The 49th Annual World Series of Poker will feature four online bracelet events, including a new $565 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha tournament, according to the 2018 WSOP schedule released Wednesday.
The prestigious summer series will run from May 29 to July 17 and once again be held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Card players will have the chance to take home a WSOP bracelet in one of 78 total events, four more than were offered last year.
Taking a risk with PLO
Due to the smashing success of its 2017 online events, organizers have added an extra tournament to the list, this time branching out from No-Limit Hold‘em into PLO. The four events are as follows:
- Event No. 9 (June 3): $365 WSOP.com Online No-Limit Hold’em
- Event No. 47 (June 22): $565 WSOP.com Online Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed
- Event No. 61 (June 29): $1,000 WSOP.com Online No-Limit Hold’em Championship
- Event No. 63 (June 30): $3,200 WSOP.com Online No-Limit Hold’em High Roller
The tournaments will take place on WSOP.com and be open to players who are physically inside the state of Nevada (although NJ players may also be allowed). Unlike in previous years, when some final tables were played out live at the Rio, the entirety of next year’s online events will take place on the virtual felt.
Online events grow in popularity
Internet bracelet events were first introduced by WSOP in 2015, beginning with a $1,000 buy-in tournament which garnered over 900 entrants. In 2016 the event was converted to allow reentries, and attracted 927 players, who generated an over $1.1 million prize pool.
In 2017, organizers added two more online options to the schedule, a $333 buy-in, $333,333 guarantee, and a $3,333 High Roller event. The low buy-in tournament, the lowest price ever offered for the chance to win a WSOP bracelet, exceeded all expectations, eclipsing its guarantee by over $400,000. The High Roller prize pool swelled to over $1.3 million, the biggest ever recorded in legal US online poker history.
Will New Jersey WSOP.com players be able to play?
In October, NJ Gov. Chris Christie announced an agreement between legal online poker sites in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware to share player pools. Under this arrangement, it’s possible that WSOP.com players inside the Garden State will also have the chance to compete for a WSOP bracelet.
Unfortunately, the details of the agreement have yet to be ironed out, so it’s unclear when the compact will go live. Nevada and Delaware announced a similar pact in 2014, but due to technical difficulties, were not able to implement it for just over a year. This time around, operators and regulators should be able to speed up the process considerably, perhaps in time for the WSOP. We should know much more in the coming months.