The Power of Cinderella

Credit what you will-- the explosion of televised events like Travel Channel's World Poker Tour or Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown, or the Cinderella story of Chris Moneymaker's Internet-to-bracelet $2.5 million victory at last year's event-- but participation in this year's World Series of Poker has exploded. Moneymaker triumphed over a field of 839 contestants last year, but that number has more than tripled as Binion's hosts 2,576 players this week, with a record top prize of $5 million. Second place must make do with a mere $3.5 million.

But don't look for a repeat victory from last year's champ. Moneymaker got knocked out on day one after only 3 hours of play.

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