LAS VEGAS - For the 18th year in a row, the world's top bull riders and the fiercest bucking bulls return to Las Vegas for the richest bull riding event on the planet, the 2011 Built Ford Tough World Finals on Oct. 26-30 at the Thomas & Mack Center. The World Finals have a total purse of $2.2 million, including a $1 million bonus to the 2011 PBR World Champion, who also receives the coveted World Champion buckle.
The World Finals will consist of six rounds of competition featuring the Top 40 bull riders in the world. The first five rounds feature all of the riders against the toughest bulls. The scores from the five rides will be combined, and the Top 15 riders will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, following the completion of Round 5 on Sunday, Oct. 30. The rider with the highest total score for the six rounds will earn the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals Event title and $250,000.
Bull riding begins at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available at the Thomas & Mack Center box office, www.UNLVTickets.com, and by telephone at (866) PBR-SHOW.
The World Champion will be the rider with the most Built Ford Tough Series points accumulated during the regular season and the World Finals. There are a potential 5,500 points available at the World Finals, so any of the Top 6 riders heading into Las Vegas has the opportunity to win the title.
Renato Nunes entered the 2010 World Finals in third place, 1,300.75 points behind leader Austin Meier. Nunes rode his first five bulls at the World Finals, ending the competition 5-for-6, and earned 4,369 points, including 2,500 as the Finals event winner, to win the World Championship. He finished in the Top 5 in the first five rounds, including first place in Round 3.
The BFTS points and money leader in 2011 is Silvano Alves of Pilar do Sul, Brazil with 12,782.5 points and $363,089. The 2010 PBR Rookie of the Year has been ranked No. 1 for the past 10 weeks, and he picked up his third regular-season win in the final event at Columbus, Ohio.
"I have had success by going out and trying to ride all of my bulls," said Alves. "I hope that God will let me ride my best, and look forward to riding really well in Las Vegas."
Valdiron de Oliveira of Aparecida de Goiania, Brazil, is second in points with 10,521.5, and fourth in money with $307,796. Oliveira was ranked first for 17 of the first 19 weeks of season, including 16 weeks in a row.
Robson Palermo ranks second in money earned with $317,500, and third in points with 8949.5, while Meier is fourth with 7995.25. 2008 PBR World Champion Guilherme Marchi is in fifth place, 5,113.5 points back, and Fabiano Vieira is in sixth place, 5,126.5 points behind.
There are five PBR World Champions in the field, led by Nunes, from Buritama, Brazil. The others are Chris Shivers of Jonesville, La., who won in 2000 and 2003; Mike Lee of Decatur, Texas (2004); Marchi; and Kody Lostroh of Longmont, Colo. (2009).
The World Finals officially begin on Tuesday, Oct. 25, with the inaugural PBR Legends Reunion at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, which was the site of the first five PBR World Finals from 1994-98. The event begins at 4 p.m. with the Founders Forum, and continues until 9 p.m. with the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals Kickoff Party. Each Legends Reunion ticket package contains tickets to the Founders Forum, Alumni Meet & Greet, Heroes & Legends Ceremony, and the Built Ford Tough World Finals Kickoff Party, as well as a commemorative Legends Reunion ball cap and an autograph book. For more information please click here.
There is a special $150 ticket that includes the Legends Reunion and Rounds 1 and 2 of the World Finals, a savings of $170. Tickets are available at the Thomas & Mack Center box office, www.UNLVTickets.com, and by telephone at (866) PBR-SHOW.
The 2011 PBR World Finals will be televised live in HD on VERSUS at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and on NBC at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday. DIRECTV will have the first-ever 3D broadcast of bull riding at 4 p.m. ET on DIRECTV's 3D channel, n3D™ (channel 103).
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