The 2010 World Series of Poker was the 41st annual World Series of Poker (WSOP), held at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Paradise, Nevada, and ran from May 28 to July 17. There were 57 bracelet events, culminating in the $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Championship that began on July 5. The November Nine concept returned for the third year, with the Main Event finalists returning on November 6.
A notable change from 2009 was the revamping of the $50,000 buy-in tournament. From its inception in 2006 through 2009, it had been a H.O.R.S.E. event in which play rotated between Texas hold 'em, Omaha 8-or-better, Razz, stud, and stud 8-or-better, all played with a limit betting structure. In 2010, it became an "8-game" tournament, rotating between the five H.O.R.S.E. games followed by rounds of no-limit hold 'em, pot-limit Omaha (high only), and limit 2–7 triple draw. Once the final table was reached, play switched exclusively to no-limit hold 'em (as was the case in the 2006 H.O.R.S.E. event). The tournament, now known as The Poker Player's Championship, was moved to the second spot on the WSOP schedule, preceded only by the restricted $500 Casino Employees No Limit Hold'em event. Thus, the 2010 WSOP open events started with The Poker Player's Championship and ended with the No Limit Hold'em Championship/Main Event.
The $10,000 No Limit Texas Hold 'em Championship Main Event began on July 5 with the first of four starting days. Each of the participants at the 2010 WSOP Main Event received 30,000 in tournament chips for the $10,000 buy-in event. After reaching the final table of nine players on July 17, the final table was delayed until November 6.
The total number of entrants in the 2010 Main Event was 7,319 with a prize pool of $68,798,600 with the winner receiving $8,944,138 for first place. The payout "bubble" was reached during Day 4 at 747 players, each of whom earned a minimum of $19,263. The bubble finisher (748th place) was Tim McDonald, a professional angler and recreational poker player from Lexington, Kentucky; he received the consolation prize of a guaranteed seat in the 2011 Main Event. Matt Affleck, with his 15th-place finish in this year’s championship combined with an 80th-place in 2009, outlasted 13,718 players in back-to-back years, which is the fourth-most in WSOP history. (Stefan Mattsson - 15,052 in 2006 & 2007, Humberto Brenes - 15,012 in 2006 & 2007, Joseph Hachem - 14,153 in 2005 & 2006)
The Main Event was a draw for many celebrities to play including:
Of these celebrities, Northug (653rd), Fenech (585th), and Buffer (478th) made the money.
Other notable high finishes
NB: This list is restricted to top 30 finishers with an existing Wikipedia entry.
*Career statistics prior to the beginning of the 2010 Main Event.
American jewelry designer Steve Soffa was chosen by the World Series of Poker to design and manufacture the entire set of bracelets for the 2010 World Series of Poker.