“An exclusive Grind Room—complete with built-in computers, wifi capabilities, and power banks—will accommodate online poker players.”WSOP officials announced Tuesday that poker players competing in live WSOP events will be able to use laptops—and play online poker—while at the tables.
Though playing online poker at the tables was not prohibited last year, it was hardly encouraged as WSOP.com had yet to launch and only Ultimate Poker offered regulated online games in the state of Nevada at the time.
This year WSOP will make online poker a part of the World Series of Poker experience.
“In the Money” Rule
WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel, who is in his tenth year with the franchise, clarified the “In The Money” rule.
“It’s never been that [the players] weren’t allowed electronic devices at the tables. When the players are in the money, the rules state that [they] cannot wear headphones or headsets. While players are not in the hand, they still may continue to use their electronic devices and/or smartphones,” Effel explained.
“The main thing is that you can’t have cards in front of you while you’re on your device”“The main thing is that you can’t have cards in front of you while you’re on your device,” he said.
Effel added that officials have the right to ask a player to move his or her laptop or other electronic device if it is obstructing the view of the table or disrupting action in any way.
An exclusive Grind Room—complete with built-in computers, wifi capabilities, and power banks—will be located inside the Rio Convention Center to accommodate online poker players.
WSOP.com customer support will also be on hand and there will be additional cage areas on-site which will allow players to deposit directly into their WSOP.com accounts using cash or actual WSOP live event winnings.
WSOP operates the largest online poker room in the regulated Nevada market, approximately double the size of competitor Ultimate Poker.
Late Registration Changes
Late registration at the WSOP has caused plenty of headaches for players in the past, keeping some out of the action after waiting in line for hours.
There will be six levels of registration (compared to four in the past) for most of this year’s marquee events, as well as a six-hour late registration period for the Main Event.
Many bracelet events have also been moved back one hour to 4:00pm (with no Day 1 Dinner Break) to help improve the flow of satellite registrations as well as provide more playing options for competitors who bust out early in those events.
Daily Poker Action and Satellite Activity
Officials anticipate that there will be approximately 100 cash game tables of various stakes going on during peak times at the WSOP, and variants, including Chinese Poker, will be spread alongside Texas Hold’em games.
Generally speaking, daily tournaments will be broken down into two tiers of $1,500 and $10,000 buy-in events. Players will be able to qualify for bracelet events via Mega Satellites at 5:00pm and 8:00pm as well as through single table Sit & Go’s.
“Just enjoy it. It’s something that very few people are able to experience… have fun and embrace the opportunity” The most intriguing SNG format will feature a 10-handed, $100,000 buy-in satellite into the Big One tournament.
Thoughts From The World Champion
2013 WSOP Main Event Champion Ryan Reiss—who won $8,361,570 for his victory last year—took questions during the Media Conference and explained that he’s “excited” and “can’t wait” to compete in the WSOP for the first time as a World Champion.
Reiss has moved to Las Vegas full time but will be in Atlantic City for the first week of the Series, competing in the WSOP National Championship.
Pokerfuse asked Reiss if he could give any advice to this year’s eventual Main Event Champion on how to represent the game of poker.
“Just enjoy it. It’s something that very few people are able to experience… have fun and embrace the opportunity,” Reiss said.
Some bold predictions were made by WSOP officials during the Conference. WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart said he’s putting “every cent I have” on the over that there will be more entrants than last year.
Meanwhile, Effel opined that the $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha Event #3 scheduled for May 28 could very well “smash” the record for total entrants in a non-Hold’em tournament.
There will be 65 total WSOP events spanning over six weeks from May 27 to July 7, 2014. The Main Event features a guaranteed $10,000,000 first place prize.