The organizers of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) continues to unveil the details of the schedule for its 50th anniversary with its piece-by-piece announcements.
This week, the WSOP finalized another 34 events including a couple of new additions and new features, bringing the total number of confirmed events to 74. Last year, the WSOP scheduled 78 WSOP events which saw a record turnout of 123,865 total entries and setting a new record by paying out over $266 million in prize money.
With 74 events finalized and with more events to be announced soon, this year the number of WSOP events could well reach close to 100.
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Among the most notable changes announced on Wednesday for the 50th running includes the expansion of the Big Blind Ante format across all No-Limit Hold’em events, bigger starting stacks and a new addition “Bracelet Winners Only” event scheduled towards the end of the series.
The changes have been made to “improve the overall experience for participants”, the operator wrote in the recent press announcement.
“It is important the modern day World Series of Poker continues to evolve,” said WSOP Vice President Jack Effel.
“People certainly like bigger starting stacks, and we’re happy to oblige while simultaneously adding more value.”
A New Champion of Champions Event
As previously announced, the WSOP is looking to celebrate its golden jubilee edition with many special events throughout the series in commemoration. In December, the organizers announced a rake-free $500 buy-in “golden event” dubbed as Big 50, which according to the operator could be the largest tournament in the history of the WSOP. It also announced a $50,000 buy-in 50th Annual High Roller NLH event, as well as a $10,000 Short Deck event and a $1000 Mini Main Event.
Now, the organizers have revealed yet another special event called “Bracelet Winners Only” No-Limit Hold’em, scheduled to run on July 10. This special event is open to all the 1078 bracelet winners in the past dating back to 1970 as well as bracelet winners in 2019. The tournament which is being dubbed as “Champion of Champions” carries $1500 buy-in and players will start the tournament with 50,000 chips.
Among other events to be confirmed are various tournaments at the $1000, $1500, $2500, $3000, and $5000 buy-in levels, including all of the standard formats of poker such as Seven Card Stud, Razz, Lowball, HORSE, Dealer’s Choice, and more.
Full-Scale Rollout of Big Blind Ante
In addition to the announcement of new events, this year the WSOP will utilize the Big Blind Ante format not only for the Main Event but also across all the No-Limit Hold’em events including the non-bracelet events at RIO such as their popular Daily Deepstacks and Mega Satellites.
For those unfamiliar, the big blind ante format helps speed the game up by having just the big blind provide the antes for the entire table. The WSOP introduced this increasingly popular format last year during WSOP Las Vegas and WSOPE on a trial basis. Following “careful consideration” the operator has now implemented it across all events where antes exist.
Bigger Starting Stacks
In addition to the implementation of Big Blind Ante and the new events, the WSOP is also planning significant changes to the blind structure of many of the tournaments including increasing the starting stack size. Over the years, bigger starting stacks have become a norm across both live tournaments and online (WCOOP, SCOOP, Powerfest), as recreational players prefer playing with bigger stack size.
Almost all the tournaments will see a notable increase in the stack size. For example, all the $500 buy-in tournaments will see their starting stacks increased by five times to 25,000. Similarly, $1500 buy-in tournaments will start with 25,000 in chips instead of 7500 chips. As a result of the increase in the starting chips, blind structures will also be adjusted. However, the structure sheet for all the tournaments will be announced at a later date.
Big 50 Structure Revealed
Although the structure sheets for all the tournaments have yet to be revealed, the WSOP has announced the blind structure for its kickoff event “The Big 50” priced at $500. The tournament guarantees $5 million and the winner is guaranteed to take home $1 million. The operator calls it a “must play event” as the first entry of each player will be rake-free, meaning the whole buy-in will go directly to the prize pool while any subsequent re-entries will be raked as normal.
Players will receive 50,000 starting stacks and the tournament will have 12 50-minute-levels on Day 1, followed by an 8-level Day2. The tournament will use the unique payout system which will see each starting flight play into the money. In total, 15% of the field will be paid out. More details on the payouts can be found on their website.
Online registration for WSOP events will open in March/April following the approval by regulators. Room reservations are being accepted across Caesars’ Las Vegas properties with rates as low as $33 for Total Rewards members.