Buy-ins of all shape and size dot Las Vegas, Nevada over the summer. Tournament costs add up in a hurry and players are on the lookout for where they can get the most bang for their buck. In the spirit of that mindset, below is a look at the best value tournament of at most a three-figure buy-in this summer.
1. $888 World Series of Poker Crazy Eights
Date: June 30-July 3
Only at the World Series of Poker is there an event with almost $1 million for first-place that plays eight-handed all the way to the finish line. “Crazy Eights” is a gimmick and lottery, but a profitable one.
The $888,888 guaranteed first place prize draws the thousands to the Rio right before the Main Event. Alexandru Papazian outlasted 8,120 runners in 2017. Payouts are available for all four starting flights, with two each day on June 30 and July 1.
The stacks of 8,000 to start might seem shallow but 60-minute levels on Days 2 and 3 open play up later. Crazy Eights beats out “The Colossus” for value due to the better playing environment (eight-handed tables) and comparable guaranteed money up top.
2. $600 MSPT Venetian DeepStack Championship Poker Series
Date: June 9-13
The $600 price point is one The Venetian pushes out across the full duration of its DeepStack Championship Poker Series. A $1 million guarantee is the cream of the $600 crop. The final table for the event is to be live streamed through the Mid-States Poker Tour.
The event starts on June 9 and the final table takes place on June 13. Players have three starting flights to choose from with one each on June 9, 10, and 11. A generous structure of chips and time is in place with a 20,000 starting bank along with 40-minute levels for the full length of the tournament.
At least 2,000 entrants are expected to register and the winner is going to leave with somewhere around $250,000 for their three days of play.
3. $600 Phamous Poker Series Goliath Milly
Date: June 6-9
On the judgment of venue alone, The Venetian $600 $1 million guaranteed event goes ahead of the Planet Hollywood version. The only change in structure is the blind level escalation. Levels are 30 minutes on Day 1, 40 minutes on Day 2, and 60 on Day 3. Players have time on their side when they need it the most.
WSOP bracelet winner Michael Wang defeated 2,721 entrants in 2017 to win this exact event. Wang collected $205,165 from the prize pool that went to $1.42 million.
The Venetian enjoys a full expo this summer and players can expect there to be a little to no alternate lists compared to the smaller space utilized by Planet Hollywood.[i15-table tableid=20717][i15-table tableid=19346]
4. $365 World Series of Poker Online Bracelet Event
Date: June 3
Win a bracelet from the couch for under $400? Who doesn’t want a piece of that action? The World Series of Poker hopes that players inside the New Jersey and Nevada borders sign up in droves for one of the four online events this summer.
WSOP.com is the host for the event with a quality structure in place. All levels are 15 minutes, an eternity for online. Entrants open with starting stacks of 15,000 with antes not kicking in until a few hours after play starts.
There is no guarantee on the event but expect to see close to 1,000 runners by the time the four-hour registration period closes.
5. $565 ARIA WPT 500
Date: June 25-July 3
The WPT 500 is one of the five must-play events of the summer and a serious value. For $565, players get a $1 million guarantee, World Poker Tour glory, and a prime location in the ARIA.
The nine starting flights offer any and all chances to get in the WPT action. The 2015 edition of the tournament brought in 5,113 entries to create a first-place prize of $330,000.
A Day 1 structure of 30 and 40-minute levels and 15,000 chips create a fast but fair environment. More than the Colossus or Giant, the WPT 500 is non-super short stacked for the entire event nor a turbo. It falls into a great sweet spot.