2017 WSOP: The Five Bracelet Events You Just Have to Play

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The World Series of Poker has 74 events on the schedule but only five are considered “must play.”

It’s almost here. The 2017 World Series of Poker edges closer on the poker horizon with each passing day. The excitement sticks to every player whether it is an amateur taking their chance or a tournament grinder trying to fight their way out of makeup. The WSOP schedule has a whopping 74 events on it but only five tournaments are worthy of “must play” status.

#5 – The Millionaire Maker – $1,500 buy-in – June 10-14

One omission that some might have a few gripes about is The Colossus. It is understandable that a $565 buy-in event with $1,000,000 guaranteed for first place is appealing, but why fight a through a field of 23,000 when you can play the Millionaire Maker? The crown jewel of WSOP novelty events, Millionaire Maker is entering its fifth year and has made dreams come true for players of all walks of life who just wanted to turn $1,500 into $1,000,000 in a span of four days. Why this event over Colossus? Well, for one, the structure is far superior. 7,500 chips and 60-minute levels are a far better value than the 5,000 and 30-minute Day 1 levels that the Colossus offers. Obviously, bankroll levels differ, but if you are already planning to invest three bullets into the Colossus, why not just play Millionaire Maker once? It’s a lottery ticket, either way you scratch it off.

#4 – The Marathon – $2,620 buy-in – June 12-16

In 2015, the World Series introduced the Extended Play event. The 90-minute levels proved to be a hit among the $1,500 price point crowd. Last year, the event was rebranded as the Summer Solstice and this summer, The Marathon will be upon us. $2,620 buy in. 26,200 starting stack. 100-minute levels for the full tournament. It’s about as close to a World Poker Tour structure as the WSOP gets and the mid-range buy in should attract a healthy mix of top pros looking to play a five-day tournament and recreational players trying to maximize their time away from the office.

#3 – Dealers Choice – $1,500 buy-in – June 5-7

Another event recently introduced to the WSOP this decade, the $1,500 Dealers Choice event is by far one of the most purely fun events the World Series puts on. With 20 games to choose from and a variety of players of unique backgrounds in the event, there is literally something for everyone. Among the champions of this event include Robert Mizrachi, Hollywood writer Carol Fuchs, and last year’s winner, former poker dealer Lawrence Berg. If you’re looking for an entertaining, but tremendously competitive event, this tournament, and this price point is the one for you.

#2 – The Monster Stack – $1,500 buy-in – June 24-28

There is no event at the World Series that is as revered for how much pure enjoyment it provides than the Monster Stack. While not officially branded as a “millionaire maker” tournament, the event has brought the winner at least that much in its three years of existence. You know the deal by now. $1,500 buy in. 15,000 starting stack. Over 6,500 runners. Let the games begin. Monster Stack also has done the job of introducing fans to new faces and reminding them of some of the game’s greats. Joe McKeehen burst onto the national stage when he finished second in 2014 (his first of three straight years with a score of at least $800,000). In the past two years, legends of the game like David Pham, Hoyt Corkins, and Poker Hall of Famer TJ Cloutier all made deep runs that made everyone realize their greatness once again. Monster Stack is the best $1,500 event for a reason. We’ll see what new adventures it provides this year.

#1 – The Main Event – $10,000 buy-in – July 8-22

There is literally zero question about what belongs here; the WSOP Main Event is the greatest event in poker for a reason. It’s the tournament that ignited the poker boom and remains a one-of-a-kind experience for all who pony up the $10,000 entry fee. In what was perhaps the most memorable Main Event since Michael Mizrachi chased down the Player of the Year title in 2010, an ocean of top-notch pros reached Day 6 but by the time the dust settled in November, it was an amateur who topped them all. Qui Nguyen is the best thing to happen to televised poker in years and there might be a new rush of raccoon hat wearing, back-raising newcomers ready to enter in their first Main Event in hopes of duplicating his feat. With a 50,000 starting stack in place, it is sure to be another reg-heavy field deep but as last year proved, all you need is a seat and a dream in order to be the next banner raised in the Amazon Room.