2012 WSOPE to award 7 bracelets

The sixth annual World Series of Poker Europe will once again take place this fall in Cannes, France. The seven-event tournament series will be held from September 21 to October 4, 2012 at the Casino Barrière de Cannes Croisette and the Hôtel Majestic Barrière. After a record-setting first run at that location in 2011, the WSOP is thrilled to return to one of the most glamorous stops on the poker tour.

"We can't wait to return to the Cote D'Azur in 2012," said WSOP vice president Ty Stewart. "We have moved up the schedule a couple of weeks to take better advantage of the great weather and all Cannes has to offer. Ask anyone who attended last year. This tournament is now a certified major championship and the experience is second to none. The media is already speculating on 1,000 players for the main event and we will be ready for them."

Given restrictions on what games are eligible to be played in France (only Omaha and hold 'em are acceptable), the WSOP opted to keep the bracelet schedule identical to last year with some minor changes to the buy-ins. There will be an additional 48 side events held at the venue.

"We are pleased to welcome back this event to the Cannes Barrière resort," said Alain Fabre, CEO of Barrière Croisette Casino. "The first edition of the WSOPE in Cannes was a great success, an-award winning event that we took great pride in. We look forward to hosting the players again and will strive to make this "festival of poker" even more fabulous."

The tournament series will kick off on September 21 with a 2,700 euro six-handed no-limit hold 'em event. Last year, amateur Guillaume Humbert defeated a field of 360 in that event to claim his first bracelet.

Two 10,450 euro events will steal most of the focus in Cannes. The second-annual "Mixed-Max" event (where the tournament format changes after Days 1 and 2) will highlight the middle of the tournament series and the main event, which generated 593 entries a year ago, will finish off the action and create another poker-made millionaire. Elio Fox defeated Chris Moorman heads-up last year to win the top prize of 1.4 million euros.

One of the more intriguing aspects of WSOPE is that the events count towards the overall WSOP Player of the Year race. In 2011, it took until Moorman was eliminated in the WSOPE main event to award the honor to Ben Lamb. A close race will also drive up overall participation, something the WSOP is counting on.

Here's the schedule for the 2012 WSOP Europe:

Event 1: Sept. 21-Sept. 23: 2,700-euro six-handed no-limit hold 'em (three-day event)
Event 2: Sept. 22-Sept. 25: 1,100-euro no-limit hold 'em (two starting days, five day event)
Event 3: Sept. 24-Sept. 26: 5,300-euro pot-limit Omaha (three-day event)
Event 4: Sept. 25-Sept. 27: 3,250-euro no-limit hold 'em shootout (three-day event)
Event 5: Sept. 26-Sept. 28: 10,450-euro Mixed-Max" Championship (three-day event)
Event 6: Sept. 27-Sept. 29: 1,650-euro six-handed pot-limit Omaha (three-day event)
Event 7: Sept. 29-Oct. 4: 10,450-euro championship no-limit hold 'em (two starting days, five-day event)