2019 WSOP Structure Breakdown: The Main Event

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WSOP Main Event
PocketFives breaks down the 2019 WSOP Main Event structure

The structure for the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event has been released. From previous announcements, we know that the amount of starting chips went from 50,000 in 2018 to 60,000 in 2019, a big blind ante format will be used and registration has been extended until the start of Day 2. Now, let’s dive a little deeper into the details and break down how the WSOP Main Event structure in 2019 compares to 2018’s version.

2019 WSOP Main Event Structure

Buy-In: $10,000
Starting Chips: 60,000
Level Duration: 120 minutes
Late Registration Period: Start of Day 2
Re-Entry: None
Click here for structure sheet

DATE EVENT DAY START TIME (PT) DAY LENGTH
7/3 Day 1A 12 p.m. 5 levels
7/4 Day 1B 12 p.m. 5 levels
7/5 Day 1C 12 p.m. 5 levels
7/6 Day 2A/B 11 a.m. 5 levels
7/7 Day 2C 11 a.m. 5 levels
7/8 Day 3 12 p.m. 5 levels
7/9 Day 4 12 p.m. 5 levels
7/10 Day 5 12 p.m. 5-6 levels
7/11 Day 6 12 p.m. 5-6 levels
7/12 Day 7 12 p.m. To nine players
7/14 Day 8 6:30 p.m. To six players
7/15 Day 9 6:30 p.m. To three players
7/16 Day 10 5:30 p.m. To winner

*Per WSOP structure sheet: Adjustments may be made to the numbers of levels played each day.

Once again, the WSOP Main Event is a 10-day competition with three starting flights. Registration is open until the start of Day 2 and players will play five 120-minute levels on Day 1. You can see the levels during the registration period in the 2019 WSOP Main Event structure table below, plus one additional level that you’d start playing if you registered right before registration closed.

LEVEL ANTE BLINDS BB DEPTH M
1 100-200 300 200
2 200 100-200 300 120
3 300 200-300 200 75
4 400 200-400 150 60
5 500 300-500 120 46.15
6 600 300-600 100 40

With 60,000 chips to start, players in the 2019 WSOP Main Event begin with 300 big blinds. That is fewer big blinds than players started with for 2018, but the decrease only lasts one level.

You can also see that if you enter right at the close of registration (start of Day 2) and head into Level 6 with a fresh 60,000-chip starting stack, you’ll have 100 big blinds and an M of 40 to work with.

In a further comparison of the two structures, the table below is a year-by-year look at the two structures through the registration periods.

The starting stack for the 2018 WSOP Main Event was 50,000, so 10,000 less than what it will be in 2019. It’s not the massive increase to the starting stack we’ve seen in some of the other WSOP events for this year, but it’s an increase that benefits the players early on in the structure, past the first level.

For “ante,” we took the standard ante from the 2018 structure and multiplied it by nine to show the cost of a full round of antes at a standard nine-handed table. This was done to align the comparisons better.

2018 Structure Compared To 2019 Structure

LEVEL YEAR ANTE BLINDS BB DEPTH M
1 2018 0 75-150 333.33 222.22
2019 0 100-200 300 200
2 2018 0 150-300 166.67 111.11
2019 200 100-200 300 120
3 2018 225 150-300 166.67 74.07
2019 300 200-300 200 75
4 2018 450 200-400 125 47.62
2019 400 200-400 150 60
5 2018 Reg. Closed
2019 500 300-500 120 46.15
6 2018 Reg. Closed
2019 600 300-600 100 40

The 2019 WSOP Main Event registration period has been extended and will allow players to register until the start of Day 2. Looking at the above table, you can see that there are three levels that overlap with 2018’s registration period. In two of those three overlapping registration periods, the structure benefits players with deeper stacks. The first level was actually deeper in 2018, but the difference isn’t anything astronomical that players should be up in arms about. In fact, some players have suggested the WSOP Main Event is a little too slow at the beginning.

When comparing the end of registration in both years, players would be deeper in 2018 had they entered at the last chance to start Level 4 with a fresh stack of 50,000. That would make for 125 big blinds and an M of 47.62. If players registered to start Day 2 with a fresh 60,000-chip stack in 2019, they’d start with 100 big blinds and an M of 40. That’s two full, 120-minute levels later, and in some cases a full day later for the latecomers.

What Happens After Day 1?

First, let’s take a look at how the two years compare for Day 2. In both years, Day 2 begins with Level 6 and the schedule calls for playing five, 120-minute levels. Remember that for the 2018 ante, we took the standard ante from the structure and multiplied it by nine to show the cost of a full round of antes at a standard nine-handed table.

LEVEL YEAR ANTE BLINDS
6 2018 900 300-600
2019 600 300-600
7 2018 900 400-800
2019 800 400-800
8 2018 900 500-1,000
2019 1,000 500-1,000
9 2018 1,800 600-1,200
2019 1,200 600-1,200
10 2018 1,800 800-1,600
2019 1,600 800-1,600

The blinds are exactly the same for 2019 as they were in 2018, the only difference per level is the number of antes paid per round. In 2018, a player at a full, nine-handed table would pay more per round in antes in four of the five levels on Day 2. The only level that fewer antes were paid in 2018 versus 2019 is Level 8. On the surface, this tells us that players will have more play overall on Day 2. When you factor in that players begin the tournament with 20% more chips in 2019, the average stack on Day 2 should be larger, and that adds even more play than 2018.

Now, let’s take a look at Day 3-6.

DAY 3
LEVEL YEAR ANTE BLINDS
11 2018 2,700 1,000-2,000
2019 2,000 1,000-2,000
12 2018 3,600 1,200-2,400
2019 2,400 1,200-2,400
13 2018 4,500 1,500-3,000
2019 3,000 1,500-3,000
14 2018 4,500 2,000-4,000
2019 4,000 2,000-4,000
15 2018 4,500 2,500-5,000
2019 5,000 2,500-5,000
DAY 4
16 2018 9,000 3,000-6,000
2019 6,000 3,000-6,000
17 2018 9,000 4,000-8,000
2019 8,000 4,000-8,000
18 2018 9,000 5,000-10,000
2019 10,000 5,000-10,000
19 2018 18,000 6,000-12,000
2019 12,000 6,000-12,000
20 2018 18,000 8,000-16,000
2019 16,000 8,000-16,000
DAY 5
21 2018 27,000 10,000-20,000
2019 20,000 10,000-20,000
22 2018 36,000 12,000-24,000
2019 24,000 12,000-24,000
23 2018 45,000 15,000-30,000
2019 30,000 15,000-30,000
24 2018 45,000 20,000-40,000
2019 40,000 20,000-40,000
25 2018 45,000 25,000-50,000
2019 50,000 25,000-50,000
DAY 6
26 2018 90,000 30,000-60,000
2019 60,000 30,000-60,000
27 2018 90,000 40,000-80,000
2019 80,000 40,000-80,000
28 2018 135,000 50,000-100,000
2019 100,000 50,000-100,000
29 2018 180,000 60,000-120,000
2019 120,000 60,000-120,000
30 2018 180,000 80,000-160,000
2019 160,000 80,000-160,000

For Day 5-6, we assumed five levels to be played, but note that the structure sheet does say “5-6 levels.”

If you look at the blind levels for Day 3-6, you’ll notice the small blind and big blind amounts are all the same as they were in 2018. The change comes with the ante, and you’ll notice the cost of one round of antes is less in the majority of blind levels in 2019 when compared to 2018. Of the 20 levels from Level 11 to Level 30, only three times does the 2019 structure call for a higher price for a round of antes.

In several spots, each pot is going to be one small blind or greater less than was played in 2018. For example, Level 13 on Day 3 in 2019. In 2018, this level was 1,500-3,000 with a 500 ante. That put 9,000 in the pot at each nine-handed table to start the hand. In 2019, Level 13 is the same 1,500-3,000 but with a 3,000 big blind ante. That’s 7,500 in the pot to start the hand for a difference of 1,500 fewer chips. Another example is in Level 29. In 2018, this level was 60,000-120,000 with a 20,000 ante for 360,000 in the pot to start the hand. In 2019, the level is 60,000-120,000 with a 120,000 big blind ante for 300,000 in the pot to start each hand.

More Chips Plus Big Blind Ante Means More Play

In conclusion, the larger size of the starting stack and the way the big blind ante format works with the structure will allow for a deeper, slower structure in 2019 compared to 2018 in the WSOP Main Event.

Want to know more about the 2019 World Series of Poker?

Check out ‘Everything You Need To Know About the 2019 WSOP.’