The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is making sure that its 50th birthday is truly a golden one. Series management just announced that this year’s edition of the Series will feature nine online bracelet events.
The tournaments will run on WSOP.com NV and WSOP.com NJ, which offer gameplay in Nevada and New Jersey. The announcement marks the fifth time that online tournaments will award poker’s most coveted prize.
To keep things more consistent, the WSOP has standardized the start times for these tournaments. Seven events will run on Sundays at 3:30 pm PST between June 2 and July 14.
The remaining two tournaments will occur on Wednesdays. The $500 Turbo Deep Stack will be June 19, and the $3,200 High Roller will run on July 3.
“Just like the land-based WSOP, the annual summer series is also the best time for online poker players in the US to chase big prize pools and WSOP gold bracelets,” said WSOP.com Head of Online Poker Bill Rini, in a statement. “WSOP.com is offering a consistent gold bracelet schedule this year, plus nonstop satellites to both the online and live events, giving players the best opportunity to participate in the 50th annual WSOP.”
Buy-ins for the nine events range from the June 2 event’s $400 to the $3,200 High Roller event. Except for the June 19 turbo event, blind levels will be either 15 or 20 minutes.
Satellites to these events are available for as little as $1. Also, be on the lookout for freerolls that will carry a few guaranteed seats to various events.
In addition to the nine online bracelet events, WSOP.com will host the 25-seat scramble on June 30. This $215 buy-in satellite will award at least 25 seats to the Main Event of the World Series of Poker.
There are a few causes for concern about WSOP online events
Both incarnations of WSOP.com are fully legal and licensed in the states of Nevada and New Jersey. However, as evidenced by the recent Department of Justice opinion about the Wire Act, online poker sites have a rather precarious status on the federal level.
In fact, WSOP management acknowledged that the sanctity of the multi-state poker compact might be at risk in its press release. According to the statement,
“Eligibility for New Jersey players in WSOP.com online gold bracelet events has yet to be determined.”
Yikes! That doesn’t sound as though shared liquidity, which allows New Jersey and Nevada to combine their player pools, is a given at this point.
As a result, entry into the online bracelet tournaments could be confined to Nevada, its 3 million residents and however many visitors are in-state. That hardly seems like a big enough pool for a gold bracelet.
The addition of the nine events brings the total number of bracelet events for the 2019 WSOP to 89. So, in just a single year, the most prestigious tournament series in poker has gained 11 more events.
There is no doubt that the WSOP is now a series for all people. With buy-ins ranging from $400 to $100,000, every level of poker player and socioeconomic class can take a shot at one of these exclusive pieces of hardware.
We, at USPoker, remain concerned about the addition of so many tournaments, which dilutes both the player pools and the intrinsic value of the bracelets themselves. Quite simply, it should be the property of great poker players, and not everyone should be able to have one.
At any rate, several lucky and/or skilled players will enrich themselves greatly using their computers this summer. According to company management, every online bracelet winner has personally received their bracelet so far.
In theory, a player could receive WSOP gold in the mail. That would sure beat getting another bill from the power company.