The World Series of Poker (WSOP), the world’s most prestigious poker tournament series of the year, has announced the official dates for its 50th Anniversary edition that will take place this summer.
The golden jubilee edition of the annual tournament series will once again be held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for the 15th consecutive year, starting on May 28 and running for 50 days until July 16, 2019. The WSOP Main Event World Championship will kick off on July 3 and will run for 14 days.
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What to Expect in WSOP 2019?
The 2019 edition of the WSOP is expected to draw a record turnout as the operator looks to celebrate its 50th edition with grand style. To start with, the WSOP will kick off with a rake-free $500 buy-in “golden event” boasting $5 million in guaranteed prize money with the winner taking home at least $1 million. According to the operator, it could be the largest tournament in the history of WSOP.
“We’re excited to commence our golden event,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart in a press release statement.
“We expect our opening weekend Big 50 event to be one of the largest in our history, and certainly one of the best value tournaments ever offered. This is part of our concerted plans to make the 2019 WSOP a better value all-around.”
The Big 50, which the operator calls a “must play event,” will commence on May 30, featuring four starting flights with one re-entry per flight. However, the uniqueness of this golden event is that for the first time the WSOP will offer a tournament that will be rake-free for the first entry of each player, meaning the whole buy-in will go directly to the prize pool while re-entries will be raked at normal rates. Each player will receive a 50,000 chip starting stack and there will be 12, 50-minute levels on Day 1.
The WSOP World Championship Main Event—a dream tournament for many, promises to be gigantic as the operator will be hoping for a field size of 8000 players or more to make it the biggest, richest and most prestigious tournament on the entire poker calendar. The tournament will once again carry a $10,000 buy-in and will be played as a freezeout tournament with all players receiving a 60,000 chip starting stack. The first of its three starting flights will kick off on July 3 with each blind level lasting two hours.
The Main Event will be aired exclusively on ESPN and PokerGO from July 3 to 16.
Along with Big 50 and the marquee Main Event, the WSOP has also announced a “new exciting addition” to the schedule called Mini Main Event, a miniature version of the Main Event is scheduled to run two days before the signature Main Event. The Mini version carries a $1000 buy-in, a 60k chip starting stack, and 30-minute blind levels.
The Seniors No Limit Hold’em (for players above 50 years of age) and the Super Seniors (for players above 60) both carry a $1000 buy-in and they start on June 13 and 17 respectively.
The Colossus has been moved to later in the schedule to make way for the Big 50. The Colossus will have its buy-in reduced from $500 to $400—making it the lowest buy-in for any bracelet event this summer.
Other notable events that have been officially added to the schedule include the $1500 Millionaire Maker guaranteeing $1 million to the winner, the Tag Team bracelet event, the Marathon, Little One for One Drop, and a 1 day Super Turbo Bounty event.
The full schedule is still being finalized, but it is expected to be announced in the first quarter of 2019. The operator expects to award over $200 million throughout the series with many new features and additions planned for the 50th edition.
Seth Palansky, Vice President for WSOP Communications said to PokerNews, that they are preparing many changes for the WSOP 2019, with many different buy-in levels for all kinds of players. Also, one of the notable changes announced is the increase in the starting stacks of several events.
“There are a lot of exciting changes in store,” Palansky told PokerNews. “We’re still working through a lot of it actually and plan to continually announce updates as things get solidified. But with this being our 50th WSOP, we have some fun things in store.”
Another change expected to be seen is the increase in the number of freezeouts and single re-entry tournaments instead of unlimited re-entries.
“If there is one main one, it is value. We hear the cries for more value and we are hard at work to deliver that more effectively this year.”
“Another one is reentries/unlimited reentries. Trying to make sure more events are freezeouts and to use single reentry more often than unlimited.”
It is also expected that the WSOP will increase the number of online bracelet events following a record turnout last year. 888poker remains the official WSOP international online poker partner for the fifth year in a row, and it will also be offering several satellites and packages to players residing in New Jersey and Nevada.