2019 WSOP to Offer Nine Online Poker Bracelet Events
It started just before Christmas in 2018. World Series of Poker executives started releasing information about the 2019 WSOP, beginning with some of the highlighted events and added more on a nearly-weekly basis through the first weeks of this year.
On the last day of January 2019, the final schedule for the summer WSOP was almost complete, with the glaring exception of the online poker events.
In 2015, the first year that the WSOP offered an online bracelet event as part of the summer series, there was one tournament of that nature. Another one was offered in 2016. Three were put on the schedule in 2017, and four were offered in 2018. To be precise, last year’s offerings included:
Event 10: $365 WSOP NLHE Online (2,972 entries, $974,816 prize pool)
Event 47: $565 WSOP Six-Max PLO Online (1,223 entries, $635,960 prize pool)
Event 61: $1K WSOP NLHE Online Championship (1,635 entries, $1,553,250 prize pool)
Event 63: $3,200 WSOP NLHE High Roller (480 entries, $1,459,200 prize pool)
This year, the WSOP is going beyond even doubling down by offering a total of nine online events.
Nine for 2019
In the fifth year of legal online poker in Nevada, as a part of the 50th Annual World Series of Poker celebration, executives decided on nine events this year.
— WSOP – World Series of Poker (@WSOP) February 21, 2019
Why nine? It wasn’t the number of events that was most important, it was making them consistently available throughout the WSOP, per the press release. They wanted to offer something at the same day and time each week to bring some consistency in the midst of what can be a hectic summer schedule.
Every Sunday, starting on June 2 and ending on July 14, there will be a one-day online tournament that awards a WSOP gold bracelet to the winner. However, there will be two Wednesday events thrown in as well, though the start times will be the same as the Sunday tournaments.
According to WSOP.com Head of Online Poker Bill Rini, “WSOP.com is offering a consistent gold bracelet schedule this year, plus non-stop satellites to both the online and live events, giving players the best opportunity to participate in the 50th Annual WSOP.”
Though the schedule is subject to change, this listing of online poker tournaments seems pretty specific and detailed as it is. All events will have a start time of 3:30pm PT (the time zone in Nevada).
June 2: $400 NLHE (3x reentries, 15K chips, 15-min levels, late reg until 7:15pm)
June 9: $600 PLO 6-Handed (unlimited reentries, 15K chips, 20-min levels, late reg until 7:15pm)
June 16: $600 NLHE KO Bounty (no reentries, 20K chips, 15-min levels, late reg until 7:15pm)
June 19: $500 NLHE Turbo Deepstack (3x reentries, 40K chips, 8-min levels, late reg until 6:30pm)
June 23: $1K NLHE Double Stack (3x reentries, 30K chips, 15-min levels, late reg until 7:30pm)
June 30: $1K NLHE Championship (3x reentries, 15K chips, 20-min levels, late reg until 7:30pm)
July 3: $3,200 NLHE High Roller (3x reentries, 25K chips, 20-min levels, late reg until 7:30pm)
July 7: $800 NLHE 6-Handed (3x reentries, 15K chips, 15-min levels, late reg until 7:30pm)
July 14: $500 NLHE Summer Saver (3x reentries, 20K chips, 15-min levels, late reg until 7:15pm)
Players will be able to pre-register for any of the online events by the end of April, at which time the WSOP will make an announcement.
Yes they can. Common occurrence.
— WSOP – World Series of Poker (@WSOP) February 22, 2019
One of the benefits of online poker offered in Nevada is the multiple ways to use those qualifiers to win seats into live WSOP events during the summer.
In fact, satellites are running now for Event 1 of the WSOP, which looks to bet the Big 50, a $500 NLHE event with 50K starting chips, $5 million guaranteed for the prize pool, and $1 million of that guaranteed for the winner. It is the kickoff to the celebratory 50th anniversary of the WSOP, and players can start winning seats now, more than three months before the tournament.
Freerolls allow players to win their way to a bracelet event for free, and other satellites start at $1 and go up to $30.
The biggest online qualifier will come during the series on June 30. The now-famous 25-Seat Scramble will cost $215 to enter and guarantee at least 25 seats into the $10K WSOP Main Event. There will be unlimited reentries allowed.
Still TBD if players will be eligible to play in New Jersey.
Like in previous years, PLO events can NOT be played on phones/tablets.
— Kevin Mathers (@Kevmath) February 21, 2019
Keep in mind that players on WSOP.com must be located in a state in which WSOP is licensed for online poker. It is a requirement in any of those states that players be 21 or older and physically located in the states to play, though residency is not required.
Wire Act Interference
There is one unknown at this point, and it may not become known until much closer to the actual WSOP. That is the eligibility of New Jersey players to participate from New Jersey on WSOP.com.
Last year, per the interstate online poker liquidity agreement, players on the WSOP.com poker site were in the same player pool whether in Nevada or New Jersey. However, the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel just released a new interpretation of the Wire Act. If it stands, it will most likely put a stop to online poker that crosses state lines. And if that becomes official, New Jersey players will not be able to play the online bracelet events this summer as they did last year.
The DOJ opinion may not stand, though. There are two lawsuits in progress and threats of more lawsuits to be filed, as well as a revolving door of DOJ officials. Anything can happen in the coming months. The situation will remain fluid, most likely up until the start of the WSOP.