Preview: What To Expect At The 2021 World Series Of Poker in Las Vegas & From Afar

September 28, 2021
Preview: What To Expect At The 2021 World Series Of Poker in Las Vegas & From Afar

After a one-year pandemic break, the World Series of Poker returns to Las Vegas beginning Thursday. Players from around the world again hope to cash in and score a championship gold bracelet.

The festival runs Sept. 30 – Nov. 23 at the Rio with 88 tournaments and the $10,000 Main Event set for Nov. 4-17 with four starting flights. USPoker takes a look at the upcoming series, what to expect, and spoke with a few players about their plans.

World Series of Poker 2021

  • Dates: Sept. 30 – Nov. 23
  • Location: Rio, Las Vegas
  • Number of bracelet events: 88
  • $10,000 Main Event: Nov. 4-17
  • Viewing options: CBS Sports Network, PokerGO (daily coverage)
  • Online bracelets: 10 for players in Nevada and New Jersey; one for Pennsylvania

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WSOP ‘Reunion’ at the Rio a big part of first weekend, Phil Hellmuth ready

This year’s WSOP obviously comes with some changes. Because of the COVID pandemic, the series is being played in the fall. Series officials are also requiring vaccines, but no mask requirements once a vaccinated player becomes eligible to play.

How that affects turnout remains to be seen. Organizers had originally hoped for the largest festival in the history of the series. However, COVID and vaccine requirements may change that.

A few major name players like Kristen Bicknell and Alex Foxen have said they won’t play this year. Whatever the case, the vaccine requirement remains in place and plenty of players are ready to get back in the action. One of those is 15-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth.

“I love it,” he says of the series’ return. “I’m looking forward to resuming my ‘chase for history’ at the WSOP.”

Players will once again find a wide variety of tournaments, with buy-ins ranging from $400 to $250,000. WSOP organizers have slotted a special tournament for the first weekend to welcome players back to Vegas. The $500 “Reunion” kicks off Oct. 1 with a $5 million guaranteed prize pool. Here’s a look at the complete series schedule:

2021 World Series of Poker

DateEventBuyinNumber of days
Sept. 30Event #1: Casino Employees No Limit Hold'em$5002
Sept. 30Event #2: H.O.R.S.E.$25,0003
Sept. 30Event #3: Covid-19 Relief No Limit Hold'em Charity Event$1,0002
Oct. 1Event #4: The Reunion No-Limit Holdem
$5,000,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool
$5005
Oct. 1Event #5: Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better$1,5003
Oct. 2Event #6: High Roller No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed$25,0003
Oct. 3Event #7: Dealers Choice 6-Handed$1,5003
Oct. 4Event #8: No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack$6002
Oct. 4Event #9: Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship$10,0004
Oct. 5Event #10: Super Turbo Bounty No Limit Hold'em (freezeout)$1,0001
Oct. 5Event #11: Heads Up No Limit Hold'em Championship$25,0003
Oct. 5Event #12: Limit Hold’em$1,5003
Oct. 6Event #13: Freezeout No Limit Hold'em$3,0003
Oct. 6Event #14: Seven Card Stud$1,5003
Oct. 7Event #15: 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em$1,5003
Oct. 7Event #16: Limit Hold'em Championship$10,0003
Oct. 8Event #17A: MILLIONAIRE MAKER No-Limit Hold’em$1,5005
Oct. 8Event #18: Mixed Triple Draw Lowball (Limit)$2,5003
Oct. 9Event #17B: MILLIONAIRE MAKER No Limit Hold'em$1,5001
Oct. 9Event #19: Seven Card Stud Championship$10,0003
Oct. 10Event #20A: Flip & Go No Limit Hold'em Presented by GGPoker$1,0002
Oct. 10Event #21: Mixed: Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better; Omaha Hi Lo 8 or Better; Big O$1,5003
Oct. 10Event #20B: Flip & Go No Limit Hold'em Presented by GGPoker$1,0001
Oct. 11Event #22: LADIES No-Limit Hold’em Championship$10,0003
Oct. 11Event #23: Eight Game Mix 6-Handed$1,5003
Oct. 12Event #24: Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack (8-Handed)$6002
Oct. 12Event #25: 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em$5,0003
Oct. 13Event #26: Freezeout No-Limit Holdem$1,0002
Oct. 13Event #27: H.O.R.S.E.$1,5003
Oct. 14Event #28: Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed$1,0003
Oct. 14Event #29: Short Deck No Limit Hold'em$10,0003
Oct. 15Event #30A: MONSTER STACK No Limit Hold'em (freezeout)$1,5005
Oct. 15Event #31: No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw$1,5003
Oct. 16Event #30B: MONSTER STACK No Limit Hold'em$1,5001
Oct. 16Event #32: H.O.R.S.E.$3,0003
Oct. 17Event #33: 8-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack$8002
Oct. 17Event #34: Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw$1,5003
Oct. 18Event #35: Freezeout No-Limit Holdem$5002
Oct. 18Event #36: Dealers Choice 6-Handed Championship$10,0003
Oct. 19Event #37: Super Turbo Bounty No Limit Hold'em (freezeout)$1,5001
Oct. 19Event #38: High Roller No Limit Hold'em 8-Handed$50,0003
Oct. 20Event #39: Pot-Limit Omaha (8-Handed)$1,5003
Oct. 20Event #40: H.O.R.S.E. Championship$10,0004
Oct. 21Event #41: Freezeout No Limit Hold'em$2,5003
Oct. 21Event #42: Razz$1,5003
Oct. 22Event #43A: DOUBLE STACK No Limit Hold'em$1,0005
Oct. 25Event #44: $3,000 Six-Handed NLHE$3,0003
Oct. 23Event #45: Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed Championship$10,0004
Oct. 24Event #46: No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack$8002
Oct. 24Event #47: Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed$5,0003
Oct. 25Event #48: SHOOTOUT No Limit Hold'em$1,5003
Oct. 25Event #49: No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship$10,0003
Oct. 26Event #50: Mixed No Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack 8-Handed$6002
Oct. 26Event #51: 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em$3,0002
Oct. 27Event #52A: SENIORS No-Limit Hold’em Championship$1,0001
Oct. 27Event #53: High Roller Pot-Limit Omaha (8-Handed)$25,0004
Oct. 28Event #52B: SENIORS No-Limit Hold’em Championship$1,0001
Oct. 28Event #54: Nine Game Mix 6-Handed$2,5001
Oct. 29Event #55A: COLOSSUS No-Limit Hold’em$4003
Oct. 29Event #56: 6-Handed No Limit Hold'em Championship$10,0003
Oct. 30Event #55B: COLOSSUS No-Limit Hold’em$4001
Oct. 30Event #57: Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship$10,0003
Oct. 31Event #58: SUPER SENIORS No-Limit Hold’em$1,0003
Oct. 31Event #59: TAG TEAM No Limit Hold'em$1,0003
Oct. 31Event #60: Poker Players Championship 6-Handed$50,0005
Nov. 1Event #61: Deepstack Championship No Limit Hold'em$6003
Nov. 1Event #62: Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better (8-Handed)$1,5003
Nov. 2Event #63: SALUTE to Warriors - No-Limit Hold’em$5003
Nov. 2Event #64: Mixed No Limit Hold'em; Pot-Limit Omaha (8-Handed)$5,0002
Nov. 3Event #65: MINI Main Event No-Limit Hold’em (freezeout)$1,0002
Nov. 3Event #66: Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship (8-Handed)$10,0003
Nov. 4Event #67A: MAIN EVENT No Limit Hold'em World Championship - Day 1A$10,0001
Nov. 5Event #67B: MAIN EVENT No Limit Hold'em World Championship - Day 1B$10,0001
Nov. 6Event #67C: MAIN EVENT No Limit Hold'em World Championship - Day 1C$10,0001
Nov. 7Event #67D: MAIN EVENT No Limit Hold'em World Championship - Day 1D$10,0001
Nov. 8Event #68A: LITTLE ONE FOR ONE DROP No-Limit Hold’em$1,1115
Nov. 9Event #68B: LITTLE ONE FOR ONE DROP No-Limit Hold’em$1,1111
Nov. 10Event #68C: LITTLE ONE FOR ONE DROP No-Limit Hold’em$1,1111
Nov. 10Event #69: Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better$1,5003
Nov. 11Event #70A: CRAZY EIGHTS No Limit Hold'em 8-Handed$8886
Nov. 11Event #71: BOUNTY Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed$1,5001
Nov. 12Event #70B: CRAZY EIGHTS No Limit Hold'em 8-Handed$8881
Nov. 12Event #72: Mixed No Limit Hold'em; Pot-Limit Omaha (8-Handed)$1,5003
Nov. 13Event #70C: CRAZY EIGHTS No Limit Hold'em 8-Handed$8881
Nov. 13Event #73: Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship$10,0003
Nov. 14Event #70D: CRAZY EIGHTS No Limit Hold'em 8-Handed$8881
Nov. 14Event #74: Mixed Big Bet Event$2,5003
Nov. 15Event #75: Freezeout No-Limit Holdem$1,5003
Nov. 15Event #76: Super Turbo Bounty No Limit Hold'em (freezeout)$10,0002
Nov. 16Event #77: FIFTY STACK No-Limit Hold’em$1,5002
Nov. 16Event #78: Razz Championship$10,0003
Nov. 17Event #79: Poker Hall of Fame Bounty No Limit Hold'em (freezeout)$1,9792
Nov. 17Event #80: 6-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha$3,0004
Nov. 18Event #81: No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack$8002
Nov. 18Event #82: Super High Roller No Limit Hold'em$250,0003
Nov. 19Event #83A: The Closer - No-Limit Hold’em$1,5003
Nov. 19Event #84: HIGH ROLLER Pot-Limit Omaha$50,0002
Nov. 20Event #83B: The Closer - No-Limit Hold’em$1,5001
Nov. 20Event #85: HIGH ROLLER No-Limit Hold’em$50,0002
Nov. 21Event #86: Super Turbo No Limit Hold'em$1,0001
Nov. 21Event #87: High Roller No-Limit Hold’em$100,0003
Nov. 22Event #88: 8-Handed No Limit Hold'em$5,0002

Players eager to hit the tables

Many players are happy to see the festival’s return. Fresh off a third-place finish in the World Poker Tour Online Borgata Poker Open at partypoker US Network, New Jersey’s Daniel Buzgon lands in Las Vegas on Tuesday. He has a full schedule of events he’s looking forward to playing.

That includes tournaments at the Rio and beyond. The WSOP also recently announced 10 online events for players in Nevada and New Jersey with buy-ins ranging from $400 to $7,777.

“I’ll be playing a mix of WSOP, Venetian, Wynn, and anything else that looks good,” Buzgon says. “I’ll probably throw some online poker in there as well. All the schedules look really promising and I’m excited to see how the numbers will be with everything that is going on.”

The Borgata Poker ambassador scored two runner-up finishes in the recent WSOP Online and also has eight WSOP Circuit rings.

Four-time WPT champion Darren Elias is also looking forward to some WSOP action. Family commitments may not allow for a full summer of poker, but he has a few events in mind.

“I’m planning on making three separate trips around two weeks each and focusing on the higher buy-in no limit events,” he says. “With the family it’s tough to leave for any longer than that in a single stretch.

“I also enjoy the No Limit 2-7 Single Draw event so will work that into my schedule. The Aria is doing a good job offering bigger no limit events on days where there are only mixed events at the WSOP or smaller events.”

The Autumn at Aria Series features 41 events from Oct. 5 to Nov. 14 with almost $1.7 million guaranteed. The festival is running several events for players looking for action after the WSOP Main Event.

“I’m curious to see how the post-lim events in November fare,” Elias says. “There’s never been so many big events after the Main Event.”

WSOP.com is offering a Circuit Series Online in Pennsylvania Sept. 3-14 with 12 championship rings and $600,000 guaranteed.

Getting prepared

Other players are also getting ready for the series. Four-time bracelet winner Shaun Deeb will be back at the tables as well. He even recently announced some early meal plans.

With the vaccine requirement in place, getting in the action may come with some hiccups. Six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu urged patience and planning. He recently made some recommendations to speed up the players’ registration process.

Daily Deepstacks offer even more tournament action

Beyond the bracelet events, players have numerous other tournament options with the non-bracelet Daily Deepstacks events. These tournaments feature smaller bankrolls but can bring in nice prize pools. That often includes a five-figure payout to winners.

Most Daily Deepstacks are held daily in the Pavilion room and kick off Sept. 30. Here’s a look at those events:

  • 1 pm – $250 NLHE
  • 4 pm – $200 NLHE
  • 7 pm – $400 NLHE Turbo
  • 10 pm – $150 NLHE
  • Mondays, 5 pm – $250 HORSE (starting Oct. 4)
  • Wednesdays, 9 am – $250 NLHE Seniors (starting Oct. 6)

PokerGO streaming plenty of action from the WSOP

Poker players and fans who can’t make it to Las Vegas will still be able to follow the action. Once again, PokerGO will live stream WSOP events from the Rio.

Viewers can expect daily events on the network, kicking off with the $25,000 High Roller on Oct. 4. In all, PokerGO will live stream 26 WSOP events through Nov. 23.

That also includes coverage of the $10,000 Main Event from start to finish. Poker fans can look for 36 days of live broadcasts throughout the series.

The WSOP also announced in April that CBS Sports Network and Paramount+ will be offering 15 hours of the Main Event and 36 hours of 18 additional gold bracelet events as part of the networks’ episodic coverage of the series.

USPoker will once again also offer plenty of coverage throughout the series including twice-weekly updates. Here’s a complete look at the WSOP PokerGO streaming schedule.

2021 WSOP PokerGO Streaming

DateTournament
Oct. 4$25,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller
Oct. 6$600 No Limit Hold’em Deepstack
Oct. 7$25,000 Heads-Up Championship
Oct. 8$3,000 No Limit Hold’em Freezeout
Oct. 9$10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship
Oct. 11$10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship
Oct. 13$1,500 8-Game Mix
Oct. 14$1,000 Ladies Championship
Oct. 15$5,000 No Limit Hold’em 6-Handed
Oct. 16$10,000 Short Deck
Oct. 18$3,000 H.O.R.S.E.
Oct. 19$800 No Limit Hold’em 8-Handed
Oct. 21$50,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller
Oct. 22$1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha
Oct. 23$10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship
Oct. 24$3,000 Limit Hold’em 6-Handed
Oct. 26$10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship
Oct. 26$5,000 No Limit Hold’em Freezeout
Oct. 27$10,000 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Championship
Oct. 30$25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller
Nov. 5$50,000 Poker Players Championship
Nov. 4-17$10,000 Main Event
Nov. 19$1,979 Poker Hall of Fame Bounty
Nov. 20$250,000 No Limit Hold’em Super High Roller
Nov. 22$50,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller
Nov. 23$100,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller

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Fantasy poker options

Those watching the WSOP action from afar can also take part in some fantasy poker action via SuperDraft. The DFS platform is promising contests for 18 events throughout the series including four different competitions during the Main Event.

SuperDraft allows users to select players with certain multipliers for each roster spot. A user’s performance is based on the complete roster’s results.

The contests are based on the higher buy-in events so that more recognizable names can be available to select. SuperDraft is promising $40,000 in freerolls throughout the series as well as contests with buy-ins. The SuperDraft contests kick off with the $25,000 HORSE event on Sept. 30.

Additionally, the site is giving away a Main Event seat as part of the contest for the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. SuperDraft has already run some DFS contests for PokerGO events, but sees the WSOP as the real opportunity to showcase its poker DFS options.

“The WSOP is where it’s really going to start to have some legs and take off,” SuperDraft Vice President of Player Development Ricky Stroude says.

Verifying vaccination status

Those heading to Vegas for the series are asked to use CLEAR’s free mobile app and Health Pass feature. The platform allows players to upload their proof of vaccination through the app.

Once that’s complete, players may go directly to the registration cage tellers at the Rio. There will also be on-site verification, but players are asked to use the mobile process if possible.

A look at the WSOP.com online bracelet events

Those looking to play online bracelet events in Nevada and New Jersey at WSOP.com have several events to check out. The series plans to run a tournament each Sunday with 10 total events.

Additionally, players in PA also have one bracelet event to look forward to. Here’s a look at the complete schedule:

2021 WSOP Online bracelet events

DateEventTourhnamentBuy-in
Oct. 31NLHE Freezeout$5,300
Oct. 32Big 500 (3x re-entry)$500
Oct. 103Ultra Deepstack (2x re-entry)$400
Oct. 174PLO Crazy 8s (3x re-entry)$888
Oct. 245Online Bracelet Championship (2x re-entry)$1,000
Oct. 316NLHE (2x re-entry)$666
Oct. 31satellite25 Seat Main Event Scramble$215
Nov. 2satellite25 Seat Main Event Scramble Encore$215
Nov. 77High Roller (2x re-entry)$3,200
Nov. 148Lucky 7s High Roller (1x re-entry)$7,777
Nov. 149Lucky 7s NLHE (2x re-entry)$777
Nov. 2110Mini Main Event (freezeout)$1,000
Nov. 21PAMini Main Event (freezeout) – PA market$1,000

* photos courtesy WSOP

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