WSOP Unveils Some 2020 Dates; Main Event Day 2 Registration Draws Criticism

December 13, 2019
WSOP Unveils Some 2020 Dates; Main Event Day 2 Registration Draws Criticism

The World Series of Poker released some of its 2020 dates on Wednesday. The plans call for the 51st event kicking off May 26 and running through July 15 at the Rio in Las Vegas.

Wednesday’s announcement included dates for the Big 50, which is being carried over from 2019. That was just one of three WSOP officials confirmed with the dates for the Main Event and Seniors Championship also now available.

The Big 50 produced 28,371 entries in 2019 with Femi Fashakin taking the title for just over $1.1 million.

The 38-year-old native of Lagos, Nigeria, who now lives in Orlando, Fla., wishes it had been a one-year event. But he plans on being in the field again next summer.

“I have no choice, but to try to defend my title,” he told USPoker this week with a laugh. “I wish I didn’t have to worry someone else would break my record so soon, but it’s all good.

“It doesn’t bother me too much. It would have been nice to be immortalized – Big 50 once and done.”

A look at the WSOP events announced so far

Those looking to begin planning their complete summer in Nevada will have to wait a bit longer. The full event-by-event schedule is expected to be released sometime in the first quarter of 2020.

However, the WSOP has whet the appetite a bit of those already looking ahead. Here is what can be expected from the first three announced events:

Starting Flight DatesEventBuy-inRe-entries
May 27Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em$1,000 Freezeout
May 27Casino Employees Event No-Limit Hold’em$5001
May 28Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better$1,500Freezeout
May 28, 29, 30, 31Big 50$5001 per flight
May 29High Roller No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed$25,0001
May 30Dealers Choice 6-Handed$1,5001
May 31Heads Up No-Limit Hold’em$25,000 Freezeout
May ONLINE No-Limit Hold’em$4001
June 1No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack$6001
June 1Mixed Limit Triple Draw Lowball$2,500 1
June 2Super Turbo Bounty NLH - $300 bounty/player$1,000Freezeout
June 2Seven Card Stud$1,500Freezeout
June 36-Handed No-Limit Hold’em$1,5001
June 3Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better$10,000Freezeout
June 4Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em$1,500Freezeout
June 4H.O.R.S.E.$1,500Freezeout
June 5-6Millionaire Maker$1,5001 per flight
June 5High Roller No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed$50,0001
June 5Mixed: PLO Hi-Lo 8; Omaha Hi-Lo 8; Big 0$1,5001
June 6Seven Card Stud$10,000Freezeout
June 7Forty Stack No-Limit Hold’em (40,000 starting chips)$1,0001
June 7HORSE$3,000Freezeout
June ONLINE PLO 7-Handed$7773
June 8Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack 8-Handed$6001
June 8Short Deck$10,0001
June 9Super Turbo Bounty NLH ($500 bounties)$1,500Freezeout
June 9HORSE$10,000Freezeout
June 9 ONLINE Freezeout Knockout Deepstack NLHE$800Freezeout
June 10Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed$1,0001
June 10No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw$1,5001
June 11Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em$2,500Freezeout
June 11Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better$1,500Freezeout
June 12-13Monster Stack
June 12Super Turbo Bounty NLH$10,000Freezeout
June 12Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw$1,5001
June 13Dealers Choice 6-Handed$10,000Freezeout
June 14No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack$8001
June 14Pot-Limit Omaha (8-Handed)$1,5001
June ONLINE 8-Handed NLH Turbo Deepstack$5001
June 15Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em$500Freezeout
June 15No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw$10,0001
June 168-Handed Mixed NLH/PLO Deepstack$6001
June 16Razz$1,500Freezeout
June 17Ladies Championship$1,000 (ladies)
$10,000 (men)
June 17Shootout No-Limit Hold’em$1,500Freezeout
June 17High Roller Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed$25,0001
June 18Seniors Championship (age 50 and up)$1,0001
June 18No-Limit Hold'em$3,000Freezeout
June 18Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw$10,000Freezeout
June 19-20Double Stack$1,0001 per flight
June 19Nine-Game Mix (6-Handed) $2,5001
June 20Pot-Limit Omaha$10,000Freezeout
June 218-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack $8001
June 21Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em$5,000Freezeout
June 21 ONLINE Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em$500Freezeout
June 22Super Seniors (age 60 and over)
$1,0001 per flight
June 22Tag Team (two-person teams)$1,000 per teamFreezeout
June 22Poker Players Championship$50,000Freezeout
June 23Deepstack Championship No-Limit Hold’em$6001
June 23Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better (8-Handed)$1,5001
June 24-25Colossus$4001 per flight
June 24Razz$10,000Freezeout
June 25No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$5,0001
June 26-27Crazy Eights$8881 per flight
June 26Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better$10,000Freezeout
June 27Super High Roller No-Limit Hold’em$250,0001
June 27Limit Hold’em$1,500Freezeout
June 28Mystery Bounty No-Limit Hold’em
($1 million in bounty guarantees; $250,000 max bounty)
June 28Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better$10,000Freezeout
June ONLINE No-Limit Hold’em Championship $1,0001
June 29Mini Main Event $1,000Freezeout
June 296-Handed No-Limit Hold’em$10,000Freezeout
June ONLINE No-Limit Hold’em$5001
June 30FINAL 500 Salute to Warriors No-Limit Hold’em$5001
June 30Limit Hold’em$10,000Freezeout
June ONLINE No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed $1,5001
July 1, 2, 3Main Event$10,000Freezeout
July 1 ONLINE High Roller NLH 8-Handed$3,2001
July Online NLHE Super High Roller$10,000Freezeout
July ONLINE No-Limit Hold’em$4001
July 4-6Little One for ONE DROP No-Limit Hold’em$1,000 + $111 Unlimited
July ONLINE No-Limit Hold’em Turbo Deepstack$5001
July 5Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$3,000Freezeout
July ONLINE 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em$6001
July 6Mixed No-Limit Hold’em; Pot-Limit Omaha (8-hand)$5,0001
July 7Bounty No-Limit Hold’em ($500 bounties)$1,500Freezeout
July 7High Roller Pot-Limit Omaha$50,0001
July 8Bounty Pot-Limit Omaha ($500 bounties)$1,5001
July 8No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed$3,0001
July 9Fifty Stack No-Limit Hold’em$1,5001
July 9Mixed No-Limit Hold’em/PLO (8-Handed)$1,5001
July 9High Roller No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed$50,000 1
July 10-11The Closer$1,5001 per flight
July 10Pot Limit Omaha 6-Handed$3,0001
July 11High Roller No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed$100,0001
July 12No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack$8001
July 12Eight Game Mix (6-Handed)$1,5001
July ONLINE Summer Saver No-Limit Hold’em$5001
July 13Super Turbo No-Limit Hold’em$1,0001
July 13Mixed Big Bet$2,5001
July 14No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed$5,0001

The WSOP also announced a bit of its broadcast plans on Wednesday. The Main Event final will be table televised on ESPN/ESPN2 July 12-14.

“We can’t wait to open our doors for the 2020 World Series of Poker,” WSOP executive director Ty Stewart said.

“Summer can’t come fast enough, and we look forward to welcoming poker players from all over the globe back to the Rio in Las Vegas to award gold bracelets and hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Online pre-registration for events won’t open until March or April, after all events are determined and approved by regulators.

In September, Caesars announced it was selling the Rio. However,  the company will operate the property at $45 million per year through 2021.

This move is expected to keep the series at the off-Strip property until 2021 as well.

Big numbers at recent World Series events

More than 500 poker tables will once again occupy almost 200,000 square feet of ballroom space this summer. That space has become increasingly crowded in recent years.

Last year’s events featured 187,000 entrants from 118 different countries. A record 187,298 entries participated in 2019, creating a 50-year high of $293 million in prize money.

Lower buy-in events like the Big 50 have helped propel some of those numbers. The series has implemented a two-tier approach in recent years. That include major “championship” events at $10,000 and above and also smaller buy-in events typically with larger fields.

Buy-ins for tournaments at the Rio in 2020 are expected to start as low as $75.

More online action continues at

With a shared liquidity market in between Nevada and New Jersey, online poker will remain a major part of the 2020 events.

The series offered its most online tournaments to date in 2019, with nine exclusive online bracelet events. That focus will continue in 2020 and may even include more.’s real money online poker platform will be the exclusive online home to win seats into series events. Satellites have already begun and are expected to run regularly throughout the 2020 series.

888Poker remains’s international online poker partner in most jurisdictions. 888 will also offer satellite qualifiers and other promotions to award series seats.

Main Event Day 2 registration draws some criticism

The release of even a portion of the WSOP schedule wouldn’t be complete without some controversy. The series began allowing Day 2 Main Event registration in 2018 and will again in 2020.

Registration for the Main Event remains open through Level 6, meaning all players participating must be in the field at the end of the first level on July 5.

Longtime series commentator Norman Chad noted on Twitter that he’s not a fan of this change. He believes players should be in the tournament more for the long haul.

“It corrupts the integrity of the competition,” he noted. “Everyone should start off on equal footing. Part of the challenge of the Main Event is having to navigate seven days of play to reach the final table.

“You start on Day 2, just to reach Day 3, you spend half as much time on the felt.”

Others disagreed with his assessment. The Main Event features two-hour levels and they argue a missed starting flight doesn’t affect play too much.

The debate raged with commenters weighing in on both sides. The criticism falls in line with many players’ feelings about the growing number of re-entry tournaments.

Some players, including Daniel Negreanu, argue there have become too many re-entry events. Chad was averse to this registration change in poker’s signature event.

“How come poker always rewrites the rules?” he noted. “What’s wrong with you register at the start of play, or you don’t play? That’s how the rest of competitions handle it other than, say, the presidential primaries.”

There should be plenty more discussion as there is every summer. The WSOP will announce more dates in early 2020.

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