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Found 21 results

  1. In the final days of 2020, former World Series of Poker Main Event champion Huckleberry Seed became the 60th person inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. Seed, a four-time WSOP bracelet winner including the 1996 WSOP Main Event, is undoubtedly a worthy recipient of what should be considered poker’s highest honor. The mission of the Poker of Fame should be to celebrate the game itself while recognizing the players and people who have shined brightest and helped elevate the game during their careers. That being said, the current system responsible for nominating and enshrining people into the Poker Hall of Fame is broken and needs an overhaul to mitigate some issues which are already making themselves known and are only bound to get worse. A quick explainer on the current system: Following a public nomination process, the WSOP releases a list of 10 nominees based on the public input. Living PHOF members are given those 10 names to consider. Each voter has 10 points to distribute amongst the 10 nominees however they choose. All votes are tallied and the nominee receiving the most points is inducted. This is a change from the previous 10 years where a select panel of media (equal to the number of voting PHOF members) were also given a vote and the top two point earners were inducted. The criticisms of the current system are aplenty but there are two which stand out. The heavy bias towards American players has long been a frustration for players, fans and media from outside of the country. The second issue is a growing backlog of worthy candidates that has no hope of being cleared anytime soon as more and more worthy candidates become eligible each year. Let the Public Continue to Be Involved The one thing that doesn’t need any real change is the nomination process. The WSOP makes it so that anybody, a poker fan, a poker player, a family member, can nominate somebody for the PHOF so long as the person they’re nominating is at least 40 years old. It gives everybody an opportunity to be involved and gives WSOP executives a number of names to choose from when putting the final list of 10 nominees together each year. Remove the Cap on Number of Annual Inductees Seed was the only member of the 2020 class by design. From 2010-2019, the PHOF enshrined two nominees each year. That became a single inductee in 2020 with WSOP executives citing a return to tradition as the reason behind the change. “We like tradition. One per year is the way it was for the majority of the Poker Hall of Fame’s history. A single inductee seems to promote the prestige of the honor,” said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the WSOP, who oversees the administration of the PHOF. In fact, the PHOF has had a single inductee in 18 years, two inductees in 16 years, seven inductees in the inaugural class of 1979, and another five years with no inductees at all. Keeping one inductee, or even two, per year certainly keeps the PHOF exclusive, but there is already a backlog of candidates waiting to get in and the coming onslaught from the online poker generation is going to make the nominees list awfully crowded. Five years from now five of the most recent nominees will still be on the nomination list and the following players will be eligible for the first time in either 2025 or 2026: Justin Bonomo, Shaun Deeb, Phil Galfond, Isaac Haxton, Jason Koon, Chris Moorman, Nick Schulman, Scott Seiver, Vanessa Selbst. Neither the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, or the Basketball Hall of Fame restrict the number of inductees on an annual basis. The PHOF needs to follow suit and this could be accomplished by eliminating the points system currently being used and replacing it with the system used by those other halls of fame. In all three instances, voters are given the name of all of those eligible for induction and simply vote yes or no. For basketball and baseball, a nominee becomes an enshrinee with 75% of the vote, for football, it’s 80%. Add More International Flavor Seed was the 60th inductee into the Poker Hall of Fame and one of the major criticisms of the current system is that it places an emphasis on American players. Of the 31 living Hall of Famers, who are eligible to vote, only four are not American. Carlos Mortensen, Daniel Negreanu, John Juanda, and Henry Orenstein are the only four voters born outside of the United States and most of them, if not all of them, spent a considerable amount of their poker career living and working in the United States. This fails to recognize the incredible worldwide growth that the game of poker has enjoyed over the last 50 years. Eliminating the maximum number of inductees rule as mentioned above could lead to an increase in the number of international members, which in turn leads to more international voters. Allowing select industry leaders, including members of the media, would also increase the number of international voters. Starting in 2010, a select media panel, intentionally equal in size to the number of HOF members voting, were afforded the opportunity to vote. That privilege was eliminated this year. Modifying this concept to include those who have worked long term in the poker industry puts in place a much needed system of checks and balances and ensures the international players get a fair shake. While the number American poker media outlets may be declining, the growth in international coverage of the game and the industry has grown immensely. Markets such as Brazil, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Japan, Korea, Canada, Hong Kong, Russia, Germany, and India all have talented, knowledgeable media covering the game not only in their own country, but around the world. Vetting and filling a panel of 32 media members wouldn’t be difficult and would provide a much-needed sense of balance to the final vote. Make the Builder Category Official The current criteria that voters are asked to consider when voting is the following: A gambler must have played poker against acknowledged top competition, Played for high stakes, Played consistently well, gained the respect of peers, And stood the test of time. Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results. While that last line certainly allows for a voter to recognize “non-players” in their voting, it also forces them to evaluate two completely different categories of nominee against each other. It also doesn’t tell voters how to apply the criteria to the nominees. For example, Chris Moneymaker was part of the PHOF Class of 2019 and a number of those who voted for him were doing so based on the “non-player” criteria because of his role in helping ignite the poker boom following his 2003 WSOP Main Event win. Moneymaker clearly doesn’t fit the criteria as a player and he would most likely be the first one to tell you that. Creating and properly defining a category specific for builders gives voters the opportunity to properly assess the entire body of work of that nominee. A yes or no voting system also removes the requirement that a five-time WSOP bracelet winner’s credential be considered against that of a longtime member of the industry whose impact was responsible for measurable growth. To ensure that the Hall continues to shine on light on the game’s best players, removing the minimum vote threshold and simply inducting the leading vote getter each year ensures no more than a single builder is recognized each year. Get Ceremonial and Show the World Over the years there have been varying types of ceremonies for the annual HOF induction. From a dinner at Binion’s with friends, family, fellow HOFers and industry leaders invited to a simple ceremony during November Nine festivities, the WSOP has, in the past, made an effort to afford the inductees a chance to be recognized in front of an audience. Budgetary restrictions and timing issues have made a ceremony of any magnitude a challenge the past few years, but adding a Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony to the calendar not only gives the newest members of the PHOF a night to shine, but it gives the WSOP a chance to thump its chest and strut. The WSOP already has a strong relationship with PokerGO and including a night of pomp and circumstance where the inductees, Hall of Famers, top players, and celebrities all gather to celebrate the game to the broadcast schedule seems like a win-win. Footing the bill for something like this comes down to finding a sponsor. WSOP executives have had success bringing non-endemic advertisers into the fold as sponsors and this seems like a great opportunity to bring one of those companies to the table. Small steps like the one's listed here aren't necessarily new, but re-vamping the entire process with an eye towards ramping up the intensity of the spotlight shined on poker's best and brightest is a win-win for everybody. FIVE THINGS is written by PocketFives President and Editor in Chief, Lance Bradley and covers pressing topics and current events in the poker world today. It appears periodically at PocketFives.com.
  2. After a vote by the 30 of the 31 living members of the Poker Hall of Fame, 1996 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Huckleberry Seed has been named as the sole member of the Poker Hall of Fame Class of 2020. “Hearing the news that I am being inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame this year brought back memories of my early poker days, walking into Binion’s Horseshoe, about to start a poker session, admiring all the Poker Hall of Famers on the wall,” Seed said. “It feels good to be included with all the poker legends that I once idolized and competed against over the year. Thank you, everyone.” Seed is a four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner with more than $7.6 million in career live tournament earnings. In addition to his Main Event victory, Seed won bracelets in Pot Limit Omaha (1994) and Razz (2000, 2003). His career dates back to over a decade before the poker boom, but he became a fixture in poker culture by being featured on televised tournaments and cash games. In 2009, Seed was the winner of the NBC Heads Up Tournament and in 2010 he prevailed in the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions. After inducting two people every year since 2010, WSOP officials decided to return to the original limit of one inductee per year this year. WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart wanted to honor the original tradition of one inductee per year, which started in 1979. “We like tradition. One per year is the way it was for the majority of the Poker Hall of Fame’s history. A single inductee seems to promote the prestige of the honor,” Stewart said. “Most of the finalists these past few years are very young men. I would hope and assume they will all get inducted eventually.” There were a total of 300 votes cast by the Poker Hall of Fame members (one person abstained from voting) with Seed collecting 76, or roughly 25%, of the votes. Behind him in the voting was Matt Savage with 51 and PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg with 45 votes. Distribution of Votes Huckleberry Seed – 76 Votes Matt Savage – 51 Votes Isai Scheinberg – 45 Votes Eli Elezra – 30 Votes Antonio Esfandiari – 23 Votes Lon McEachern and Norman Chad – 20 Votes Ted Forrest – 20 Votes Mike Matusow – 17 Votes Patrik Antonius – 15 Votes Chris Ferguson – 3 Votes In the poker community, Seed is also known as the “Master of the Prop Bet” with stories of the gambler putting himself through challenges that have included betting $10,000 that at six-foot-seven former basketball player could learn to perform a standing backflip in just two days. Other stories include Seed attempting to go an entire year without shaving, stand submerged in water up to his shoulders for 18 hours, and run a mile in under 4:40. Seed’s official induction into the Poker Hall of Fame will take place at a ceremony in 2021huck
  3. It’s official. The 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event on GGPoker has been certified as the largest prize pool for an online poker tournament by the Guinness World Records. The $5,000 Main Event took place from August 16 - September 6 and drew a total of 5,802 entries which boosted the prize pool to $27,559,500, crushing the originally posted $25 million guarantee. When all was said and done, Stoyan Madanzhiev from Bulgaria etched his name in the online poker history books by taking home the largest-ever first-place prize of $3,904,685. “This Guinness World Records title was on our radar from the very beginning,” said Steve Preiss, Head of Poker Operations at GGPoker. “Players and fans of poker expect nothing less than record-breaking prizes when it comes to the World Series of Poker, and GGPoker delivered.” After “reviewing the evidence and going through all the details”, Michael Empric, an Official Adjudicator for Guinness World Records, placed a video call to GGPoker ambassador Daniel Negreanu to deliver the news.  “Breaking a Guinness World Records title show what happens when you combine GGPoker’s amazing platform with the World Series of Poker brand,” said Ty Stewart, WSOP Director. “This will be a tough record to beat,” Stewart is likely right. The Main Event had 23 starting flights and allowed players to enter three different times which helped them set the new record. The previous record for an online poker prize pool was established by partypoker in 2018 with their $5,300 buy-in $20 million guaranteed MILLIONS Online tournament in which the company spent the better part of the entire year qualifying players to ultimately reach a prize pool of $21,780,000. In 2019, partypoker took a shot at their own record by offering the same tournament with a $10,300 buy-in. However, they missed the mark falling just short with a prize pool of $21,090,000. Online Poker All-Time Largest Prize Pools [table id=115 /] Even though the new prize pool record was widely recognized by the poker industry, GGPoker and the WSOP took the extra step of getting their achievement stamped by Guinness. And they are far from the first in poker to officially set a recognized world record. While many have claimed to have played longer, Phil Laak is the official record holder of the longest live cash game session when he played for 115 hours straight at the Bellagio back in 2010. Perhaps that is what inspired the Netherlands’ Tom Maaswinkel to get into the record book with his 24-hour session of online poker in May of 2019. There are other niche poker records in Guinness as well. Randy ‘nanonoko’ Lew put his multi-tabling talent on display for his world record for most online poker hands played in eight hours (14,548) back in 2012. Former PokerStars ambassador, and current GGPoker pro, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier still holds the record for the most online poker tables played in one hour when he played 62 tables back in 2009 (a record unlikely to be challenged with modern-day table limits.) The Guinness World Records also acknowledges Joe Cada as the youngest WSOP Main Event champion and Antonio Esfandiari as having won the single-largest first-place prize for his $18.3 million score at the 2012 Big One For One Drop. While many of poker’s Guinness World Records are centered around some of the game’s biggest events, for individuals looking to set their own records, Guinness World Records is ready to review the achievement. According to their website, all it takes is an attempt at creating a new record or breaking an existing record (with evidence) plus an application fee of $800-$1000.
  4. Last week, PocketFives published an article about players on the World Poker Tour voting 80-20 in favor of a shot clockfor decisions. The overwhelmingly slanted vote resulted in WPT ambassador Mike Sexton remarking, "I'm guessing/hoping you'll see some type of 'shot clock' incorporated by the WPT for Season XIII." The momentum for a shot clock has now spilled over to the World Series of Poker, whose Circuit may experiment with it this year. WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart told PocketFives in an exclusive statement when asked about the prospects of a clock coming to the series, "We are watching it closely. We agree with trying to encourage 'fast play' and may experiment with a clock on the Circuit this year where there are smaller fields. I have observed mixed results to date on both the operation of it and the field sizes for such events." The WSOP Circuit's final event of the season is in May at Harrah's New Orleans. Then, it'll likely pause until August while the Summer Series runs in Las Vegas. While having a shot clock could help speed up play and make recreational players less vulnerable to the pro "stare-down," Stewart admitted that implementing additional rules isn't always in the best interests of the game. To that end, the WSOP Executive Director explained, "Generally, we want the WSOP to be a fun, welcoming environment. We have very high percentages of recreational players, speaking dozens of languages, who have never played under a shot clock. We're under the mentality that more penalties and more dead hands are bad. We are not going to rush to change anything until we see how people react to it." Thus, it appears that WSOP officials will closely monitor what happens when and if the WPT implements a shot clock before making a decision. Remember, the WSOP in Las Vegas utilizes hundreds of poker tables spread out across multiple rooms at the Rio. Thus, logistically a shot clock could be fairly difficult to implement and enforce. One other source close to a major poker tour told PocketFives that implementing a shot clock could mean that each player will take the maximum allotted time to act on every decision, thus potentially slowing down play overall, even while eliminating the drawn-out five- and ten-minute tanks. What do you think? Should the WSOP and/or WSOP Circuit introduce a shot clock? Let us know by commenting here or posting in this forum thread. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  5. On Tuesday, just two weeks away from the start of the 2014 World Series of Poker, WSOP officials held a conference call to preview the event and field questions from reporters. PocketFives was on the call and learned that we'll see Frisbee dogs before the "Shuffle up and deal" command at some point this summer. Who doesn't like Frisbee dogs? Answer: Everyone loves Frisbee dogs. 2014 marks the tenth consecutive year the WSOP has been held at the Rio after moving from Binion's in Downtown Las Vegas. WSOP Vice President Ty Stewart started the call by saying, "We hope to make summer in Vegas the happiest season of all. It's time to make poker big again. It's time to make poker fun again." A total of 15,000 WSOP virgins are expected this year and the series anticipates over 70,000 total entrants for the fifth straight year. The WSOP appears to be shooting for the "fun" angle this year, trying to move away from any staleness that has occurred. Officials teased additional cage staff, additional cage windows, new chairs in every playing area, a new zip line attraction, the High Roller Ferris Wheel on the Strip, fresh carpet in the convention center, live music, indoor blimps, and Frisbee dog shows. As most of us know by now, the 2014 WSOP Main Event will guarantee $10 million to the winner, with Stewart saying, "Eight-figures for a poker tournament – it's something that can't be accomplished in any other event in the world. It's something that has had people talking for months." WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel added that the entire series was "our Olympics. This is our Woodstock. This is our celebration." In changes from 2013, the 5:00pm events will now start at 4:00pm to allow for more play on Day 1. The first day will run for 10 levels, ending around 3:00am. Moreover, players will be able to compete on WSOP.com, a regulated online poker site in Nevada, in a special Grind Room that will be set up at the Rio featuring computers, plenty of power outlets, and a segregated wireless network. WSOP tournaments will largely feature six levels of late registration, with the exception of the Main Event (six hours), Poker Player's Championship (start of Day 2), and Shootout events (two levels or until the tournament sells out). Speaking on the internet situation outside of the Grind Room, Stewart(pictured) told the media, "We have free WiFifor everyone in the convention center. We believe we have enough bandwidth to service all of our guests… Unlike some other poker tournaments, we encourage players to Tweet, post, Instagram, sign autographs, and not have to rush back to their seats for the 'first card off the deck.'" One topic discussed at length was the absence of an Open Face Chinese Poker event, which does not grace the 2014 WSOP schedule. Officials reasoned, "This is the World Series of Poker. While we're not afraid to be innovative, is Open Face Chinese, without betting, raising, and bluffing, a poker tournament? We decided it was too gray to have that bracelet sit side by side with [other bracelets] that help determine a person's place in poker." Finally, 2013 Main Event champion Ryan Riess (pictured) was in the house for the call, saying, "I can't wait. I am super excited… I am playing about 15 to 20 tournaments this year." He added that his game might have gotten sharper in recent months: "I've been working on my game a lot the last few months. I have been fine-tuning my game, so I am excited for the summer." Last year, Riess was a guest on the ESPN football program "College GameDay," which he said was the highlight of his reign as Main Event champion: "I was invited to be on 'College GameDay' along with Joey Chestnut. The Spartans luckily beat Ohio State and I was fortunate enough to be there." The game was held in Indianapolis. Stay tuned to PocketFives for 2014 WSOP news and results. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  6. Facing several years of declining World Series of Poker Main Event participation, the tournament's organizers sought a new marketing strategy that would create a splash and attract new faces. Their solution, implemented last year, was to bump the first place prize up to a massive $10 million and entice new players with the promise of an eight-figure payday. The approach seemed to work and after all was said and done, the 2014 Main Event saw its first increase in numbers in years. But not everyone is a fan of the new top-heavy structure; six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu has argued that the improving economy, not the extra cash, contributed more to the success of last year's event. Read Negreanu's thoughts. WSOP organizers seem to have taken note and have requested that players give their opinion on the prestigious tournament in a short survey. "We always value the feedback of the players and thought it prudent to survey them on this issue as a result of recent chatter," WSOP VP Seth Palansky told PokerNews. "We will analyze the data and determine the best course of action moving forward in part based on that input." In the survey, the WSOP revealed that it is considering paying more places in the 2015 Main Event and asked that players consider the following scenario: "Last year, the WSOP Main Event paid 693 places, with 693rd receiving $18,406, 100th place getting $52,141, and 10th getting $565,193. If we pay 1,000 places using 6,683 entrants as the benchmark, 1,000th would possibly receive $15,000, 693rd would then get $16,750, 100th spot would hypothetically receive $50,000, and 10th would get $525,000. Are these pay adjustments an acceptable compromise to increase the percentage of the field paid out from a standard 10% to more along the lines of 15%?" The survey also questioned how much the min-cash should be, from $11,000 to $20,000, and what percentage of players should be paid in total, starting at 7.5% and going up to 20%. The questions seem specifically written in response to Negreanu's blog post. In it, he urged the WSOP to pay more places by lowering the minimum prize. He believed that the smaller minimum payout would have few psychological repercussions for most players. "When Billy Bob goes back to his wife and says, 'Honey, I'm in the money,' the fact that he is guaranteed $15,000 rather than $22,000 is an afterthought. The celebration is in the win, no matter how small," he said. Phil Hellmuth backed the idea on Twitter: "Agree 100%: Flatter payouts [are] more important than $10 million guarantee for 1st," he said. Negreanu even suggested a few new slogans for the Main Event: "The richest tournament in poker history is about to create nine new millionaires. Could you be one of the nine? Only one way to find out." "The Main Event payouts are being discussed again prior to pre-registration opening and this data will be one of several factors we consider," said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart (pictured). "We're interested in getting a broad swath of feedback, which ideally includes and segments both returning customer and potential customers. So, we hope players and fans will help us get the word out quickly about our interest to hear from them." It remains to be seen what changes, if any, will be made as a result of the survey. "If there is a way to make the WSOP better, the playing experience better, that's what we are here to do," said Palansky." Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  7. Over the past week, comments from WPT host Mike Sexton about the value of a WSOP bracelethave drawn the attention of the poker world. That attention grew even more significant when the Executive Director of the WSOP, Ty Stewart (pictured), replied to some of Sexton's arguments. Soon after Sexton's thoughts on the current state of the WSOP were published, Stewart stepped up. "Despite this forum being a PartyPoker blog, we (the WSOP) would never question your motivations to want what is best for the industry and the WSOP," Stewart started. He then responded to Sexton's thoughts with an extended post of his own. As to the November Nine, Stewart suggested that the current format actually helps players who make the final table. Pointing out the live reporting and social media nature of our world today, Stewart said he hopes the poker community "feels proud of a platform which sees every hand of a poker tournament covered on the #1 sports network in the world via a multi-day prime-time finale" rather than in a documentary-style presentation months after the conclusion of the event. As for the players who make the trip back to the November Nine final table, Stewart said that the WSOP goes to great lengths to cater to them. "We furnish business class travel and expenses for the return trip," Stewart stated, and highlighted several areas where players have been able to garner extra sponsorship dollars and attention from outside the poker community. "I believe it was very exciting for Bruno Politano(pictured) to receive a good luck message from country icon Neymar last year," Stewart wrote. He also pointed out the difference between the 2007 WSOP Main Event final table and the first November Nine. "Having been there when a sparse crowd of mostly sleeping, un-invested persons witnessed the final table, I am continually floored by the atmosphere of the modern final table, replete with body painters, country flags, and chanting fans, which makes poker feel very close to sport." Regarding the number of bracelets awarded, Stewart believes that has come about due to balancing the needs of professional players and recreational players. "We are guided by the principles of having choices and opportunities for all segments of players and giving them the best experience, prize pool, and value for their money possible," Stewart said. "We are proud to have $1 million events and $1,000 events. This is poker today; it is still statistically harder to win a bracelet than at any time in the past." Stewart pointed out that the POY race is simply a reflection of the global nature of today's poker world. "We have always believed in the 'World' in WSOP and that, with a fast growing global game, not all events should be on home soil where Americans can save the travel expenses," Stewart opined. He mentioned players like inaugural WSOP Europe champion Annette Annette_15Obrestad (pictured) and 2013 WSOP Europe champion Adrian Mateos, "who wouldn't have been eligible to play at the WSOP when they won their bracelets due to their age," as great moments in WSOP history. Due to the events being held in foreign locations, the WSOP has brought the game further into the television realm with broadcasts on Eurosport and Australian television. Both gentlemen offer very well presented and thought-out reasons for their positions. But the bottom line is who the players believe has it right: Sexton or Stewart. Comment here and let us know your thoughts. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  8. In a conference call on Tuesday, World Series of Poker officials outlined a variety of highlights and major changes for this year's tournament extravaganza, which is set to start in 15 days from the Rio in Las Vegas. Sorry, there are no Frisbee-catching dogs this year. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- Pre-registration, in part driven by the opening $565 buy-in Colossus, is at an all-time high. In fact, it'sfive times higher than at this point last year. WSOP officials insinuated that the number of pre-registrations is already higher than the attendance of the 2006 WSOP Main Event (8,773), the largest live poker tournament to date. Hotel bookings are up twofold. There's an increase in starting chips across the board. Additionally, the WSOP is paying 1,000 players in the Main Event after backlash to the original decision to pay $10 million to first place. As we told you about earlier today on PocketFives, the live final table broadcast of the Main Event on ESPN and ESPN2 has been expanded to three nights"so the great majority of the coverage can appear in prime time," according to WSOP Vice President Ty Stewart. In the process, it'll go head-to-head with Sunday Night Football (Eagles/Cowboys) and Monday Night Football (Bears/Chargers). The WSOP has forged a variety of partnerships this year. 888 Poker will send more than 100 players to the Main Event by itself and 56 land-based casinos are licensed to send players as well. DraftKings, a daily fantasy sports site that takes US players, will have a lounge on the Pavilion Room's stage and the WSOP's marketing agreement with DraftKings has been extended into a multi-year agreement. Finally, the Global Poker Indexis now the title sponsor of WSOP Player of the Year award. In terms of structures, all $5,000 events and below will feature a 5x multiplier on starting chips instead of 3x. There is no change for $10,000 events. There's a 10x multiplier for the Colossus and Monster Stack. WiFiwill be available for players in all playing areas, and speaking of the internet (it's a series of tubes), there's an online bracelet event this year at WSOP.com. Normally, only one player can play in a cash game and tournament from the same IP address. However, the Rio is white-listed from that rule this year. Deposits for WSOP.com should be available at all Caesars properties. The majority of final tables will be live-streamed, typically two each day. The secondary stream will be available every day, but does not show hole cards (the primary stream does). The live stream only exists on WSOP.com, which will be handling all live reporting, chip counts, and update blogs in-house this year after separating from PokerNews. Some other highlights: Starting with the Colossus Stewart: "We're ready to put ourselves to the max on opening weekend." The Colossus will likely be the largest live poker tournament ever attendance-wise and caters to a first-time crowd. Stewart added, "If it's not, by a large margin, the largest event in the history of poker, it would be a disappointment." WSOP Betting The only betting on the WSOP is likely to be on the November Nine. Lines for other final tables are too difficult to set since they start immediately. Patch Restrictions There is no change to patch restrictions this year. WSOP.com Software Errors and Quirks Issues in Nevada were addressed in last software update to comply with gaming restrictions for the online bracelet event. WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel added, "We're not trying to say the online experience will be the exact same as a live event. There will be nuances with having an online event. It's an evolution. If there are difficulties, we'll deal with them." WSOP's Focus on Recreational Players Stewart: "We are aiming to get more recreational players involved. The poker customer at large is a value-based customer." Effel: "We have something for everyone. That's it, in a nutshell." WSOP Facilitating Deals Stewart: "There are a lot of the days during the year that someone will take variance away from the table. This is the World Championship of Poker… The general public doesn't want to see [deals]… For the five weeks of the WSOP, we believe cooperation isn't in the best interest of the game." Rules About Electronics There are no headphones allowed once you reach the money. If you're not in a hand, you can be on your device. If you're playing a hand online, the Tournament Directors will understand or you can use your time bank. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  9. Twitter has been busy on Thursday after allegations of cheating were brought against Valeriu Cocain the $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Heads-Up event at the World Series of Poker. It's important to note that Coca has not been found to be in violation of any WSOP rule thus far. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- Connor blanconegroDrinan has been at the forefront of the issue and posted on Two Plus Two, "Our speculation is that he was using some sort of invisible ink in combination with special sunglasses." Preliminary testing by WSOP officials did not show any issueswith the cards, but further tests were planned. WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel (pictured) Tweeted on Thursday, "We are aware, monitoring very closely w/all resources at our disposal. Those include surveillance/security, forensic examination of cards, etc… We take integrity very seriously, as evidenced by our lifetime bans, and would enjoy nothing more than catching a cheater in our midst." PocketFives contacted WSOP officials for an interview, but our request was declined. WSOP Vice President of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky told us, "There is no scandal. There is an allegation. We will conduct a thorough investigation and won't comment further until that is complete." WSOP Vice President Ty Stewart (pictured) relayed to PocketFives, "We will say we would love to catch cheat(s) + hand out justice… And we were pretty on top of this situation with every measure we have in our bag of tricks, which is not good to disclose." According to Kevin Kevmath Mathers, Coca's payout was withheld pending an investigation. The name Thang Luu came up repeatedly in discussion on Twitter on Thursday. Luu, a two-time bracelet winner, was hit with a lifetime ban from the WSOP for reportedly breaking a dealer's hand. David Diaz was banned in 2013 for causing a ruckus at a nightclub at Harrah's Las Vegas. Chan Pelton was barred from WSOP events last year after pocketing a chip during a Circuit stop in Florida. Pelton went on to win the tournament, but later forfeited his winnings. Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest WSOP coverage, brought to you by Tournament Poker Edge. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. Effel image courtesy PokerStars
  10. Due in part to the Colossus, a $565 buy-in tournament that fetched a field of 22,374 entrants, attendance at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas was up 25% to 103,512 this year. That number represents a new all-time high for the annual tournament series. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- The 2015 WSOP attracted players from 111 different countries, with 11,638 people receiving prize money. There was $210.3 million given out, the third highest total in WSOP history behind the two years that the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop was held. WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart said in a press release, "2015 was a 'colossal' success thanks to the players and their continued passion for the World Series of Poker and 2016 will be even better. It's a new era at the WSOP and we hope it is clear that all poker enthusiasts are welcome here." For the 11th straight year, the WSOP generated a total prize pool that passed $100 million and for only the third time ever, the purse topped $200 million. Over the series' 46 years, over $2.2 billion has been awarded. The average age for a WSOP entrant this year was 41.04, while the average first place prize was $558,000. Males made up almost 95% of the field. Here were the number of entrants broken out by the top 10 countries: 1. United States - 82,439 2. Canada - 4,871 3. United Kingdom - 3,466 4. France - 1,236 5. Russia - 1,150 6. Brazil - 1,077 7. Germany - 1,040 8. Australia - 778 9. Italy - 674 10. Austria – 537 This year's $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha event attracted the largest non-Hold'em field ever at 1,293 entrants. The largest Triple Draw field ever (388) turned out for a $1,500 event won by Benny Glaser of the United Kingdom. Similarly, the largest Razz field ever assembled (462) came out for this year's $1,500 event won by Max Pescatori (pictured). Six WSOP events offered up a seven-figure first place prize, the most ever. And as fans of the Main Event know, Day 1C this year had the largest starting flight ever for that tournament at 3,693 entrants for a total field of 6,420. The Main Event is down to its 2015 WSOP November Nine, a group that features six Americans. The live final table will take place from November 8 to 10 and be shown on ESPN's family of networks. The winner gets $7.6 million, while everyone remaining is guaranteed at least $1 million. Here's how the chip stacks and prizes look: 1. Joseph dude904 McKeehen - 63,100,000 2. Zvi Stern - 29,800,000 3. Neil Blumenfield - 22,000,000 4. Pierre Neuville - 21,075,000 5. Max Steinberg - 20,200,000 6. Thomas Cannuli - 12,250,000 7. Joshua asdf26 Beckley - 11,800,000 8. Patrick Chan - 6,225,000 9. Federico Butteroni - 6,200,000 1st Place: $7,680,021 2nd Place: $4,469,171 3rd Place: $3,397,103 4th Place: $2,614,558 5th Place: $1,910,971 6th Place: $1,426,072 7th Place: $1,203,193 8th Place: $1,097,009 9th Place: $1,001,020 Special thanks to Tournament Poker Edge, one of the top poker training sites around, for sponsoring our WSOP coverage this year. Please check them out and support one of our close partners. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  11. [caption width="640"] The 2016 WSOP schedule seems built to bring in big crowds again. (Joe Giron photo)[/caption] Poker players and fans who have been eagerly anticipating the release of the 2016 World Series of Poker schedule have to wait no longer. Event organizers released the final schedule on Tuesday and it includes a number of changes to key events. "It’s hard to fathom that this event can continue to grow the way it has," said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. "But with the schedule we’ve put together for this year, we are confident 2016 will be another record-breaker at the WSOP." A total of 69 events are on the schedule, including the Main Event, Colossus II, Little One for One Drop, Millionaire Maker and Monster Stack. After the impressive turnout last year for Colossus and subsequent issues with tournament payouts, WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel has made changes for Colossus II. The guaranteed prize pool is now $7 million, up from last year’s $5 million, and first place is now guaranteed to earn a minimum of $1 million. There are a total of six starting flights this year, up from four in 2015. Each starting flight will play into the money on Day 1. The Main Event is also undergoing some structure changes for 2016. Players will now start with 50,000 chips and blinds start at 75/150 and reach antes on Level 3. Payouts have also been altered to pay out the top 1,000 finishers or top 15%, whichever is greater. The $1,000 buy-in online event, which attracted 905 players last year, is also back this year, but will include re-entry for the first time. In fact, there are a total of nine events this year that will allow re-entry: $565 Casino Employees (single re-entry) $565 Colossus II (one entry per flight) $1,500 NL 2-7 Lowball (single re-entry) $565 Pot Limit Omaha (unlimited re-entry) $1,500 Millionaire Maker (one entry per flight) $10,000 NL 2-7 Lowball (single re-entry) $888 Crazy Eights (one entry per flight) $1,000 WSOP.com Online NLHE (unlimited) $1,111 Little One for One Drop (unlimited) There are also several new events on the schedule. Most notably, the $1,000 Top Up Turbo No-Limit Hold'em event, allows players to earn additional starting chips by qualifying for the event on WSOP.com or via single table satellites at the Rio in the days leading up to the event. At just $565, Event #12 is the lowest buy-in Pot Limit Omaha event in WSOP history. The WSOP experimented with a lower buy-in PLO event at WSOP Europe in Berlin last October. The $888 buy-in Crazy Eights events will play eight-handed and guarantee $888,888 to the eventual winner. Other new events are the $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball, $1,500 Mixed NLHE/PLO and $1,500 Mixed Pot-Limit Omaha 8 or Better & Big O. The other new event which is sure to generate some buzz is the $1,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Tag Team event. Teams will consist of between two and four players and the total entry fee is $1,000 per team, not per player. Players can tag in at any time between hands and all players must play at least one orbit before the close of the registration period. Players used to Noon or 4pm start times will have to make sure to set their alarm each night for one hour earlier. Start times for events have been moved to 11am and 3pm, with the exception of Colossus II, Millionaire Maker, Seniors Event, Super Seniors Event, Monster Stack and Crazy Eights which have a 10am start time. The $10,000 "Championship" events also have a strong representation on the schedule. There are 13 $10,000 buy-in events, including Six Max NLHE, Pot Limit Omaha and Dealer’s Choice plus a $25,000 Pot Limit High Roller and the $111,111 One Drop High Roller. Check out the complete 2016 WSOP schedule.
  12. [caption width="640"] The 2016 World Series of Poker is less than two weeks away.[/caption] In a little under two weeks the halls of the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas will transform into a seven week long summer camp for poker players when the 2016 World Series of Poker kicks off. Thursday afternoon WSOP executives held another Twitch Town Hall to discuss some of the changes in store this year. WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart, Tournament Director Jack Effel and WSOP.com Head of Online Poker Bill Rini took questions from players and media alike in the 65 minute session. Predicting Colossus II Field Size In 2015 Cord Garcia beat out a record-sized field to win the $565 buy-in Colossus event. Given the popularity of the event - over 22,000 players played - the WSOP added two more starting flights for the event this year and altered the payout structure to guarantee first place gets at least $1,000,000. With that in mind, Effel was asked to ballpark the number of entrants this year. “We can handle about 4500 in the early flights, 4200 or so in the later flights with alternate options for both morning and evening flights on each day based on the demand.” - Effel. That puts the total capacity before alternates at roughly 26,100 - only a 16% increase over last year’s final tally with 50% more starting flights. New Payouts System and Online Calculator This year most events will pay out 15% of the field instead of the 10% standard from previous years. Effel worked with a local Las Vegas poker player to create the new payout formula. “We worked with a gentlemen by the name of Tom Sanduski, a known poker player around Las Vegas for a really long time. He’s got a background in computer programming and he and I have had a lot of conversations over the years about how to make payouts better for the World Series. While we felt that they were always pretty decent with a 10% payout, we knew that as times continued to go on and players wanted to have more opportunities to make money, we needed a new system.” - Effel Rather than waiting for payouts to be announced after registration closes, players will now be able to go to WSOP.com and insert buy-in and number of players and be given a full payout list at any point. “There were calls for transparency, particularly in the opening tournament, so now there will be surprises from first place all the way down. I think we’re at the forefront now of showing customers exactly what they should expect and we’re excited about the payout calculator.” - Stewart The Importance of Recreational Players on the WSOP Ecosystem "Recreational Player" has become a popular buzz word over the last year in the poker industry. Stewart provided some insight - and data - as to how the non-pros behave at the WSOP. “We definitely do look at the analytics of how many events each customer is participating in. I believe the average is certainly less than one and a half total things, whether that be a Deepstack or a bracelet event. Of course that’s highly skewed by those professional players that might be participating in 10 to 20 or more. Far and away the largest segment of our unique customers are playing in one event. So recreational players are hugely important. All players are important, all players like the opportunity to make money.” - Stewart The 11:00 AM Start Time and the Impact Poker Media Had on the Change For the first time in WSOP history, tournaments will start at 11 AM instead of Noon. When the change was announced, reigning Main Event champion Joe McKeehen insisted that the change was made at the behest of the media. “With all due respect for our friends in the poker media, we’re considering our customers and we looked at what are the main deterrents to playing in the WSOP. It’s the grind, the long hours and again we talked about it before, a lot of our consumers are coming for one event, and making that experience that’s a positive one. Guys wanna have a deeper stack, they wanna have better structures, and then they also want a lot of play but then they don’t want to have to play until late in the night. So we believe that where we are now gives the player that choice. If you don’t want to come until seven o’clock, you don’t have to come until seven o’clock to play. If you want to be there at 11 o’clock when they’re kicking things off, then you can do that. You have that flexibility.” - Stewart A New Partnership with Uber While the 2015 Colossus event attracted the largest field in history, it exposed a number of issues including the difficulty that many players trying to get home at the end of the night. When asked about the possibility of making more taxi cabs available at the end of each day, Stewart broke news about a new, forward thinking sponsorship that should help the issue. “I don’t want to get myself in hot water with the taxi community, but I am pleased to announce that we’re going to have a partnership with Uber this year. Uber will actually be an element on the tables this year, they will have a dedicated pick-up area right adjacent to the convention center.” - Stewart The Future of WSOP Europe and APAC The yearly rotation of an international WSOP festival between Europe and the Asia-Pacific region has seen WSOP bracelet events held in England, France, Germany and Australia. After WSOP Europe was held in Berlin in 2015, WSOP APAC was due up, but Stewart indicated that won’t be the case and that an announcement about 2016 international events is imminent. “At this point we do not plan to contest WSOP APAC. We may have an event in the region by the end of the calendar year. International World Series of Poker execution this year will likely be in Europe, more than likely surround One Drop and charitable initiatives.” - Stewart WSOP Player of the Year Update The Global Poker Index will again be powering the WSOP Player of the Year race. After players and fans alike voiced displeasure with the GPI scoring system, it appears they’ve gone back to the drawing board and are int he process of reworking the formula. "Global Poker Index will in fact be powering the World Series of Poker Player of the Year. They have been hard at work, refining their formula and system one that will make for a better race at the WSOP. There will in fact be a trophy, but I do not believe there will be a monetary prize.” - Stewart
  13. [caption width="680"] The World Series of Poker is making its return to Europe with a trip to King's Casino in October of this year. (WSOP file photo)[/caption] The long-awaited return of World Series of Poker Europe hits King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic this October and features 11 bracelet events and €17,000,000 in guaranteed prize pools. The official schedule, which starts October 19 and wraps up on November 10 with the final table of the €10,300 buy in €4,000,000 guaranteed Main Event, was announced on Wednesday. In total, there is €17,000,000 in guaranteed prize pools up for grabs starting with the always popular Monster Stack event. The three starting flight tournament carries a €500,000 guarantee for a €1,100 buy in and boasts a 20,000 starting stack, 5,000 more than its Las Vegas counterpart, along with a single re-entry. Among the other events on the WSOPE schedule is the €550 buy-in Colossus, €1,650 single re-entry Six Max, €25,000 re-entry High Roller, and the €111,111 buy in €10,000,000 guaranteed High Roller for One Drop. King’s Casino is owned and operated by Leon Tsoukernik and has grown to worldwide prominence since opening in 2003. With the capacity to fit 160 tables, King’s Casino is more than capable of performing on the game’s biggest stage and Tsoukernik is excited to host the biggest series in the game. “I’m so proud that that the WSOP Europe is coming to King’s,” said Tsoukernik. “I started off with a dream and my dream has come true and I hope poker players have their dreams come true too when they see the sheer size and facilities of King's. With the awarding of WSOP gold bracelets, we have brought a huge piece of Las Vegas to Europe and we aim to deliver Vegas standards with this event too.” More than just a businessman, Tsoukernik is an avid poker player himself and will be participating in this summer’s Super High Roller Bowlat the Aria. The “Fall Festival” at King’s Casino officially starts on September 28, with the World Series of Poker Circuit making a European stop. In total 84 events will be played out over the course of 44 consecutive days, making this stop a can’t miss for any player. The WSOPE Main Event boasts two Day 1s on November 4 and 5 and features a single re-entry option along with a 50,000 starting stack. The Colossus has ten starting flights, a €550 buy in and a €2 million guarantee, making it very likely that the field will eclipse 4,000 entrants and become the largest tournament in European history. The first flight for the Colossus kicks off on October 27. The anticipation is already starting to grow and the Executive Director of the World Series of Poker, Ty Stewart, expects this series to be the best European one yet. “WSOP Europe has struggled to find a permanent home since debuting in 2007 because we could never really find the venue or partner to replicate what we have in Las Vegas,” said Stewart. “But I truly believe in Leon’s vision, his passion and King’s Casino to execute the best WSOP Europe to date. We are bullish in this becoming the European equivalent of the WSOP in Las Vegas, something we have always dreamed of doing when we first began our foray into Europe a decade ago.” #EVENTBUY-INGUARANTEESTART DATESNOTES 1Monster Stack No Limit Hold'em (re-entry next flight)€1,100€500,000Oct. 19, 20, 21Three starting flights 2Pot Limit Omaha (Eight Max, re-entry)€550--Oct. 23, 24Two starting flights 3Super Turbo Bounty No Limit Hold'em (re-entry)€1,100--Oct. 25Two starting flights, €500 bounty on each player 4Six Max No Limit Hold'em (single re-entry)€1,650--Oct. 26* 5Colossus (one re-entry per flight)€550€2,000,000Oct. 27, 28, 29, 30, 3110 starting flights 6Pot Limit Omaha (Eight Max, unlimited re-entry)€2,200--Oct. 28* 7Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better (re-entry)€1,650--Oct. 31* 8Little One for One Drop No Limit Hold'em (re-entry)€1,100€500,000Nov. 1, 22 starting flights 9No Limit Hold'em High Roller (re-entry)€25,000--Nov. 1* 10High Roller for One Drop (re-entry)€111,111€10,000,000Nov. 3(111 player cap) 11WSOP Europe Main Event (single re-entry)€10,300€4,000,000Nov. 4-52 starting flights
  14. [caption width="640"] Harrah's Cherokee will host the WSOP Circuit Global Casino Championship this August (WSOP photo)[/caption] For the third straight year the best players from the WSOP Circuit are going to be spending a few days in Cherokee, NC chasing down a WSOP bracelet, a big pay day and some ESPN screen time at the end of the summer. The World Series of Poker announced that the 2017 Global Casino Championship will be held at Harrah’s Cherokee August 8-10 and will once again have a guaranteed $1,000,000 prize pool. This marks the third consecutive year that the WSOP Circuit season-ending event will be held in Cherokee. “The growth of the World Series of Poker Circuit over the last year has been astounding,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “We are reaching new players in the United States and around the world and it’s great to have them square off against one another in this one-of-a-kind event. We’re thrilled to be back at the beautiful Harrah’s Cherokee once again, which has always been a great host for this prestigious event.” There are 122 free spots reserved for players who qualified during the 2016-17 WSOP Circuit season. Any player who won a WSOP Circuit Main Event and the Casino Champion from each stop earn automatic entry. The remaining 50 open spots go to the top WSOP Circuit leaderboard point earners that do not already have a seat. The top 100 players in the WSOP Player of the Year rankings from 2016 and any player who won a WSOP Circuit gold ring event during the 2016-17 season can buy in to the GCC for $10,000. The $10,000 is added to the prize pool with no rake removed. The relatively remote location of the Cherokee property is unpopular with some players, but the field size has remained relatively constant since the move. Having the event there also allows organizers to kick off the new WSOP Circuit season at the same time. Last year Said El Yousfi traveled from Morocco and won the 2016 Global Casino Championship and $343,256. In 2015Loni Harwood beat out 121 players to win the 2015 WSOP Circuit National Championship, the predecessor to the Global Casino Championship, and $341,599.
  15. Poker Central, the online streaming broadcast partner of the World Series of Poker, has announced their complete streaming schedule for the 2018 summer series. Of the 78 bracelet events, a total of 16 final tables as well as wire-to-wire comprehensive coverage of the $10,000 Main Event and extensive viewing of the $1,000,000 Big One For One Drop will be able to be seen on the PokerGO platform. Mixing It Up “We’re eager to continue our live coverage of the WSOP on PokerGO for the second year running,” said Vice President of Content at Poker Central, Sam Simmons. “Our expanded coverage schedule including a wide array of poker variants will give our viewers even more opportunities to follow all the action of the world’s most prestigious tournament series.” Answering the call from their vocal viewership, Poker Central has clearly put a focus on expanding the variety of games that will be broadcast. Popular events like the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, the $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Heads Up and just about every $10,000 Championship Event - no matter the variant - has made it onto the schedule. Calling The Action When it comes to commentary during the events, the heavy lifting will be done by longtime poker commentator and the voice of Poker After Dark, Ali Nejad. Nejad will be handling the play-by-play with guest play-by-play from ESPN’s own Lon McEachern. Color commentary and strategic analysis will be handled by a rotating cast of players and personalities to be named on an event-by-event basis. One should also expect appearances by ESPN’s own color commentator, Norman Chad. In addition to having McEachern and Chad contribute to the PokerGO commentary team, the partnership between ESPN and Poker Central looks to bring viewers unparalleled coverage of two of the biggest events of the summer. “We’re looking forward to having Poker Central and ESPN tag team coverage for the WSOP again this year,” said the Executive Director of the World Series of Poker, Ty Stewart. “Fans can expect stellar storylines and wall-to-wall coverage throughout the event and during the ‘Big One for One Drop.” ESPN had already announced their broadcasting schedule for the 2018 WSOP Main Event and One Drop, now the PokerGO streaming dates can help fans complete the picture of how to watch every second of the action. As is customary, all of the events will be streamed on a 30-60 minutes delay with hole cards displayed. If the content on both PokerGo and ESPN simply is not enough streaming poker, there will be additional World Series of Poker streaming coverage on a free-to-view partner site, the details of which will be announced before the start of the WSOP. The World Series of Poker is set to begin on May 29. The first event poker fans can watch on PokerGO will be Event #3, the $3,000 NLHE Shootout on June 2 at 4:00 p.m. ET. 2018 WSOP On PokerGO Streaming Schedule DATE TIME EVENT June 2 4:00 PM ET $3,000 NLHE Shootout Final Table June 4 4:00 PM ET $100,000 NLHE High Roller Final Table June 5 6:00 PM ET $10,000 Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better Final Table June 7 4:00 PM ET $1,500 NLHE Final Table June 8 4:00 PM ET $10,000 NLHE Heads Up June 9 4:00 PM ET $1,500 NLHE 6-Handed Final Table June 11 6:00 PM ET $1,500 Eight Game Mix Final Table June 12 6:00 PM ET $10,000 No Limit Lowball Draw Final Table June 13 6:00 PM ET $1,500 Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Final Table June 14 6:00 PM ET $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Final Table June 16 6:00 PM ET $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Final Table June 19 6:00 PM ET $50,000 Poker Players Championship Final Table June 20 6:00 PM ET $10,000 Seven Card Stud Final Table June 22 6:00 PM ET $25,000 High Roller Pot Limit Omaha Final Table June 23 6:00 PM ET $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Final Table June 25 6:00 PM ET $10,000 PLO 8-Handed Final Table July 3 1:00 AM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 1A July 3 11:00 PM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 1B July 5 12:00 AM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 1C July 5 8:00 PM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 2A/B (Part A) July 6 12:00 AM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day2A/B (Part B) July 7 12:00 AM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 2C July 7 9:30 PM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 3 July 8 7:00 PM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 4 July 9 8:00 PM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 5 (Part A) July 10 2:00 AM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 5 (Part B) July 10 2:30 PM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 6 (Part A) July 10 11:00 PM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 6 (Part B) July 11 2:30 PM ET $10,000 Main Event - Day 7 July 12 9:00 PM ET $10,000 Main Event Final Table - Day 1 (ESPN) July 13 9:00 PM ET $10,000 Main Event Final Table - Day 2 (ESPN) July 14 9:00 PM ET $10,000 Main Event Final Table - Day 3 (ESPN) July 16 2:30 PM ET $1M Big One For One Drop - Day 2 (Part A) July 17 12:30 AM ET $1M Big One For One Drop - Day 2 (ESPN 2) July 17 2:30 PM ET $1M Big One For One Drop - Day 2 (Part B) July 17 6:30 PM ET $1M Big One For One Drop - Day 3 July 17 9:00 PM ET $1M Big One For One Drop - Day 3 (ESPN 2)
  16. It was announced on Thursday that the 2020 World Series of Poker tournament schedule has been finalized. In less than three months, players from all over the world will head to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to take part in the largest WSOP in history. After the low-key addition of eight more bracelet events this week, the 2020 WSOP will offer a grand total of 101 gold bracelets. Of those 101 events, 87 will take place in the Rio convention center and, as previously announced, 14 will be won online. [ptable zone="888poker"][ptable zone="Party Poker NJ"][ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"] Added without an official press release, the final eight tournaments fill in the gaps between the WSOP's lower buy-in bracelet events and their $10,000 Championship tournaments. With buy-ins ranging from $2,500 to $5,000, these events cover a variety of disciplines from NLHE to mixed games. Recent Additions To The 2020 WSOP Schedule DATE EVENT TIME BUY-IN 06-01 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball 3 p.m. $2,500.00 06-07 H.O.R.S.E. 3 p.m. $3,000.00 06-25 NL 6-Handed 3 p.m. $5,000.00 07-05 Limit Hold'em 6-Handed 3 p.m. $3,000.00 07-08 NL 6-Handed 3 p.m. $3,000.00 07-10 PLO 6-Handed 3 p.m. $3,000.00 07-13 Mixed Big Bet 3 p.m. $2,500.00 07-14 NL 8-Handed 3 p.m. $5,000.00   Registration/Payout Improvements In theory, more events will lead to more people crowding the halls of the Rio and World Series of Poker officials have announced that they have worked out a plan to better handle the congestion that can take place during some of their larger marquee events. For the first time, the WSOP will be separating their in-person registration and players looking to be paid out into separate rooms. “There is no doubt we need to do a better job of getting people in their seats and playing poker faster,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “We’ve looked closely at several areas in the off-season and we are dedicating new resources - technology, equipment, and people - to aid those efforts in 2020. These changes, in conjunction with better informing guests of the required documents needed to register, make us optimistic it can lead to a noticeable improvement.” The necessary documents include a physical Caesars Rewards card, which can be reprinted or obtained for the first time in the Rotunda of the Rio convention center. In order to get a Caesars Rewards card player will need to bring valid picture identification like a state-issued driver's license or passport. Online Saves Time In addition to being able to register for tournaments in person with the ability to pay using cash, credit cards, Rio casino chips, wire transfers, and satellite lamers, the WSOP is hoping more players will take advantage of their online/mobile registration system. The WSOP online/mobile registration system gives players a couple of ways to bypass the lines and get to their seats faster. The first is setting up and account and paying with a credit card through BravoPokerLive.com. There are additional fees with this method, but for those players who want to make sure they will not have to wait in lines and potentially be an alternate at the start of some of the biggest events, like the Big 50, it may be an option. The second method is a funded WSOP Tournament Account. Introduced last year, the WSOP Tournament Account is an account with a one-time set-up at the cage that will allow players to register online and head straight to one of the 20 kiosks set up in the convention center to print their seat card. “The WSOP Tournament Account is a no-brainer for anyone who plays more than a couple of WSOP events annually,” said Daniel Negreanu who set one up in 2019. “Literally I went to the registration cage once to set it up, then utilized the self-serve kiosks the rest of the summer to register for any event I wanted to play. I was in and out of the kiosk in less than a minute and on my way to my seat.” WSOP officials estimate that 20% of entries in 2019 used online registration. They hope that up to 80% of players will be using kiosks in the near future. The 2020 World Series of Poker is set to take place from May 26 to July 15. Online registration for events is expected to be available as early as April.
  17. The schedule for the WSOP Super Circuit Online to be held at GGPoker has been announced. The series features 18 gold ring events, 595 total tournaments, and more than $100 million in guaranteed prize money to be won. Although the official dates for the series are listed as May 3-31, the series gets underway on Monday, April 27, with the first batch of several starting flights in WSOP Circuit Ring Event #2: Kick-Off $500,000 GTD. This event has 50 starting flights, with several per day leading up to the final day for the event on Sunday, May 3. The event has a $50 buy-in and a $500,000 guarantee. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="Party Poker NJ"] Also on Sunday, May 3, is WSOP Circuit Ring Event #1, which is the $1,111 buy-in 'Covid Charity $1 Million GTD' tournament. In this event, $111 of each player's buy-in will be donated to the Nevada COVID-19 Task Force. The biggest guarantee from the series comes from WSOP Circuit Ring Event #8: High Roller Championship. This event has a $25,000 buy-in and a huge $10 million prize pool guarantee. It takes place on Sunday, May 17. Sunday, May 10, marks the kickoff of the WSOP Circuit Ring Event #17: Main Event. This $1,000 buy-in tournament has multiple starting days and boasts a $5 million prize pool guarantee. The final day is on Sunday, May 31. "GGPoker is the first and only poker room to guarantee at least $100,000,000 in cash prizes in a single tournament series - our WSOP Super Circuit Online Series is a game-changer in the world of poker." Jean-Christophe Antoine, head of GGPoker, said in a press release. "There’s so much to play for at GGPoker this May; oodles of big prizes, 18 WSOP Circuit gold rings and a whole lot of tournament glory." Ty Stewart, executive director of WSOP, added, "GGPoker just seriously raised the bar. We’re tremendously proud to see that GGPoker’s first international WSOP-C series will sit amongst the biggest online events of all time." Check out the dates for the 18 gold ring events below. Keep in mind that the gold ring events in the schedule below that show "Final Day" are for the final days of those tournaments. Starting flights will take place in the days leading up to the final day. For full schedule details, head to GGPoker.com. WSOP Super Circuit Online Schedule Date Time (UTC) Event Buy-In May 3 18:00 Event #1 Covid Charity $1M GTD $1,111 19:00 Event #2: Kick-Off $500,000 GTD [Final Day] $50 May 5 18:00 Event #3: Deepstack Bounty $500,000 GTD $210 May 10 13:00 Event #4: Monster Stack $500,000 GTD $200 13:00 Event #5: Big $500 $2M GTD $500 May 12 13:00 Event #6: Deepstack Bounty $500,000 GTD $210 May 17 13:00 Event #7: Monster Stack $500,000 GTD $200 13:00 Event #8: High Roller Championship $10M GTD $25,000 13:00 Event #9: Mini Main Event $1M GTD [Final Day] $100 13:00 Event #10: PLO High Roller Championship $1M GTD $10,000 May 19 13:00 Event #11: Deepstack Bounty $500,000 GTD $210 May 24 13:00 Event #12: Monster Stack $500,000 GTD $200 13:00 Event #13: Colossus $2M GTD [Final Day] $400 May 26 13:00 Event #14: Deepstack Bounty $500,000 GTD $210 May 31 13:00 Event #15: Monster Stack $500,000 GTD $200 13:00 Event #16: PLO Main Event $1M GTD [Final Day] $1,000 13:00 Event #17: Main Event $5M GTD [Final Day] $1,000 13:00 Event #18: The Closer $500,000 GTD [Turbo] $500
  18. Following the massive success of the WSOP Super Circuit Online in regulated markets in the United States, the World Series of Poker has partnered with one of the world's fastest-growing online poker rooms to bring Circuit ring events to players outside of the United States. GGPoker will host an 18-event WSOP Super Circuit Online series this May. This marks the first time that Circuit rings will be awarded for online events outside of the United States. “A GGPoker and WSOP partnership bring together two like-minded global organizations, and I can’t wait to see GGPoker players competing for WSOP Circuit rings online,” said Jean-Christophe Antoine, Head of GGPoker. Adding WSOP Circuit events is just the latest move by GGPoker. In the last five months, the site signed Daniel Negreanu as an ambassador and created the GGMasters, a $150 buy-in freezeout tournament that now has a $500,000 guarantee. [ptable zone="GG Poker"] “We’re thrilled to partner with an operator on the rise who is both aggressive and passionate about growing poker engagement around the world. It was unfortunate we were forced to cancel so many offline WSOP Circuit events this Spring, but with vast reach, GG plans to dwarf the prize pools of the suspended events all at once in one truly Super WSOP Circuit,” said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of World Series of Poker. Just like the WSOP Super Circuit Online that players in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware were able to play in, this series will also award two seats to the 2020 WSOP Global Casino Championship event. The winner of the Main Event and the overall leaderboard winner will win seats to the $1,000,000 freeroll. “I give credit to the WSOP for bringing the circuit online during these trying times," Negreanu said. "Winning a circuit ring is a great honor. Online players will love the experience of chasing rings on GGPoker.” A complete schedule will be announced at a later date. In early March, WSOP.com hosted the first WSOP Super Circuit Online series in response to the cancellation of a number of land-based WSOP Circuit events due to the Coronavirus outbreak. That series also featured 18 events, with buy-ins ranging from $215 up to $1,000, and had $1.24 million in total guarantees. The total prize pools ended up at $3.945 million. Players in the United States will not be able to participate in this series.
  19. When World Series of Poker officials announced in mid-April that the 2020 WSOP was being postponed due to the uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic, they promised that players would be playing for "WSOP glory from their homes" this summer. That promise was met last week when the WSOP announced a total of 85 online bracelet events with 31 set for WSOP.com for players in Nevada and New Jersey, and another 54 for players outside of the United States to be battled for on GGPoker.com. The response from some of the poker community wasn't all that positive with a large number of complaints focused on the fact that these events will award each winner a WSOP bracelet. "My reasoning is likely separate from many others as I was indifferent to holding (a bracelet) until I learned of the significance it has with friends I love who love the game," said Brandon Shack-Harris, who won a bracelet in 2014 and another in 2016. "I realized that some people go their whole lives dreaming of realizing what I was lucky to stumble onto, and had been taking for granted." Shack-Harris took to Twitter to tell the story of how Chad Brown being awarded an honorary WSOP bracelet before his passing in 2014 and subsequently learning how much the bracelet meant to Brown forced to him to better recognize and appreciate the personal significance of the award. The history behind and prestige of the bracelet is front of mind for Shack-Harris and others who fear that WSOP executives aren't keeping that in mind as they make decisions. "The WSOP does a fantastic job with some things like holding tournaments for an inordinate number of participants and incorporating all types of game formats," said Shack-Harris. "I don't think the entity itself cares much about poker overall, and there are frequently sloppy executions of various aspects of the series that have demonstrated this assumption." Shack-Harris lists the increasing number of reentry events, smaller buy-in events, and WSOP Europe and WSOP Asia-Pacific as evidence that the WSOP has sacrificed the value of a bracelet. He believes the WSOP should follow examples from major sporting championships like tennis' Wimbledon or golf's The Masters in regards to the exclusivity of the titles. "Not every player is going to agree with every business decision you make. But we are guided by the simple principle that we want the WSOP to mean as much as it can to as many people around the world as possible not the same as it once did to a few," said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the WSOP. "Our mission and our opportunity is to present the poker world to the rest of the world and paint the game in a positive light." Not all players believe the decision to turn to online poker in light of the unprecedented circumstances created by the pandemic is a bad direction. Mike Leah, who won a WSOP bracelet in 2014 at WSOP APAC, thinks the pandemic provided a catalyst for Series officials to expand their offering. "The thing that it really did for them is it gave them an urgency to find a partner outside of the US which I think is amazing because instead of being forced to play on WSOP.com, there's another avenue for WSOP prize pools and bracelets and that's probably the biggest positive that came out of this," said Leah. The postponement of the 2020 WSOP live series came with a caveat that organizers were targeting the fall to host some form a live event in 2020. Shack-Harris believes that adding 85 bracelet events without solidifying plans for the live series sets a dangerous precedent. "I think there will likely still be a live series later in the year, and offering up 85 online events for a bracelet with no transparency regarding the potential of a live format going or not going bothers me more than anything else," said Shack-Harris. "If people make arrangements to play online because they feel this is their only shot at a bracelet this year, and then a postponed series shows up out of the blue, I think it's somewhat deceitful, but probably great business." Despite their intentions to hold a live event in Las Vegas this year, Stewart isn't sure how that can happen as the coronavirus situation changes frequently. Current Nevada gaming regulations limit the number of players at a table to no more than six and not all poker rooms are even open. Travel restrictions in place would also significantly limit the number of players who could attend from outside of the United States. "We have no concrete pathway to the offline event. We have a partner who is absolutely all-in. We have the opportunity to organize massive prize pools, deliver buzz and energy for the industry, and perhaps most of all, engage an entirely new segment of players," Stewart argued. "I’m looking at WSOP Online as the biggest ever marketing vehicle for international players and the only failure will be if we can’t convert many of them to playing WSOP Las Vegas when we’re back in session." The online series puts the lack of online poker regulation in the United States into the spotlight once again. Only players physically located in Nevada or New Jersey will be able to play the bracelet events on WSOP.com and GGPoker does not accept players from the United States. Pennsylvania has had regulated gaming, including poker, available since last summer, but Stewart indicated the company is still in the development process of getting up and running in that state and was unable to give a timeline for their launch there. This leaves a large percentage of the United States on the outside, unable to play without traveling and Leah believes a high number of the complaints are coming from players who simply can't play. "I think if you went through the people that have negative feedback or complaints about this, probably at least 80% of them are from people who are not in New Jersey or Nevada or the rest of the world or somewhere where they can play," said Leah. "I'd be disappointed as well, but people have been disappointed about unregulated poker in the US for a long time so this is just something that brings it to the forefront again." The complete GGPoker event schedule has not been posted, but it is expected to include only Hold'em and Omaha event. The 31-event schedule from WSOP.com also includes only those two games. The lack of mixed games - traditionally a staple of the WSOP schedule - has also upset many players that feel the online product isn't a proper reflection of the history of the Series. "I'm disappointed too and you best believe you may see even more mixed games at the next live WSOP," said Stewart. "But while much of the summer schedule will feel familiar to the spirit of WSOP at the Rio, this is WSOP Online, and online is dominated by flop games. If we gave GGPoker a little more time to develop, who knows. But we are not going to ask them to rush a new unproven derivative to the market in time for the summer." Some in the industry have made the suggestion that the bracelets awarded this summer shouldn't be held in the same regard as events won in a live tournament. The argument is similar to the one that people made when Caesars expanded the tournament offering to Europe with bracelet events in 2007 and Asia-Pacific in 2013. Rob Yong, owner of the Dusk Till Dawn cardroom in England and partypoker partner, floated the idea of awarding silver bracelets for events not held in Las Vegas. "I understand the argument, the sentiment of it, but I also know that a lot fewer people would play," said Leah. "With bracelets, they'll be even bigger but if you take them away you're going to lose some of the interest and obviously the prize pools will be smaller and make people not want to play as much. I think a lot fewer people will play. If it's a bracelet event I know I'm going to do my best to play every single event." Leah, who lives in Canada, has already begun the search for full-time childcare for his one-year-old son to ensure he can play as many of the 54 events as possible. Stewart thinks any attempt to diminish any bracelet win is going to be difficult given the expected turnout for the online events and feels comparison of various events and eras isn't worth the headache. "The relative value of bracelets is not up to me to determine; large fields vs high rollers, Europe fields vs 1990’s Binion’s," Stewart said while indicating the bracelet design for these 85 events is a differentiating factor. "But I have my strong point of view on this series. Based upon the numbers we project for most of the events, these will statistically be some of the hardest bracelets to win, ever. And the prize pools will be such that it will be very difficult to try and diminish the accomplishment." The original 2020 WSOP schedule had a total of 101 events, with 14 of them being played exclusively on WSOP.com. A sevenfold increase in the number of online events is a gigantic leap with huge revenue opportunities for the WSOP. Leah doesn't think the online events will ever be able to replace or replicate the summer camp, bucket list feel that the live tournament series is famous for. "I don't think anything's ever going to change the annual WSOP in Vegas every summer because that's everyone's favorite thing of the year. But adding to it, maybe an online bracelet series at some point in the year on WSOP.com and GG ends up being an annual thing and I could see that as being a pretty positive thing." Going from 85 online events this year to a smaller number next year goes against the WSOP's previous expansion online. Since launching online events in 2015, the total number of them on the schedule has gone from one (2015, 2016) to three (2017) to four (2018), to nine (2019) with 14 originally scheduled for 2020. Stewart believes the unique set of circumstances presented to them this year doesn't mean they'll end up with a similar schedule once a full schedule can be played live in Las Vegas. "I don’t foresee we’ll have this number of online events again. But there certainly is a place for online bracelets on an every year basis," Stewart said. "I am optimistic this year will be huge, and then we can evaluate. Everything we do is on a year to year basis to test the reception. The same players against the idea of a vast online series now may be demanding it in the future."
  20. Mike Matusow will not face any discipline from the World Series of Poker after he threatened to assault another player following his elimination from Event #5 ($1,000 NLHE Freezeout) of the 2020 WSOP Online on Sunday night. Matusow, a four-time bracelet winner, was eliminated after playing just two hands of the online tournament and began berating the player who won a key-hand against him leading to his eventual elimination. "We take prevention of abusive behavior at WSOP tournaments or on the WSOP.COM platform extremely seriously. We have a number of preventive measures online including recently disabling our chat entirely," said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the WSOP. "But the regulation of content on our customer's personal streams and social media accounts is a slippery slope, particularly as each of these third-party platforms have their own escalation procedures. We reserve the right to suspend the account of any individual going forward, but in this case, it appears the player had the perfect response to resolve the situation herself." Matusow's rant included threats of physical and sexual assault and the eventual doxxing of the player in question. "This motherfucker, 'wolverine17', I'm gonna fuck him right in his fucking ass man, right in his fucking ass. Mark that name down, 'wolverine17'," Matusow told those watching his YouTube stream, not realizing the player was a female. Matusow then complained that chat has been turned off in the WSOP.com client, preventing him from telling "these scumbags what you really think of them." Before the 2020 WSOP Online began, tournament organizers made an "operational decision" to turn chat within the game client off for the duration of the series. Asked for comment before the Series began, the personal safety of players was given as a key reason behind that decision. "Chat is currently disabled for everyone," said Danielle Barille, Director for WSOP Online Poker. "We have decided to permanently disable chat, in order to create a safe gaming experience for players." He continued to deride the player and threatened to assault them when they meet in person. "I've got this guy's name written down. I'm going to find out who he is. I'll see him in person, I'll fucking knock him the fuck out. Think I won't? Watch," Matusow said. "I am going to find out who this motherfucker is and I swear to you I'm going to throw him up against the fucking wall and tell him, 'you fucking ever slow roll me again, I'm going to beat your fucking ass'." Speaking directly to those in his YouTube stream chat, Matusow then offered a monetary reward for anybody who could provide him with the real name of 'wolverine17'. "If anybody in here right now can find the name of this guy and the actual truth of this guy, you guys will get an extra $50 bonus if you sign up in my homegame," Matusow said. One user eventually provided Matusow with the name Megan Milburn and Matusow then tweeted directly at her. In a since-deleted tweet, Matusow used a derogatory term when tweeting directly at Milburn. "do you enjoy acting like a fucking c-----t by slowrolling people online where nobody can see you? Learn poker etiquette or your poker career won't last long! Sincerely Mike". Milburn replied to Matusow and appeared to hold no ill-will towards him. Matusow has claimed to have apologized via social media. Note: this story was updated to reflect the streaming platform Matusow uses.
  21. After having to postpone the 2020 World Series of Poker due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, WSOP officials promised poker players they would soon have a solution so that would "allow players to chase WSOP glory from their homes." On Monday, the WSOP took the first step towards fulfilling that promise. The WSOP has announced 31 events for players in the regulated American markets served by WSOP.com and 54 events on GGPoker for players located outside of the United States. Before being postponed, the 2020 WSOP was scheduled to award 101 bracelets including 14 that were going to be played on WSOP.com for players in New Jersey and Nevada. "It wouldn't be summer without WSOP," said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the WSOP. "While we are thrilled to be reopening our venues and optimistic about future offline events, we couldn't be more excited about deepening our relationship with GGPoker and watching some history unfold online this summer." This marks the first time that players located outside of the United States have been able to compete for a WSOP bracelet online. Players inside Nevada borders first played for a WSOP bracelet in 2015. In 2018, players in New Jersey played in bracelet events alongside their Nevada-based colleagues following the intra-state merger of player pools in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. "There's nothing in the world like winning a WSOP bracelet," said Daniel Negreanu, who joined GGPoker as an ambassador earlier this year. "Bringing this experience online will open the door for a new generation of poker players to feel the rush of competing for the game's biggest prize." WSOP.com is currently not available in Pennsylvania. Stewart also indicated that PokerCentral, owner of PokerGO and the official streaming partner of the WSOP, will also be involved in creating content including live streams, highlight packages as well as "virtual bracelet ceremonies" with interviews with each winner. The decision to partner with GGPoker for the WSOP bracelet events just weeks after the conclusion of the WSOP Super Circuit Online Series on the growing online poker site which awarded $6,728,197.80 over 18 ring events and nearly $128 million over 498 events scheduled around those ring events. WSOP.com Online Bracelet Events 2020 The WSOP.com online bracelet events kick-off on July 1 with one event each day through the month of July culminating with the $1,000 buy-in Championship event on Friday, July 31. There are six other events with a $1,000 buy-in as well as a $1,500 and a $3,200 High Roller event. According to a press release, WSOP.com players will also be able to win their share of $100,000 to be awarded to top performers in July's bracelet events. [table id=49 /] GGPoker Online WSOP Bracelet Events 2020 Players who are able to play on GGPoker will begin chasing bracelets on July 19. The event schedule for the WSOP bracelet events on GGPoker has not been announced but the company indicated they plan to "unveil its bracelet schedule on a rolling basis". The final event concludes on September 6. "With over $100M in guarantees during the WSOPC Super Series in May, it's clear that GGPoker and the WSOP make a good pair," said Steve Preiss, GGPoker's head of Poker Operations. "We're excited to create bracelet events that the community will embrace, as well as innovative programming with PokerGO." Buy-ins are expected to be similar to those offered by GGPoker in the WSOP Super Circuit Online where buy-ins ranged from $50 up to $25,000.

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