The WSOP PA Online Bracelet Series has come to an end, bestowing that coveted item of jewelry on eight new event winners. The first, and possibly last, edition of the series to be dedicated entirely to players within the Keystone State came to a close on Tuesday night.
Just as Erik Seidel was closing in on his 9th bracelet in the GGPoker bracelet event, a player with the moniker DerekHarper closed the PA series by winning the delayed $3200 NLH High Roller event. Erik bested a field of 624 players to take down almost a million dollars—whereas DerekHaper’s more modest payout of $66,641 was achieved after defeating a field of just 66.
Questions have been asked over just how much kudos can be attached to these single-state events, but a bracelet is a bracelet, and the hallowed list of World Series winners now includes the names of eight new players Pennsylvania online poker players, who will not care about arguments over field strength and legitimacy.
The largest tournament of the series was also the first—which saw a respectable 425 runners and 75 rebuys. The $225,000 prize pool paid 90 players, with $48,420 set aside for the winner.
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Single-State Series Causes Controversy
The WSOP PA series has caused a fair amount of squabbling over its place in the legacy of the World Series. The whole idea of online bracelets and whether or not they are legitimate counterparts to the live, in-person versions has been hotly debated in the Twittersphere. The fact that this particular festival was confined to a single state has only added fuel to that fire.
On top of this, Event #3 was postponed at late notice, causing no small inconvenience for a number of players. The $3200 High Roller had tempted several potential participants to travel considerable distances, just to be in the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania, in order to be eligible to play.
Unfortunately for them, the tournament they had wanted to play was cancelled due to technical problems and their efforts were for nothing. When the tournament eventually got underway, it attracted the smallest field of the series, with just 66 players duking it out for the title.
But even that did not provide the shortest tournament on the schedule. That dubious accolade went to Event #5, the $777 NLH Lucky 7s which lasted a fraction over 8.5 hours—surely a contender for the quickest World Series contest.
PA-Only Bracelets Unlikely to be Repeated
The WSOP PA Online may turn out to be the only time that Pennsylvanians get their own dedicated bracelet series. The legal barriers to shared liquidity appear to have been torn down once and for all and it seems likely that next year’s bracelets will be contested on an inter-state basis.
WSOP already has a shared player pool between Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware, and looks set to add Pennsylvania and Michigan to that roster as soon as it is able.
PA poker players will not have to wait long for their next major online series. WSOP’s Keystone Classic takes off this coming weekend, offering 21events and guaranteeing more than $500,000 In prizes over the course of the festival. The series runs from August 22 through 31.