun, fame, glory, validation, bracelets, and respect. Some folks are fulfilling a bucket list item, while others are pushing their own personal boundaries to see what they can truly achieve by playing against the best of the best.

The series began on a somber note with a special charity event for the Gavin Smith Foundation. Smith passed away earlier this year and his friends gathered to help raise money for his kids.

The 2019 WSOP is in full swing with 89 events on the calendar. One event is already underway and Daniel Negreanu is at the final table and seeking his seventh career piece of bling. Meanwhile, the BIG 50 commences today, which is a special event to commemorate the 50th birthday of the WSOP. The BIG 50 has only a $500 buy-in with over $5 million in guarantees.

For the ballas out there, the $50K High Roller is on deck for this weekend.

This might be the last WSOP at the Rio. The casino and its property was supposedly sold by Caesar's. The area was a proposed site for both a MLB stadium and a high-speed rail station. If the Rio is dunzo, then the WSOP will move over to its expected new home at the soon-to-be-finished Caesar's convention center. Just in time, eh?

We have a week-to-week breakdown of the 2019 WSOP Schedule. Who is going to be the lucky mofo to win two (or more) pieces of bling this year? Which pros will be shipping multiple bracelet prop bets? Will Negreanu finally win his seventh? How about Hellmuth? Does he deserve #16 this summer? Will Bryn Kenney continue his heater? The Aussie Millions champ ran good at the USPO and at Triton Super High Roller events. He's as hot as ZeeJustin last year, who parlayed his sick run and won a bracelet.

Last year, John Cynn won the Main Event. Cynn won the longest heads-up battle in Main Event history. The marathon went on forever before Cynn knocked out Tony Miles to win $8.8 million. Joe Cada made another Main Event final table, but he busted in fifth place.

The Grinder took down the Chip Reese Trophy and the $50K Players Championship.

Music producer Steve Albini won a Stud bracelet.

Phil Hellmuth won his 15th bracelet with a victory in 5K 30-min levels.

Shaun Deeb won two bracelets last year, including the $25K PLO and a $10K Big Blind Antes 6-Max.

Johnny World won his fifth bracelet with a win in $10K HORSE.

Justin Bonomo won the 10K Heads-up bracelet after he embarked on a heater earlier that year.

Brian Rast won a Lowball bracelet at one of Doyle Brunson's final final table appearances before Tex Dolly rode off into the sunset and retired.

Scott Siever, Cal Anderson, Joe Cada, Bobby Bellande, Phil Galfond, Chance Kornuth, Jessica Dawley and Galen Hall also won bling last summer at the Rio.

Check out of list of 2018 WSOP Bracelet winners as well as a list of 2017 WSOP Bracelet winners.

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