The World Series of Poker (WSOP) will begin on May 28. The series will run throughout June and conclude on July 16.
This year’s series marks the 50th anniversary for the series. In that half century, the WSOP has grown to become the most prestigious poker event in the entire world.
The 2019 WSOP features the highest amount of events in the series’ history. Eighty-nine different tournaments will award their winners the WSOP’s famous gold bracelet.
Here are all 89 events.
|Wed, May 29th||11:00 AM||$500 Casino Employees Event||$500|
|Wed, May 29th||12:00 PM||Super Turbo Bounty||$10,000|
|Thu, May 30th||11:00 AM||BIG 50 - Flight A||$500|
|Thu, May 30th||3:00 PM||$1,500 Omaha Hi/Lo Eight or Better||$1,500|
|Fri, May 31st||11:00 AM||BIG 50 - Flight B||$500|
|Fri, May 31st||3:00 PM||50th Annual High Roller NLH||$50,000|
|Sat, Jun 1st||10:00 AM||BIG 50 - Flight C||$500|
|Sat, Jun 1st||3:00 PM||$2,500 Limit Mixed Triple Draw||$2,500|
|Sun, Jun 2nd||10:00 AM||BIG 50 - Flight D||$500|
|Sun, Jun 2nd||3:30 PM||No-Limit Hold’em (Online)||$400|
|Sun, Jun 2nd||6:00 PM||Short Deck No-Limit Hold’em||$10,000|
|Mon, Jun 3rd||11:00 AM||$600 No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack||$600|
|Mon, Jun 3rd||3:00 PM||$1,500 Dealer's Choice||$1,500|
|Mon, Jun 3rd||6:00 PM||$5,000 No-Limit Hold'em||$5,000|
|Tue, Jun 4th||10:00 AM||$1,000 No-Limit Hold'em Super Turbo Bounty||$1,000|
|Tue, Jun 4th||3:00 PM||$1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw||$1,500|
|Wed, Jun 5th||11:00 AM||$1,500 HORSE||$1,500|
|Wed, Jun 5th||3:00 PM||Heads Up No-Limit Hold’em||$10,000|
|Wed, Jun 5th||4:00 PM||$1,500 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed||$1,500|
|Thu, Jun 6th||11:00 AM||$1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout||$1,500|
|Thu, Jun 6th||3:00 PM||Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better||$10,000|
|Fri, Jun 7th||10:00 AM||Millionaire Maker - Flight A||$1,500|
|Fri, Jun 7th||3:00 PM||$1,500 Seven-Card Stud||$1,500|
|Sat, Jun 8th||10:00 AM||Millionaire Maker - Flight B||$1,500|
|Sat, Jun 8th||3:00 PM||No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw||$10,000|
|Sun, Jun 9th||11:00 AM||$1,000 No-Limit Hold'em Double Stack||$1,000|
|Sun, Jun 9th||3:00 PM||$1,500 Eight Game Mix||$1,500|
|Sun, Jun 9th||3:30 PM||6-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha (Online)||$600|
|Mon, Jun 10th||11:00 AM||$600 Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack||$600|
|Mon, Jun 10th||12:00 PM||$2,620 No-Limit Hold'em Marathon||$2,620|
|Mon, Jun 10th||3:00 PM||$1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo 8 or Better||$1,500|
|Tue, Jun 11th||11:00 AM||No-Limit Hold'em||$1,000|
|Tue, Jun 11th||3:00 PM||H.O.R.S.E.||$10,000|
|Wed, Jun 12th||11:00 AM||$1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha||$1,000|
|Wed, Jun 12th||3:00 PM||$3,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed||$3,000|
|Thu, Jun 13th||10:00 AM||Seniors No-Limit Hold'em||$1,000|
|Fri, Jun 14th||10:00 AM||$1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold'em - Flight A||$1,000|
|Fri, Jun 14th||3:00 PM||Dealers Choice 6-Handed||$10,000|
|Sat, Jun 15th||10:00 AM||$1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold'em - Flight B||$1,000|
|Sat, Jun 15th||3:00 PM||$3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout||$3,000|
|Sun, Jun 16th||11:00 AM||$800 No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack||$800|
|Sun, Jun 16th||3:30 PM||Knock-Out Bounty No-Limit Hold’em (Online)||$600|
|Mon, Jun 17th||10:00 AM||$1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold'em||$1,000|
|Mon, Jun 17th||12:00 PM||$1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha||$1,500|
|Mon, Jun 17th||3:00 PM||Seven Card Stud||$10,000|
|Tue, Jun 18th||11:00 AM||$600 Mixed No-Limit Hold'em / Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack 8-Handed||$600|
|Tue, Jun 18th||3:00 PM||$2,500 Mixed Big Bet||$2,500|
|Wed, Jun 19th||11:00 AM||$1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Bounty||$1,500|
|Wed, Jun 19th||3:00 PM||High Roller Pot-Limit Omaha||$25,000|
|Wed, Jun 19th||3:30 PM||Turbo No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack (Online)||$500|
|Thu, Jun 20th||11:00 AM||$1,000/$10,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold'em||$10,000|
|Thu, Jun 20th||12:00 PM||$2,500 No-Limit Hold'em||$2,500|
|Thu, Jun 20th||3:00 PM||Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw||$10,000|
|Fri, Jun 21st||10:00 AM||Monster Stack - Flight A||$1,500|
|Fri, Jun 21st||3:00 PM||$2,500 Mixed Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better, Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo 8 or Better||$2,500|
|Sat, Jun 22nd||10:00 AM||Monster Stack - Flight B||$1,500|
|Sat, Jun 22nd||3:00 PM||Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed||$10,000|
|Sun, Jun 23rd||11:00 AM||$800 No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack 8-Handed||$800
|Sun, Jun 23rd||3:00 PM||$1,500 Razz||$1,500|
|Sun, Jun 23rd||3:30 PM||Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em (Online)||$1,000|
|Mon, Jun 24th||10:00 AM||$1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Super Turbo Bounty||$1,500|
|Mon, Jun 24th||12:00 PM||Tag Team No-Limit Hold'em||$1,000|
|Mon, Jun 24th||3:00 PM||Poker Players Championship||$50,000|
|Tue, Jun 25th||11:00 AM||$600 No-Limit Hold'em DEEPSTACK CHAMPIONSHIP||$600|
|Tue, Jun 25th||3:00 PM||$1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha 8 or Better||$1,500|
|Wed, Jun 26th||10:00 AM||$400 Colossus - Flight A||$400|
|Wed, Jun 26th||3:00 PM||Razz Championship||$10,000|
|Thu, Jun 27th||10:00 AM||$400 Colossus - Flight B||$400|
|Thu, Jun 27th||3:00 PM||$1,500 Omaha Mix||$1,500|
|Fri, Jun 28th||10:00 AM||$888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold'em - Flight A||$888|
|Fri, Jun 28th||3:00 PM||Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8||$10,000|
|Fri, Jun 28th||5:00 PM||$888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold'em - Flight B||$888|
|Sat, Jun 29th||10:00 AM||$888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold'em - Flight C||$888|
|Sat, Jun 29th||3:00 PM||$1,500 Limit Hold'em||$1,500|
|Sun, Jun 30th||10:00 AM||$888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold'em - Flight D||$888|
|Sun, Jun 30th||3:00 PM||Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8||$10,000|
|Sun, Jun 30th||3:30 PM||No-Limit Hold’em Championship (Online)||$1,000|
|Mon, Jul 1st||11:00 AM||$1,000 Mini Main Event||$1,000|
|Mon, Jul 1st||3:00 PM||$5,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed||$5,000|
|Tue, Jul 2nd||11:00 AM||SALUTE TO WARRIORS - $500 No-Limit Hold'em||$500|
|Tue, Jul 2nd||3:00 PM||Limit Hold’em Championship||$10,000|
|Wed, Jul 3rd||12:00 PM||$10,000 No-Limit Hold'em MAIN EVENT - World Championship - Flight A||$10,000|
|Wed, Jul 3rd||3:30 PM||High Roller No-Limit Hold’em (Online)||$3,200|
|Thu, Jul 4th||12:00 PM||$10,000 No-Limit Hold'em MAIN EVENT - World Championship - Flight B||$10,000|
|Fri, Jul 5th||12:00 PM||$10,000 No-Limit Hold'em MAIN EVENT - World Championship - Flight C||$10,000|
|Sat, Jul 6th||11:00 AM||$1,000 + $111 Little One for One Drop - Flight A||$1,111|
|Sun, Jul 7th||11:00 AM||$1,000 + $111 Little One for One Drop - Flight B||$1,111|
|Sun, Jul 7th||3:30 PM||6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em (Online)||$800|
|Mon, Jul 8th||11:00 AM||$1,000 + $111 Little One for One Drop - Flight C||$1,111|
|Mon, Jul 8th||3:00 PM||$3,000 Limit Hold'em 6-Handed||$3,000|
|Mon, Jul 8th||6:00 PM||$50,000 Final Fifty No-Limit Hold'em||$50,000|
|Tue, Jul 9th||11:00 AM||$1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty||$1,500|
|Tue, Jul 9th||3:00 PM||$3,000 No-Limit Hold'em||$3,000|
|Wed, Jul 10th||11:00 AM||$1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold'em Pot-Limit Omaha||$1,500|
|Wed, Jul 10th||3:00 PM||$1,500 50th Annual Bracelet Winners Only No-Limit Hold'em||$1,500|
|Thu, Jul 11th||11:00 AM||$1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Double Stack||$1,500|
|Thu, Jul 11th||3:00 PM||High Roller No-Limit Hold’em||$100,000|
|Fri, Jul 12th||11:00 AM||The Closer - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em - Flight A||$1,500|
|Fri, Jul 12th||3:00 PM||$3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed||$3,000|
|Sat, Jul 13th||11:00 AM||The Closer - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em - Flight B||$1,500|
|Sat, Jul 13th||3:00 PM||6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em||$10,000|
|Sun, Jul 14th||11:00 AM||The Closer - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em - Flight C||$1,500|
|Sun, Jul 14th||3:00 PM||$3,000 HORSE||$3,000|
|Sun, Jul 14th||3:30 PM||Summer Saver No-Limit Hold’em (Online)||$500|
|Mon, Jul 15th||12:00 PM||$5,000 No-Limit Hold'em||$5,000|
Notable changes at 2019 WSOP
Every edition of the WSOP features a few tweaks to the program, and this year’s series is no different. The first change is more like an expansion from the 2018 series.
The big blind ante for all no-limit hold’em events
Namely, every no-limit hold’em event will now be conducted using the big blind ante format. For those who are unaware, the big blind ante format involves consolidating the antes into a single payment each hand.
Usually, the responsibility for paying the ante falls to the big blind (hence the name) or the button. While it stinks for that player, big blind ante saves the time of collecting singular antes from every player and increases the number of hands dealt per blind level.
Starting stack amounts are increasing
The other change is more of a stylistic one. For many years, chipstacks at the WSOP were issued in a 1:1 ratio with the buy-in amount for the tournament.
However, that ratio can compress players unnecessarily as the blinds escalate. So, in recent times, WSOP has been adding multiples to starting chipstacks to balance out the gameplay.
This year, tournament officials are increasing the chipstacks for several events even further. Consult the table below to see which tournaments will be affected by these changes.
|Buy-in||2018 Starting Stack Size||2019 Starting Stack Size|
How to watch the WSOP Main Event and other WSOP events
Finding coverage for the WSOP used to be quite a challenge. However, those days seem to be gone.
For the third consecutive year, the WSOP Main Event and other WSOP events will be viewable through one of two sources: ESPN and PokerGO. PokerGO is the broadcast arm of Poker Central, which shares the broadcast rights with ESPN.
Obviously, ESPN is the preeminent sports outlet in the US. The company hosts multiple channels of content on a 24-hour-a-day basis.
So, ESPN will have some amount of coverage for every day of main event play. The network is even going to cover all three opening flights and both Day 2s of the event.
As the tournament progresses, ESPN will increasingly devote time to coverage. If there’s any poker tournament people watch, it’s this one.
However, just as a caveat, most of the coverage will occur later in the evening. Here’s the schedule:
|July 3, 2019||8:30 PM - 2:00 AM ET||ESPN2||WSOP Main Event Day 1A|
|July 4, 2019||9:00 PM - 11:00 PM ET||ESPN2||WSOP Main Event Day 1B|
|July 5, 2019||8:00 PM - 12:30 AM ET||ESPN2||WSOP Main Event Day 1C|
|July 6, 2019||6:00 PM - 10:30 PM ET||ESPN2||WSOP Main Event Day 2AB|
|July 7, 2019||2:30 PM - 6:00 PM ET||ESPN||WSOP Main Event Day 2C|
|July 8, 2019||10:00 PM - 2:00 AM ET||ESPN2||WSOP Main Event Day 3|
|July 9, 2019||7:00 PM - 11:00 PM ET||ESPN||WSOP Main Event Day 4|
|July 10, 2019||8:00 PM - 11:00 PM ET||ESPN||WSOP Main Event Day 5|
|July 11, 2019||12:30 AM - 2:00 AM ET||ESPN2||WSOP Main Event Day 6|
|July 12, 2019||9:00 PM - 11:00 PM ET||ESPN||WSOP Main Event Day 7|
|July 12, 2019||11:00 PM - 2:00 AM ET||ESPN2||WSOP Main Event Day 7 (Play to Final Table)|
|July 14, 2019||10:00 PM – TBD ET||ESPN2||WSOP Main Event Day 8 (Nine to Six Players)|
|July 15, 2019||10:00 PM – TBD ET||ESPN||WSOP Main Event Day 9 (Six to Three Players)|
|July 16, 2019||9:00 PM – TBD ET||ESPN||WSOP Main Event Day 10 (Three Players to Winner)|
ESPN has also provided coverage for some of the other events in the series. However, it is unknown which tournaments may appear on the “worldwide leader” at this point.
PokerGO will provide coverage that is supplementary to ESPN’s coverage. Most of the play and feeds that ESPN would not air will fall to PokerGO.
That’s not a bad thing, though. PokerGO will cover hours on both sides of ESPN’s coverage, providing a fuller experience.
In addition, PokerGO will cover events that ESPN is not going to broadcast. So, in a way, PokerGO is the destination for the hardcore fans — the types who want to see the seven-card stud events or the mixed game tournaments.
Great moments from the past
Both ESPN and PokerGO have managed to capture some great moments of poker in the past. Here are some of the greatest hits in WSOP history.
Worst bad beat in the history of the series?
This one’s pretty bad too, though.
Winning the Main Event isn’t just about getting the right cards.
2019 WSOP notable live events
Event No. 3: The Big 50
One of the more significant tournaments in the entire series is one of the very first events. The Big 50 is a $500 no-limit hold’em tournament that will begin its first flight on May 30.
The Big 50, as its name implies, is a new event to celebrate the WSOP’s golden anniversary. Fittingly, there will be plenty of gold showering from the ceiling in this tournament.
In fact, WSOP officials have guaranteed a $5 million prizepool for this event. They have also seen to it that the winner of the Big 50 will receive (at least) $1 million. The first purchase into this tournament is also rake-free.
Rarely must a tournament field more than 1,000 players to avoid an overlay. The combination of relatively low buy-in and high guarantee makes the Big 50 one of the best value tournaments in this year’s series.
Event No. 19: Millionaire Maker
The Millionaire Maker began life in 2013 as an audacious experiment. Tournament officials wanted to see if a $1,500 no-limit hold’em tournament could fulfill the prizepool requirements necessary to award $1 million to the winner of the tournament.
What followed was a remarkable series of superlatives. The first Millionaire Maker accepted 6,343 entrants, which was (at that point) the largest non-main event field in history.
The huge field resulted in a first prize nearly $200,000 more than the guaranteed payout. At the time, the 2013 event also paid out more people than any non-main event and resulted in more hands of poker dealt in a single day than any day in history.
Since that auspicious beginning, the Millionaire Maker has become a permanent fixture in the WSOP constellation. The fields for the event, though now paling in comparison to some lower buy-in tournaments like Giant or Colossus, have never been below 7,100 runners.
Last year, German player Arne Kern outlasted 7,360 other competitors to take the top prize. For his efforts, Kern received $1,173,223 and his first WSOP bracelet.
This year’s event, which begins on June 7, should be comparably big to its historical brethren. The “Milly Maker” is one of the best opportunities to win life-changing money.
Event No. 75: Little One for One Drop
The Little One for One Drop is the WSOP’s annual charity tournament. It is a no-limit hold’em event with a $1,111 buy-in.
WSOP donates $111 from each buy-in to One Drop. One Drop is an organization that seeks to provide clean drinking water and sanitary services to impoverished areas of the world.
One Drop came to life in 2007 as a project of Cirque du Soleil owner Guy Laliberte. Laliberte is also a high-level poker player in his own right, so it made sense that he turned to the poker world as a fruitful source of donations.
One Drop also enjoys donations from a larger version of this tournament. The Big One for One Drop occurs every two years, carries a $1 million buy-in, and is the only WSOP event to award a platinum bracelet.
Though it is an off-year for the Big One, players can still give back to the world in the Little One for One Drop. The 2019 Little One for One Drop begins on July 6. There will be three opening flights for this tournament, so there’s no reason to miss out.
2019 WSOP online events
As a sign of the times, there are now several official WSOP events that proceed entirely online. These tournaments are within the canon of the WSOP, and their winners receive gold bracelets like winners of any other series event.
This year, there are nine online events at the WSOP. Players from Nevada will be able to compete for WSOP hardware from the comfort of their homes.
New Jersey online poker players will also be able to play at least some of the online events, too. According to Pokerfuse, WSOP management has confirmed that New Jersey players can participate in the events that occur ahead of the Department of Justice’s June 14 enforcement deadline.
The great thing about these events is how affordable they are, in comparison to the rest of the WSOP events. Six of the nine feature buy-ins less than $1,000.
The nine events are:
|Tournament Name||Date||Time (ET)||Buy-in|
|No-Limit Hold’em||June 2, 2019||6:30 PM||$400|
|6-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha||June 9, 2019||6:30 PM||$600|
|Knock-Out Bounty No-Limit Hold'em||June 16, 2019||6:30 PM||$600|
|Turbo No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack||June 19, 2019||6:30 PM||$500|
|Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em||June 23, 2019||6:30 PM||$1,000|
|No-Limit Hold’em Championship||June 30, 2019||6:30 PM||$1,000|
|High Roller No-Limit Hold’em||July 3, 2019||6:30 PM||$3,200|
|6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em||July 7, 2019||6:30 PM||$800|
|Summer Saver No-Limit Hold’em||July 14, 2019||6:30 PM||$500|
A few of those tournaments stick out as especially noteworthy:
Event No. 38: WSOP.com Online Knock Out Bounty No-Limit Hold’em
This event is one of the aforementioned bargain tournaments. Players can compete for a gold bracelet for a mere $600.
The prizepool for this tournament is even lower than one might expect. Thanks to the bounty structure, every player who knocks out another will win $100 instantly.
So, it is possible that a player could receive a return on investment without making money. However, the prizepool is only comprised of the remaining $500 of entry less the vig.
Event No. 38 is a one-day tournament. It will run on June 16.
Event No. 68: WSOP.com Online No-Limit Hold’em Championship
This online, no-limit hold ’em championship is one of the more expensive tourneys WSOP offers. For $1,000, a player can throw his or her hat in the ring to win a gold bracelet.
This tournament is not a turbo event. In fact, it features long (for online games) levels of 20 minutes each.
There are no rebuys to this match, but players can re-enter up to three times. It is a one-day event and will run on June 30.
Last year, Chicago poker pro Ryan Tosoc came in first for this tournament by defeating 1,634 other players. In doing so, he captured nearly $239,000.
There were 180 players from the 1,635-person field that made money, receiving a minimum prize of $2,175. So, it is quite possible to make an excellent score in this tournament.
Event No. 74: WSOP.com Online No-Limit Hold’em High Roller
The high-roller tournament, unsurprisingly, is the most expensive tournament WSOP will host online. Players must plunk down $3,200 if they’d like to play.
Like the championship event, players will have 20 minutes per level to evaluate their decisions. The event is a one-day affair and will occur on July 3.
Last year, Chance Kornuth, of Colorado, won the event. In doing so, he became only the second man to have bracelets both live and online.
Kornuth won $341,599 for his efforts last year. He defeated 479 other players en route to victory.
So, for those who have the means, this high roller event can be quite an appealing opportunity.
Questions about NJ players’ ability to participate
Part of the turnout for these events is shrouded in doubt, however. The US Department of Justice recently issued an opinion that might cut New Jersey residents out of eligibility.
Basically, the DOJ revised its stance governing the applicability of the 1961 Wire Act. The government agency now says that the language of the act affects all types of online gambling, not just sports betting.
The opinion has generated scads of controversy, not least because the new opinion is a complete and unexpected reversal of the DOJ’s opinion from 2011. At present, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission is in the process of suing the DOJ for injunctive relief from the opinion.
Unfortunately, the new opinion would seem to render the multistate online poker compact illegal. So, whether New Jersey residents and visitors can take part in the online events is up in the air.
Event No. 73: The WSOP Main Event
There is no poker tournament on the planet more famous or prestigious than the World Series of Poker Main Event. The winner of this event is traditionally styled as poker’s world champion during the year that follows.
In many ways, winning the main event is one of those bona fides of great players. Many top pros have won this event and those who haven’t remain steadfast in their quest.
That’s not to say that one must win the main event to be a top poker player. Neither Phil Ivey nor Daniel Negreanu has had their hands raised at the end of this tournament yet.
Still, the main event often catapults poker players into the spotlight forever. For some, a week of good poker can change their lives forever.
The money’s great, too. The main event was the first major tournament to offer a million-dollar prize for first place. The seven-digit award became a mainstay of the tournament in 1991 when Brad Daugherty became the first man to secure the score.
From 1991 to 2003, the prize amounts increased slowly. However, in 2003, Chris Moneymaker won the event and sparked a period known as the poker boom.
Poker grew far more prominent than it ever had been before. Accordingly, with so many new people playing, the prizes for the main event grew by leaps and bounds.
At the 2006 peak, the tournament awarded Jamie Gold $12 million for his first-place finish. Since then, however, the prizes began to flatten and decline. Playership went down a bit, and tournament officials slowly adopted a wider distribution of funds.
As a result, the champion no longer receives quite the lion’s share of the prizepool. Current champion John Cynn took home only $8.8 million for his efforts. On the flip side, however, every person who makes the nine-man final table is now guaranteed to take home a million-dollar prize.
2018 main event recap
Last year’s main event crowned 33-year-old Illinois poker player John Cynn as the 2018 world champion. Cynn outlasted 7,873 other players to claim poker’s most coveted prize.
He took first place after an almost-interminable, heads-up session with runner-up Tony Miles. The two dueled for more than 10 hours and played nearly 200 hands against each other before Cynn prevailed.
For his perseverance, Cynn received the $8.8 million first prize and the trademark gold bracelet. Miles had to console himself with a $7 million prize.
In fact, all nine of the 2018 main event’s final table received payouts of $1 million or more. The massive payouts were available due to both the immense field and a flattening of the payout structure by tournament officials.
As it is, the 7,874-player field is the second-largest ever to gather for the main event. The huge tournament served as a signal that poker still has quite a healthy following, both at home and abroad.
A look ahead at the 2019 Main Event
In the early days of the Main Event, when the fields were in the single digits, predicting a winner was a far easier proposition. Nowadays, it’s little more than a crapshoot.
The last poker superstar to win the event is Chris “Jesus” Ferguson. Even Chris Moneymaker was an unknown until his win and his memorable name catapulted him into the limelight.
However, based upon their recent accomplishments and their prior performances at the WSOP, there are four players that may be poised for a deep run.
It may seem a bit knee-jerk to include the all-time money leader on a list of possible contenders. It’s not much of a prediction to say that “ZeeJustin” is a contender to go deep in the WSOP Main Event. He already has three bracelets and one circuit ring to his name.
However, Justin Bonomo has been on fire since 2019 began. He has two first-place finishes and two more final table appearances this year. All four of these cashes have been in tournaments with buy-ins above $25,000, so there’s no doubt that Bonomo is playing excellent poker at the highest level right now.
David Peters is one of those people who is always in the mix. He might be setting up to break through this year.
Peters has hit paydirt in nine big tournaments so far in 2019. According to the Hendon Mob, he has increased his all-time winnings total by over $6.2 million in just four months of play.
He also has a bracelet and a circuit ring at home. The way he’s playing, he probably needs to clear some more drawer space soon.
British player Stephen Chidwick has been on quite the roll since the first of the year. He has placed highly in eight major tournaments so far, with no finishes lower than 8th.
He more or less made the US Poker Open his personal tournament in the process, winning twice and making the final table two other times. He has added nearly $5 million to his lifetime earnings in the four months of 2019 alone.
Chidwick also has 52 cashes and over $2.2 million in winnings from WSOP events. This year may be the one where he starts collecting bracelets, too.
Bryn Kenney has been in the mix for quite a while now. However, it seems like everything is coming together for him this year.
He’s coming off a win at the 2019 Aussie Millions Main Event, a win at the US Poker Open, and three other top ten finishes in major tournaments. Like Stephen Chidwick, he has increased his overall winnings by close to $5 million in four short months.
Kenney is also a bracelet winner, having won the 2014 $1,500 10-Game Mix 6-Handed event. With over $2.7 million in lifetime WSOP cashes, Kenney is always a threat to go deep if he can build an early stack.
The Main Event winners at a glance
Forty-three men have won the WSOP Main Event in its 50-year history. No women have prevailed, so far.
Obviously, Americans have dominated the ranks of champions. However, the list of world champions includes members from 12 different countries.
Here is the list:
|Year||Champion||Prize||# of Players in Field|
Quick facts about the WSOP Main Event champions
- Only four men have ever repeated as world champion.
- Johnny Moss and Stu Ungar are the only men to have won more than twice.
- Only Stu Ungar has won three times in the freezeout format.
- The last player to repeat was Stu Ungar in 1997.
- The last consecutive winner was Johnny Chan in 1988.
- Sixteen of the 43 winners have been elected to the Poker Hall of Fame.
- The 2009 champion Joe Cada was only 21 years old when he won, making him the youngest to win the main event.
Other big money WSOP events
The WSOP is not just about the main event, however. Aside from the main event, 20 other events come with buy-ins greater than or equal to $10,000.
Most of these events are the championships for a particular game in poker. However, there are a few tournaments in this group that are particularly notable.
Event No. 5: 50th Annual High Roller No-Limit Hold’em
The 50th Annual High Roller No-Limit Hold’em event is a $50,000 buy-in tournament. In fact, its name is a tad misleading because the event itself has not run 50 times; the WSOP itself has.
In fact, this tournament celebrated its inaugural year in 2018. Confusing name aside, this event is certainly worth a high-limit player’s attention.
This year’s version of the $50k buy-in event actually has some tweaks from last year’s incarnation. For one thing, the overall time allotted for the tournament has doubled.
This event is now a four-day extravaganza. Blind levels have expanded from 40 minutes to one hour each.
Players will also begin with 300,000 in tournament chips, up from the 250k they received last year. There is also one extra level of late registration.
However, not everything has changed. There is still only a single flight and a single re-entry allowed in this event. The big blind ante system, which was new last year, returns.
Obviously, tournament officials are hoping that these tweaks will generate more interest and a more robust tournament field. Last year’s event drew 128 runners and paid out $1,650,773 to the first-place finisher, Ben Yu.
Event No. 15: Heads Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship
The Heads Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship is something of a rarity. It is certainly a big money event with a buy-in of $10,000.
However, it seems to be an event more heavily steeped in bragging rights than most. The notion of facing off one on one with another player opens up the possibilities for accentuating the interpersonal aspects of poker.
Last year, all-time money leader Justin Bonomo won this event. In doing so, he captured his second WSOP bracelet.
The payout for first place was a comparatively meager $185,965, which is small potatoes compared to other events with similar buy-ins. The tournament itself has a 512-player hard cap, anyway, so it’s impossible to push the prizepool into the stratosphere.
However, the notion of winning a series of duels has plenty of appeal. There’s no doubt that Bonomo felt like quite the gunslinger after the tournament ended.
Of course, he won $10,000,000 a month later in the Big One for One Drop, so he’s probably not too worried about the paucity of the heads-up prize.
Event No. 58: Poker Players Championship (6-Handed)
The WSOP has become quite accessible for many aspiring poker players. The lowering of buy-in amounts meant that those seeking a gold bracelet were no longer just the gods of the felt.
So, in a way, the Poker Players Championship (6-Handed) is a rebuttal to that movement. The tournament, which begins on June 24, comes with a $50,000 price tag for its buy-in.
To screen out the riffraff further, the Poker Players Championship is also a mixed game event. The following games will be in the rotation at this year’s event:
- Limit hold’em
- Omaha hi-lo 8 or better
- Seven card stud
- Seven card stud hi-lo 8 or better
- No-limit hold’em
- Pot-limit Omaha
- Limit 2-7 lowball triple draw
Only the most dedicated players will feel confident enough to attempt play in all of these variations. So, the combination of bankroll requirement and game selection means that this tournament will be filled with some of the best players in the world.
On the other hand, this tournament may actually be the new event to classify the world’s best. After all, the world champion should demonstrate mastery in many different forms of poker.
Nevertheless, it’s a six-day event with plenty of poker for those involved.
Other activities at the WSOP
One of the misconceptions about the WSOP is that it consists only of the events on the schedule. Nothing could be further from the truth; the WSOP is a 24-hour-a-day bonanza of poker.
Within the main tournament hall, there are always several cash games happening. Even players with the skinniest of bankrolls can get a taste of the WSOP excitement if they choose.
There are also two other types of tournaments that are ongoing at the WSOP. The first of these are side-event tournaments.
Side-event tournaments are single-day tournaments that run every single day of the WSOP. There are at least four side-event tournaments that will occur daily.
These tournaments are deepstack events, so they offer plenty of chips for play. They are:
- 1 p.m. – $250 No-Limit Hold’em
- 4 p.m. – $200 No-Limit Hold’em
- 7 p.m. – $400 No-Limit Hold’em*
- 10 p.m. – $150 No-Limit Hold’em*
*These tournaments will have an accelerated format.
There are also side events that cater to specific types of players. For instance, on Sundays at 5 p.m., there will be $250 Pot-Limit Omaha tournaments.
On Wednesdays, there will be another set of no-limit hold’em tournaments at 9 a.m. However, these tournaments are reserved for senior players who are 50 years of age or older.
Even though bracelet events are more affordable than ever now, they are still a significant investment of money. So, WSOP will run mega satellites several times a day that will award tournament seats to the winners.
Satellites are a perfect way to experience the WSOP on a budget. With just a bit of skillful play, a player can find him or herself in a bracelet event at a significant discount.
Here is the schedule for all the mega satellites this year:
|Mega Satellite Name||Date||Time||Buy-in||Payout|
|The WSOP Big 50 Mega Satellites||May 28 - 31||Noon||$70||$500 entry + $40 cash per 10 entries|
|The WSOP Big 50 Mega Satellites||May 28 - 31||4 p.m.||$140||$500 entry + $30 cash per 5 entries|
|Turbo No-Limit Hold'em Mega Satellites||May 29 - July 13||9 a.m.||$185||$1,500 entry + $100 cash per 10 entries|
|Specialty Mega Satellites||May 28 - July 13||8 p.m.||$575||$5,000 entry + $50 cash per 10 entries|
|Specialty Mega Satellites||May 28 - July 13||8 p.m.||$1,100||$10,000 entry + $100 cash per 10.1 entries|
|$50K High Roller No-Limit Mega Satellites||May 29 - 30||noon||$625||Seat in 6 p.m. $5,300 Mega Satellite|
|$50K High Roller No-Limit Mega Satellites||May 29 - 30||6 p.m.||$5,300||Seat in $50,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold'em|
|$25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed High Roller Mega Satellites||June 17 - 18||Noon||$325||$2,700 entry + $100 cash per 10 entries|
|$25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed High Roller Mega Satellites||June 17 - 18||6 p.m.||$2,700||$25,000 entry + $100 cash per 10 entries|
|$50,000 Poker Players Championship (8 Game Mix) Mega Satellites||June 22 - 23||Noon||$625||Seat in 6 p.m. $5,300 Mega Satellite|
|$50,000 Poker Players Championship (8 Game Mix) Mega Satellites||June 22 - 23||6 p.m.||$5,300||Seat in $50,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold'em|
|$100,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold'em Mega Satellites||July 9 - 10||10 a.m.||$125||$850 entry + $100 cash per 10 entries|
|$100,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold'em Mega Satellites||July 9 - 10||2 p.m.||$850||$7,500 entry + $200 cash per 10 entries|
|$100,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold'em Mega Satellites||July 9 - 10||6 p.m.||$7,500||$100,000 entry per every ~14 entries|
|No-Limit Hold'em Mega Satellites||July 2 - 6||8 a.m.||$135||$1,100 entry + $20 cash per 10 entries|
|No-Limit Hold'em Mega Satellites||July 2 - 6||2 p.m.||$250||$2,175 entry + $20 cash per 10 entries|
|No-Limit Hold'em Mega Satellites||July 2 - 6||10 a.m./4 p.m.||$575||$10,000 entry + $100 cash per 20 entries|
|No-Limit Hold'em Mega Satellites||July 2 - 6||1 p.m.||$1,100||$10,000 entry + $100 cash per 10 entries|
|No-Limit Hold'em Mega Satellites||July 2 - 6||8 p.m.||$2,175||$10,000 entry + $100 cash per 5 entries|
|Turbo No-Limit Hold'em Mega Satellites||July 3 - 7||8 a.m.||$1,100||$10,000 entry + $100 cash per 10 entries|
Gavin Smith Memorial Poker Tournament
Poker player Gavin Smith passed away suddenly and tragically in January 2019. WSOP has elected to honor his memory on May 28.
The Gavin Smith Memorial Poker Tournament will occur at 6 p.m. on that day. The event will be a $200 buy-in, no-limit hold’em event. Poker fans shouldn’t miss it.
In many sports, great players are defined by the number of championships they won. Sports teams tend to celebrate a championship by awarding each person on the team a commemorative ring.
In poker, the championship rings are gold WSOP bracelets. The number of bracelets a poker player acquires in his or her career often serves as a shorthand for his or her level of expertise.
By that metric, there can be no doubt that Phil Hellmuth stands atop the poker world. His 15 bracelets are more than any person has ever won, and it’s not particularly close.
Hellmuth has won 50% more hardware than the next three men on the list. Phil Ivey, Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson — all Hall of Fame poker players — each have 10 bracelets to their name.
In fact, a quick read of the top bracelet collectors reads like a who’s who of poker greats. The rest of the top 10 bracelet winners includes Johnny Moss, Erik Seidel, Men Nguyen, Billy Baxter, Daniel Negreanu and Chris Ferguson.
Here are the top 25 winners of WSOP gold bracelets. Most of the names will be quite familiar.
|Player Name||# of Bracelets||Total WSOP Winnings|
How much is the buy-in for WSOP 2019?
Buy-ins in the 2019 WSOP’s 89 events range from $400 to $100,000.
Can anyone enter the World Series of Poker?
Anyone 21 and older may enter any World Series of Poker event.
Who has the most bracelets in poker?
Phil Hellmuth has 15 bracelets, the most bracelets of any poker player.
Who is the best poker player in the world?
There is no objective measure to determine which player is the absolute best player. However, some of the best players in the world include:
- Daniel Negreanu
- Phil Ivey
- Phil Hellmuth
- Erik Seidel
- Fedor Holz
However, at any given time, there are 20 to 25 people who could be described as one of the world’s best poker players.
Who won the WSOP?
The winner of the 2018 WSOP Main Event was John Cynn, a 34-year-old poker player from Illinois.
How do you win seats in WSOP?
Seats to WSOP events are available both in live and online satellites. Players can play their way in through one of the mega satellites at the Rio or on WSOP.com in Nevada and New Jersey.
How much is the World Series of Poker bracelet worth?
World Series of Poker bracelets are custom-designed pieces of jewelry. They typically contain several gemstones to add flair or to represent various aspects of cardplaying.
A rough estimate places the value of each bracelet somewhere between $5,000 and $30,000. However, depending on the design, the accessory could be valued even higher than that.