WSOP 2020 Online to Award 85 Gold Bracelets

WSOP 2020 Online to Award 85 Gold Bracelets

The story of the 2020 World Series of Poker took an interesting turn this week.

In lieu of the planned 51st Annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, brand executives decided to offer an online poker alternative – one for US players and one for those in other locations throughout the world. And as with nearly everything that the WSOP does, everyone is not pleased.

A Tough Decision in a Tough Year

Everything was going swimmingly as 2020 got underway. The WSOP was planning the largest ever summer series for 2020 in Las Vegas, complete with 101 tournaments to award gold bracelets. Organizers planned more space for cash games and daily non-bracelet events and added PLO and seniors-only action to the dailies.

When the coronavirus pandemic began to close casinos and card rooms around the world, organizers had to begin postponing (and then cancelling) WSOP Circuit events on the domestic and international tours. They quickly set up a domestic WSOPC online series for players in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware in the US market on WSOP.com, and soon after, they offered an international series in coordination with GGPoker.

Both showed very positive results, surpassing all tournament guarantees and attracting significant numbers of entries.

Meanwhile, as the Covid-19-related shutdowns continued well into April, the World Series of Poker had to make its decision about the upcoming 2020 WSOP that had been scheduled to begin at the end of May. They postponed it with no way of knowing how or when they would be able to reschedule.

Meanwhile, the WSOP decided to put a button on its 2019-2020 WSOPC season with a finale series offered in New Jersey and Nevada with 12 tournaments on WSOP.com

WSOP Online or Bust

The outlook for rescheduling a WSOP live poker series to rival the scrapped summer plans was not looking good through May and into June. Some casinos around America – specifically in Las Vegas – began to open in the first week of June, but many did so without poker rooms in operation.

And into June, as people begin venturing back into casinos, the chances of another uptick in the number of virus cases remained unpredictable.

So, the WSOP decided to take it all online…at least most of it.

This week, they announced the World Series of Poker Online (WSOP Online). It will offer 85 WSOP gold bracelet-awarding events, some for players able to compete on WSOP.com and others for GGPoker players. Cumulatively, the series will start on July 1 and run through September 6.

WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart noted, “It wouldn’t be summer without WSOP. While we are thrilled to be reopening our venues and optimistic about future offline events, we couldn’t be more excited about deepening our relationship with GGPoker and watching some history unfold online this summer.”

GGPoker Ambassador Daniel Negreanu added, “Bringing this experience online will open the door for a new generation of poker players to feel the rush of competing for the game’s biggest prize.”

What is Known and Unknown

Anyone from around the world will be eligible to play in the events on WSOP.com, but they must be located in New Jersey or Nevada to do so. Those events will kick off on July 1 and run through July 31 with one event every day. That means a player will win a WSOP gold bracelet every day of the month.

On July 19, the WSOP tournaments will begin online at GGPoker. Players must be located in specific countries to compete, such as Canada. Those events will run with one each day through September 6.

The GGPoker events have yet to be announced. The WSOP said those events will be unveiled “on a rolling basis and will have a broad range of buy-ins and game formats.”

Poker Central will provide media coverage in the form of “significant original content around the festival utilizing its Las Vegas-based studio” and will include livestreams, highlight reels, and new episodes that will eventually be rebroadcast on television. Further, Poker Central will conduct virtual “Bracelet ceremonies” and virtually interview each winner.

Players now wait for the coverage details, along with the GGPoker part of the schedule.

Additionally, the press release stated that the series will contain 85 tournaments, but there are only 83 slots on the current web page for the series. That means more information will be necessary to explain that difference.

It also seems that this solidifying of the WSOP-GGPoker relationship means the World Series of Poker has officially broken up with 888poker. For more than a few years, 888poker had been the official online poker partner of the WSOP and been one of the primary sponsors of the summer series in Las Vegas. However, WSOP seems to have followed Negreanu to GGPoker, not once mentioning 888poker since.

WSOP Online Schedule: July 1-31 in Nevada and New Jersey

At this point, the schedule for tournaments to happen on WSOP.com includes basic information only. There is nothing noted about potential prize pool guarantees, and the structures for the events have yet to be released.

A noticeable omission from this schedule is any variation from No Limit Hold’em and Omaha. This is due to software and regulatory limitations.

This is the schedule for players in New Jersey and Nevada, with each event starting at 3pm:

July 1:  $500 NLHE Kickoff (2 reentries)

July 2:  $1K NLHE 8-Handed Deepstack (2 reentries)

July 3:  $400 NLHE (2 reentries)

July 4:  $500 NLHE Super Turbo (2 reentries)

July 5:  $1K NLHE Freezeout

July 6:  $600 PLO-8 6-Handed (3 reentries)

July 7:  $800 NLHE Knockout Deepstack (2 reentries)

July 8:  $500 NLHE Freezeout

July 9:  $1K NLHE 6-Max (2 reentries)

July 10:  $600 NLHE Monster Stack (2 reentries)

July 11:  $500 NLHE Turbo Deepstack 6-Handed (2 reentries)

July 12:  $500 NLHE Big 500 (3 reentries)

July 13:  $1,500 NLHE High Roller Freezeout

July 14:  $3,200 NLHE High Roller (2 reentries)

July 15:  $1K PLO 8-Max High Roller (3 reentries)

July 16:  $500 NLHE Turbo (2 reentries)

July 17:  $777 NLHE (2 reentries)

July 18:  $1K NLHE 8-Handed Turbo Deepstack (2 reentries)

July 19:  $400 NLHE (3 reentries)

July 20:  $500 PLO 6-Handed (3 reentries)

July 21:  $777 NLHE 6-Handed (2 reentries)

July 22:  $500 NLHE Turbo Deepstack (2 reentries)

July 23:  $500 NLHE Knockout

July 24:  $400 NLHE 8-Handed (2 reentries)

July 25:  $500 NLHE Summer Saver (2 reentries)

July 26:  $500 NLHE Grand Finale (3 reentries)

July 27:  $400 NLHE Freezeout

July 28:  $1K Omaha-8 6-Max (2 reentries)

July 29:  $600 NLHE Turbo Deepstack 6-Handed (2 reentries)

July 30:  $500 NLHE Seniors (2 reentries, players must be 50 or older)

July 31:  $1K NLHE Championship (2 reentries)

 

About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including PokerStars.com and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

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