Toronto Craves Live Poker. Can WSOP and Great Canadian Deliver? Toronto Craves Live Poker. Can WSOP and Great Canadian Deliver?

It’s been three weeks since GGPoker and Great Canadian Entertainment announced that a WSOP Circuit event would be held in Toronto for the first time.

Now, with WSOP Toronto set to kick off this Friday, comes the moment of truth. For the past 21-plus days, players are the industry alike have been asking the same question: There is enormous demand for live poker in Toronto. Can WSOP and Great Canadian deliver?

The answer? So far, it’s yes — but it hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing.

Chuck Keeling, executive vice president for stakeholder engagement, community and social responsibility for Great Canadian, said that the company was pleased with how the registration process is going and its results so far.

“All events are sold out, except for the Main Event and the High Roller, but tickets are selling fast on the Main Event as we speak,” Keeling told pokerfuse on Monday morning.

Keeling added that only players from outside Ontario were able to register by phone, “but that has ended as of Friday, March 15th.”

Players in Canada can also still qualify online, remaining one of the easiest paths to gain entry. Those in Canada can enter regular satellites on GGPoker Ontario; in other provinces, there are satellites on GGPoker open only to Canadian players. Check out our complete WSOP Toronto satellites guide to learn more.

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Players Vent Frustration with Organizers Online

Some threads on social media paint a different picture of how registration for WSOP Toronto unfolded.

In a thread started two weeks ago by lllosirislll on the Reddit channel r/poker. he asked if Great Canadian was prepared to host a WSOP event. It was a resounding “no” from nearly all of the 50 replies.

Many players complained of only being able to register in person, and then of having to wait for hours. One player said they waited in line for five-and-a-half hours and said many others did, too. Another waited on hold for 20 minutes before hanging up.

A few wondered why the events were capped at either 270 or 405 players. (Keeling said it was because there were only 45 tournament tables at Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto, with nine seats per table).

Cash-only registration raised players’ ire. And there were questions about the qualifications of dealers being hired to help run the series. (A post on X, formerly Twitter, by Great Canadian on March 8 showed dealers were encouraged to apply before a March 13 deadline).

There was colorful language, too. But Reddit user freenow82 drew one of the largest upvotes for a more tame post, shortly after the thread started: “It’s going to be an absolute madhouse with absurd lines, mistakes and frustration. See you there 🤷‍♂️”

On X, formerly Twitter, a parody site for the former Casino Woodbine also got into the action.

Alternates, Reentries Now Offered

Of course, with any new event, there’s going to be teething problems. Great Canadian Toronto only opened last year. It’s a big step up to host a WSOP Circuit event — and no one would expect it to go entirely smoothly.

To the organizers’ credit, they have seemingly responded fast to the unexpected demand. Reentries have now been permitted on all events, and alternates will also have a chance to play in the 10-day series.

The Main Event for WSOP Toronto will offer unlimited reentries for the first six levels, according to GGPoker and Great Canadian. There will also be alternates for each of the three starting flights for the Main Event, which is set with a cap of 405 players.

That means there will very likely be more than 1,215 players at the Main Event in total.

Players that wish to reenter the series after a bust will need to wait until all alternates have the opportunity to be seated. Reentries will be allowed after.

With alternates and reentries a part of the action, the expected prize pool for the WSOPC event in Toronto is expected to exceed $2.5 million.