The World Series of Poker Circuit made history on Tuesday night. The first-ever online circuit ring event was held in Nevada on WSOP.com to coincide with the WSOPC series being held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.
According to Bill Rini, head of online poker at WSOP.com, the inaugural was a success. “We felt it [the tournament] performed very well,” he told US Poker. “If you look at live circuit events at the Rio, the online ring event was at the top end of those events in terms of attendance for a mid-week tournament.”
When registration closed, 256 players had taken to the virtual felt with 5,000 in starting chips and a dream of a ring.
The prize pool for the event was an impressive $137,760, which included buy-ins plus 164 rebuys.
We touched base with Las Vegas poker pro Allen Kessler during the tournament to get his thoughts. It’s probably no surprise that Kessler thought the structure looked fast and called our attention to spots where additional levels would make the tournament more attractive.
As with most online events, the levels increased quickly — every 12 minutes to be exact. In the end, it took just over seven hours to award Anthony ‘casedismised’ Spinella a gold ring and the first-place prize of $35,817. Spinella added an online ring to the online WSOP bracelet he won in 2015.
Heads-up play between Spinella and Jessica ‘Gijoseph’ Dawley lasted about 20 minutes. Spinella emerged victorious when his ten-deuce turned a full house, and Dawley called the all-in on the river with less.
WSOP.com Circuit final table results
|1||Anthony 'casedismised' Spinella||$35,817|
|2||Jessica 'Gijoseph' Dawley||$20,644|
|3||Krista 'FenixX' Gifford||$13,224|
|4||Zackary 'Forever21' Koerper||$10,469|
|5||Ashley 'Sleeth' Sleeth||$9,092|
|6||Josh 'JR4591' Reichard||$6,199|
|7||Scott 'Bigriskky' Clements||$4,821|
|8||Joseph 'GLADIATOR' Wertz||$3,581|
|9||Jed 'jchak' Hoffman||$2,892|
Will there be more online circuit ring events?
Everything seemed to run smoothly and the first online circuit event performed as expected.
“We’ve been running online bracelet events during the summer so we knew there was demand for cross-over online tournaments,” Rini said. “We also see a lot of satellite interest going from online to live circuit events whenever we run them. It was really just a matter of offering something that the players wanted.”
There is one more circuit stop in Las Vegas before the 49th Annual World Series of Poker begins in May.
The next circuit stop in Las Vegas will be at Planet Hollywood beginning March 22. While there isn’t an online circuit event on the Planet Hollywood schedule, there’s always hope that the success of the first online circuit ring event will breed more online ring events in the future.
WSOP Online bracelet events
Online events are a win-win for the players and the WSOP. Players can chase gold on the virtual felt while pursuing some new jewelry in a live tournament. The WSOP, meanwhile, grows its player base and keeps players at the tables.
At this year’s WSOP, the number of online bracelet events will increase from three to four according to the WSOP schedule released earlier this year.
Event #47 – $565 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed is the first non-no-limit hold’em event online bracelet event.
The WSOP online bracelet schedule
- June 3rd – Event #9: $365 WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold’em
- June 22nd – Event #47: $565 WSOP.com ONLINE Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed
- June 29th – Event #61: $1,000 WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold’em Championship
- June 30th – Event #63: $3,200 WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold’em High Roller
WSOP online satellites
The first round of WSOP online satellites and qualifiers concluded on Feb. 25.
WSOP Communications Director Seth Palansky spoke to U.S. Poker last month and said to expect new satellites on WSOP.com every month before the WSOP starts at the end of May.
Palansky also shared that World Series of Poker Main Event and online bracelet satellites will begin running in March.
Rini added, “We’re following the same game plan as we have in the past, which is to begin a light schedule in the beginning of the year and then ramp up with a very satellite heavy schedule the closer to the WSOP we get.”
“We’ll have some other announcements coming up that we believe that players will be excited about as well,” he concluded.
Stay tuned to this space for ways to win your way into the most anticipated poker tournament series in the world.