WSOP 2021 Online Poker Satellites Abound
In any other year, a month and a half before the World Series of Poker, players around the world would be making final preparations for the trip to Las Vegas. Flights would be booked and hotel rooms reserved. The only thing left to do would be to play some online satellites to win a WSOP tournament entry or prize package.
We’ve said this a few hundred times, but this year is unlike any other. Most poker players are still trying to decide if they will even attend the 2021 WSOP.
The Covid-19 protocols are still in flux. The latest from the WSOP itself is a vague and admittedly-evolving promise to adhere to CDC guidelines. Some players won’t attend if there is no mask mandate and/or vaccine requirement in place. Others will not attend if the WSOP implements either of those two things. And there are even some players – like a famous previous WSOP champion named Chris Moneymaker – who decided that the risk is too high, no matter the protocols.
— Chris Moneymaker ⭕ (@CMONEYMAKER) August 6, 2021
Some players aren’t even sure if they can travel to the United States and what the quarantine process will be when they arrive or when they return home.
However, there are poker players who will attend. And there are those who could be persuaded if they have a free seat into a WSOP tournament. For all of those people, there are online satellite opportunities at a range of sites. Some are official and sanctioned by the WSOP. Some are not but still legitimate satellites.
Let’s see what’s out there.
WSOP.com: Official Satellites in US
The official World Series of Poker-affiliated online poker site operates in three states within the United States market: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. Delaware players are connected also, but for some reason, they cannot participate in WSOP-branded giveaways and bracelet events.
Those playing on the NV, PA, and NJ sites can win seats to the $10K buy-in WSOP Main Event. They all have different ending dates for the promotions:
-WSOP.com in New Jersey: Main Event satellites end August 29
-WSOP.com in Nevada: Main Event satellites end August 31
-WSOP.com in Pennsylvania: Main Event satellites start September 1 and end September 30.
Each state has its own rules and opportunities as well.
-WSOP.com in New Jersey: $215 buy-in satellites every Sunday at 6:30pm
-WSOP.com in Nevada: $215 buy-in satellites every Sunday at 3:30pm
-WSOP.com in Pennsylvania: $215 satellites every Sunday at 3pm, others with unknown buy-ins every Monday at 10pm, Tuesday at 7:30pm, Wednesday at 10pm, Thursday at 10pm, Friday at 10pm, and Saturday at 5:30pm
No WSOP Main Event seats seem to be parts of prize packages, meaning players do not win any travel expenses or hotel accommodations.
GGPoker: Road to Vegas
Not only is GGPoker in the middle of its 2021 WSOP Online offering for international players, it established the Road to Vegas promotion that started on August 1. This is the only online site in the world offering official World Series of Poker prize packages that include travel expenses as a part of a complete $2,500 package. GGPoker will award each winner a WSOP Main Event seat worth $10K, as well as the following:
-Access to exclusive Platinum Lounge at Rio
-Invitation to GGPoker WSOP party
-Last satellite winner standing in WSOP Main Event wins WSOP Europe prize package
-Travel and expense funds of $1,250
-Rio Hotel accommodations of seven nights
At least five qualifiers run each day, and the steps to take players through the process of winning a seat involve a range of buy-ins. Originally, GGPoker promoted satellites of $80, $250, and $1,050. However, qualifiers listed on the GGPoker promotional schedule now run as low as $8. Steps will offer $8 satellites into the $80, $25 satellites into the $250, and $108 satellites into the $1,050 buy-ins.
The original plan was that GGPoker would award 65 prize packages. However, just two weeks into the promotion, the site had already awarded 50 packages. Depending upon how long the promotion runs, there could be more than 200 qualifiers. It should be noted, though, that players can win more than one prize package and take the $10K in tournament dollars on GGPoker. And players who cannot make the trip to Las Vegas can request a refund, but if approved, they will only receive $10K in online poker tournament dollars.
At this point, there is no end date listed for the GGPoker satellites. The current schedule of offerings only runs through August 28, but it seems likely that there will be more added for September.
— GGPoker (@GGPoker) August 15, 2021
ClubGG: GGPoker Subscription Site Satellites
This summer, GGPoker launched a new online poker subscription site, akin to ClubWPT. This offers online poker to players in countries like the United States, in which GGNetwork real-money sites cannot operate. The goal is to give players a chance to win seats into live poker tournaments around the world, courtesy of the GGNetwork.
Players can join for a fee of $49.99 per month. That includes online poker, satellites, unlimited access to practice games, a 20% discount at the GGStore, and free access to GGClass, which appears to be a poker training platform.
It is also a way for people to win their tickets to the $10K buy-in WSOP Main Event. ClubGG awarded the first three $10K seats on August 8, another three on August 15, and will award more on August 22. But the promotion has been so successful that they extended it through September 19.
Platinum subscribers – with the $49.99 membership – can play in hourly Stage 1 tournaments for free. Each one will award the top 20% of finishers tickets to Stage 2 tournaments. Players can then use those tickets to participate in Stage 2 SNGs with 9-180 players, with one in every nine players winning tickets to the Final Stage.
Final Stage tournaments will take place each Sunday at 3pm ET as follows:
-August 22: 4 WSOP Main Event seats
-August 29: 5 seats
-September 5: 5 seats
-September 12: 5 seats
-September 19: 5 seats
Winners of WSOP Main Event seats will also meet with Daniel Negreanu at a private function. That event will include complimentary food and drinks and photo opportunities. The players will also gain access to the ClubGG Lounge at the Rio during the WSOP.
— ClubGG (@ClubGG_Poker) August 19, 2021
888Poker: Road to Las Vegas
In favor of the World Series of Poker’s new partnership with GGPoker, 888poker seems to have been cast off into unofficial satellite territory. This is why the 888poker Road to Las Vegas makes no mention of the WSOP at all, not in the promotional materials or on the website.
Nevertheless, it is running satellites starting at just $0.01. Direct qualifiers cost $1,050 to win the WSOP Main Event seat and full $13K-valued prize package. And they will run through October 17.
The prize packages are also not WSOP-specific but hint at it. “You could be part of the most massive poker event on the planet,” the promotion reads. And its terms and conditions note that the event in play will be “held at the Rio Hotel and Casino in the poker area (Convention Centre). In addition, 888poker representatives will meet winners at the Rio to buy them in to the tournament. And included in the prize package is the $10K buy-in for the unnamed tournament and…
-$1,500 for travel and expenses
-$1,500 for accommodations via Main Event Travel options
-888poker LIVE kit with merchandise and branding materials
You can start your journey to the most prestigious #poker tourney in the world for as little as one cent!
— 888poker (@888poker) August 19, 2021
WPN Sites: WSOP Takedown
This promotion runs from September 5-19 and offers flexibility; players can take the $12,500 prize package to play in the WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas or keep the cash. The packages each contain a $10K seat and $2,500 in travel expenses.
Essentially, there are two main satellites: Sunday, September 12, and Sunday, September 19. But daily mega satellites start at just $11 and run daily beginning the first week of September, as do super satellites starting at $1.10. Each of those smaller satellites offers a guaranteed number of seats to the next level of satellite. For example, this is the schedule for Sunday, September 5:
-9am ET: $1.10 super satellite (10 seats GTD)
-12pm ET: $11 mega satellite (10 seats GTD)
-3pm ET: $1.10 super (10 seats GTD)
-6pm ET: $11 mega (10 seats GTD)
On Sunday, September 12, the action heats up leading up to the main WSOP Takedown satellite. Players can also simply buy in directly to the Sunday WSOP Takedown for $109.
-9am ET: $11 mega (10 seats GTD)
-12:30pm ET: $11 mega (10 seats GTD)
-2pm ET: $11 turbo (15 seats GTD)
-4pm ET: $11 turbo (15 seats GTD)
-4pm ET: $109 WSOP Takedown (5 prize packages GTD)
The next week ups the action to $2.20 supers and $22 megas, leading up to the final Sunday opportunity on September 19. That Takedown will require a $215 direct buy-in or satellite entry.
-9am ET: $22 mega (10 seats GTD)
-12:30pm ET: $22 mega (10 seats GTD)
-2pm ET: $22 turbo (15 seats GTD)
-4pm ET: $22 turbo (15 seats GTD)
-4pm ET: $215 WSOP Takedown (15 prize packages GTD)
Americas Cardroom published the full satellite schedule on its website.