PBR World Finals 2012: Event Schedule, TV Info, Dates and Top Bull Riders

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistOctober 25, 2012

NEW YORK - JANUARY 05:  In this handout photo provided by the NYSE Euronext, professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) visit the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to kick off the PBR’s 6th Annual Madison Square Garden Invitational, presented by Full Metal Jousting on HISTORY on January 6-8, 2012, to launch the nationally televised, 2012 Built Ford Tough Series season at the New York Stock Exchange on January 5, 2012 in New York City.  To mark the occasion, PBR CEO James Haworth rings the NYSE Closing Bell joined by PBR executives and professional bull riders including Silvano Alves, 2011 PBR World Champion.  (Photo by Valerie Caviness/NYSE Euronext via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

Watch out Vegas—the best bull riders and the most ornery bucking bulls in the world have converged on the UNLV campus in search of domination and riches at this year's Pro Bull Riding World Finals.

Mathematically none of the Top 14 riders on the tour have been eliminated from contention for the title, and with as many as 5,500 Built Ford Tough Series points available. 

A combination of regular season point totals and those points accumulated over this five-day extravaganza will determine the 2012 World Champion, so the competition is sure to be as strong as its ever been.

Here's everything you need to know heading into Championship Sunday.

Where: Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV

When: Wednesday, October 24 through Sunday, October 28

TV Info: CBS Sports Network, NBC Sports Network, NBC

Schedule of Events and TV Schedule

Round 1: Wednesday, October 24, 9 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network.

Round 2: Thursday, October 25, 9 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network

Round 3: Friday, October 26, 9 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

Round 4: Saturday, October 27, 9 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

Round 5 and Championship Round: Sunday, October 28, 4 p.m. ET, NBC

Want to check out the action but you've got other plans and there's no room on the DVR?

No problem, as encore presentations of all the action will be airing throughout the event:

@acb92tab Can't watch #PBRFINALS LIVE? Make sure you check them out on TV! Here's the schedule: bit.ly/wLT05X.

— PBR (@PBR) October 25, 2012

Top Contenders

Silvano Alves

The 2010 PBR Rookie of the Year, 24-year-old Brazilian native Silvano Alves made history in 2011 when he claimed the World Championship, becoming the first reigning Rookie of the Year to win the title.

The 2012 Built Ford Tough Series point leader with 10,553.75 points, Alves had himself another phenomenal regular season. In 29 events, Alves had eight Top 5 finishes, 18 Top 10 finishes, two wins and a pair of 90-point rides.

The pressure is on for this upstart youngster to repeat as World Champion once again, especially after getting bucked off of his first bull on Wednesday night, but he remains the favorite to pull it off.

Valdiron de Olivera

A seasoned PBR veteran, 33-year-old Valdiron de Olivera sits in second place in the Built Ford Tough Series, though a strong performance in the opening round on Wednesday night lessened Silvano Alves' edge leading into the second round of competition.

He picked up only one win during 28 regular season events, but added 10 Top 5 finishes, 14 Top 10 finishes and three 90-point rides to his point totals throughout the season.

Now sitting with 10,048.75 points, de Olivera is in position to pull even closer to his younger countryman with another strong performance Thursday night.

L.J. Jenkins

Third in the Built Ford Tough Series points chase with 9,408.50, 25-year-old Oklahoma native L.J. Jenkins needs a strong performance the rest of the way so that he's still competing when the Championship Round begins on Sunday.

He's kept pace with his competition, putting together three 90-point rides, 10 Top 5 finishes and 13 Top 10 finishes, but with only one 90-point ride on the season, Jenkins could use a few more as he attempts to make up some considerable ground between himself and his Brazilian competitors.

Renato Nunes

Renato Nunes sat in ninth place in the points standings heading into Wednesday night, but a phenomenal 90.25 performance on Yellow Jacket Jr. on Wednesday night gave him the early lead in the World Finals.

The 31-year-old will need more 90-point rides if he hopes to catch the riders ahead of him, but he's put together four 90-point rides already in 2012, so while it's highly improbable, it's certainly not impossible for him to surprise everyone and take the crown.