Going Live: WSOP Circuit Unveils New Season Schedule, Adds New Tournament of Champions

October 27, 2021
Going Live: WSOP Circuit Unveils New Season Schedule, Adds New Tournament of Champions

Live poker received another major shot in the arm on Wednesday. World Series of Poker officials announced  the return of the WSOP Circuit following an 18-month hiatus.

The 17th season of the regional poker tour returns  on Thanksgiving, Nov. 25, at Harrah’s Cherokee in Cherokee, North Carolina. The series kicks off immediately following the conclusion of the WSOP in Las Vegas.

The return of the live circuit comes after several stops were canceled in 2020. Much of the series was held online at WSOP.com in 2020-21.

Series officials announced 13 stops so far with additional dates announced in the coming weeks. The WSOP-C is also adding a new Tournament of Champions as part of the new season.

 “It’s been too long, so it’s great to see the Circuit hitting the road once again,” WSOP Senior Vice President and Executive Director Ty Stewart said in a news release.

“The WSOP-C is one of our most important initiatives, allowing regional players to experience big-time poker and providing grinders a platform to earn a living. We’re pumped up about the new Tournament of Champions format where all our winders will come together for one event. Just win and you’re in.”

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What to expect from new WSOP-C season

The Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles is the circuit’s second stop beginning on Dec. 9. The tour then rolls on virtually non-stop until the season-ending stop at Harrah’s New Orleans beginning May 5.

Some months feature as many as four casinos stops. Many venues on the schedule may be familiar to players, but new stops have also been added, including:

  • Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park – Pompano Beach, Florida
  • Turning Stone Resort and Casino – Verona, New York
  • Deerfoot Inn and Casino – Calgary, Alberta, Canada

WSOP-C events will be played using a big blind ante format with expanded starting chips unveiled for the 2019-20 season. Tournament stops will feature standardized structures and payouts. Organizers hope this ensures players traveling to multiple stops can expect consistency at each event.

All casinos will release their series’ schedules upon approval by local regulatory bodies. Each tour stop will offer at least a dozen official gold ring events. Buy-ins start at $250 and include a $1,700 Main Event.

The $1 million freeroll also returns with a new qualification format. WSOP organizers note that it will be “refocused to make every event a pathway to win a highly coveted WSOP gold bracelet.”

Tournament of Champions unveiled, further season details released

The Tournament of Champions offers something new for WSOP-C players, beginning with the Cherokee event. All ring winners from live or online circuit events through July 2022 qualify for the invitation-only event.

The TOC will be held during the 2022 WSOP in Las Vegas. Beyond that, all online or live bracelet winners are also eligible to compete. An exact date for the TOC hasn’t been released yet.

Most WSOP-C stops will begin on Thursdays, with the four-day Main Events beginning on the second Friday of the tournament. Each host property is also encouraged to include seniors and ladies events. These winners also qualify to participate in the TOC.

Online WSOP Circuit events also planned

WSOP.com has seen an expanded role hosting numerous online circuit events over the last two years. More online events are also planned and online poker players can expect a busy schedule in the coming years.

For 2022, WSOP.com Online Circuit events will be scheduled monthly following the year-end championship. That event is a $250,000 freeroll scheduled for Dec. 28.

Here’s a look at the complete 2021-22 tournament stops released so far.

2021-22 WSOP-Circuit

SeriesTournament stopDates
1Harrah’s Cherokee (North Carolina)Nov. 25 – Dec. 6, 2021
2The Bicycle Casino (Los Angeles)Dec. 4-15, 2021
3Hilton ArubaDec. 9-19, 2021
4Choctaw Durant (Dallas/Oklahoma)Jan. 6-17, 2022
5Deerfoot Inn (Calgary, Canada)Jan. 12-23, 2022
6Thunder Valley Casino (Northern California)Jan. 13-24, 2022
7Horseshoe/Tunica (MS)Jan. 20-31, 2022
8Isle of Pompano (Pompano Beach, Florida)Feb. 3-14, 2022
9Hard Rock (Tulsa)March 10-21, 2022
10Turning Stone Resort Casino (Verona, NY)March 17-28, 2022
11Harrah’s Cherokee (North Carolina)April 7-18, 2022
12Horseshoe/Tunica (MS)April 21 – May 2, 2022
13Harrah’s New Orleans (Louisiana)May 5-16, 2022
WSOP Tournament of ChampionsWSOP Las Vegas 2022 – official date TDB

* Lead image courtesy PokerGO

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