A good business observes their customers and adjusts their offerings to keep their customers from going elsewhere. And that is exactly what the 2018 World Series of Poker schedule is designed to do.
The WSOP may bring poker players from all around the world to the desert of Las Vegas, Nevada ever summer, but the tournaments around town are plentiful and very enticing.
WSOP responds to players trends
Years back, when the Venetian Deep Stacks started luring players away from the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, the WSOP answered by offering deep stack tournaments of their own.
When the Aria started attracting high-rollers to their property, the WSOP answered by adding some high roller tournaments to the schedule and a high-roller cash game area to keep more players on site.
And now that the popularity of pot-limit Omaha continues to rise, the WSOP answered the call by making it easier for players to find their new favorite game on the tournament schedule.
New events for the 2018 WSOP
The WSOP added nine new events overall to this summer’s schedule. Some events are replacing others, while a few are brand new. Overall, there is an 8% increase in events that the WSOP is hoping will translate to an even bigger increase in tournament registrations.
PLO events continue to grow
For the past few years, the WSOP schedule reflects the growth of PLO as one of the more popular poker variants. This year continues is seeing that trend continue.
There are three brand new PLO events on this year’s schedule. They are:
- Event #11: $365 PLO GIANT
- Event #67: 1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty
- Event #47: $565 WSOP.com ONLINE Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed
These three events join four other PLO events excluding the mixed game variants where Omaha is played.
Probably the most exciting of the new events is the PLO GIANT which gives those with an edge in the game the most affordable opportunity at winning a bracelet.
You can expect huge crowds as professional and amateur players take their shot in one of five starting flights that feature unlimited reentries and payouts if you make until the end of the day.
Taking a stab at the high-roller market
The $111,111 High Roller for One Drop has morphed into the fan favorite, Event #78 $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop this year, leaving a hole in the schedule for another high-roller.
The WSOP answered that problem two-fold by introducing Event #5 – $100,000 No-Limit High Roller and Event #77 – $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller.
With the number of players focused on high rollers in recent years, this addition is a good move by the WSOP.
The big question is around the position of the $100k on the tournament calendar.
It would seem to make more sense to schedule it towards the end of the series when more players are in town because of the Main Event, when the $50k and the Big One for One Drop are being played, and when players with new windfalls from earlier wins might want to take a shot.
Will a high roller at the beginning of the series attract a substantial number of players? Only time will tell.
Other new events
Last year, the WSOP hosted a $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Super Turbo Bounty that attracted to 1,868 players. It’s no secret, players love bounty tournaments because they play fast and don’t last for days on end.
This year, the WSOP is replacing the popular $1,000 buy-in with Event #2 – $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Super Turbo Bounty.
While professionals tend to prefer turbo tournaments, amateurs flock to tournaments with larger than normal starting stacks that tend to provide more play. And to answer that call, The WSOP added Event #34 – $1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em.
In contrast, the $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty is scheduled for one day, while the $1,000 Double Stack is scheduled for six.
It’s no surprise that the WSOP loves to put a good spin on a tournament to help attract more amateur players to the game. And of course, where the amateurs go, the pros will follow.
Joining The Colossus, The Millionaire Maker and The Giant is this year’s Event #75 – $1,500 The Closer No-Limit Hold’em $1 Million Guaranteed. It’s appropriately named as it will be one of the last of 78 bracelets awarded in Vegas over the summer.
There is no doubt the poker playing public loves its gimmicks, huge prize pools, and large stacks. It seems the WSOP has been listening by adding events to the schedule that will not only draw new players to the Rio this summer but also keep them playing at the Rio.
While not only good for the players, by giving them more options and choices, its surely will be good for the WSOP’s bottom line.
You can view the complete 2018 World Series of Poker tournament schedule online at wsop.com.