The increasingly popular real names policy will make its way to the upcoming WSOP Online Gold Bracelet events that will be held on GGPoker, the operator has confirmed to pokerfuse.
Starting July 19, fast-growing online poker network GGPoker will host over 50 online bracelet events on its online poker network comprising GGPoker itself and its skin, Natural8. These events will stretch over 50 days until the first week of September.
It will be the first time that players outside the US will be able to compete for an online WSOP bracelet from their homes.
These online bracelet events come as a part of the WSOP Online 2020 campaign that is running in place of the WSOP live series that has been postponed until the fall in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
A total of 85 WSOP bracelets will be given out online this summer, with 54 events being played out on GGPoker for international players and the remaining 31 events will be played out on WSOP.com available to New Jersey and Nevada players.
For the GGPoker events, the use of real names will be utilized at the final table only, meaning the rest of the tournament will be played as a traditional online tournament with players displaying their screen names.
The operator is expected to reveal further details surrounding the use of real names at online bracelet events soon.
It is not clear whether online bracelet events on WSOP.com available to New Jersey and Nevada players will also utilize real names online.
GGPoker is Already Trialing Real Names at VIP Tables
The decision to switch to real names at least for the final table is quite intriguing but not really surprising. GGPoker has been trialing the use of real names on its VIP tables featuring high-stakes cash game tables as well as high roller tournaments since late May.
Players are being encouraged to verify their accounts in order to continue playing VIP games. The operator has initiated such a move in an attempt to curb network multi-accounting and improve the ecosystem.
However, at the time of writing, not all players at VIP games are displaying their real names, indicating that the transition to ditch players’ alias at high stakes is still in the process.
“We think it’s [referring to real names] a good thing for online poker,” said Jean-Christophe Antoine, the head of GGPoker Network in a special pokerfuse podcast edition with host Michael Gentile. “We don’t know yet if it’s good to do it for everyone [in] every format, every game type, et cetera, so what we’re doing is we are trailing it. We’re starting testing the waters, starting step-by-step.”
“We’re slowly rolling it out, and if it works well, then we will expand it. If it doesn’t work well, we’ll review it,” Antoine added.
There are also discussions going on across social media about whether WSOP online bracelet events should be played with real names. Some players are requesting GGPoker and WSOP to allow players to show their real identities in place of screen names.
There are benefits to using real names. It removes anonymity, raises prestige and tackles some of the issues which the online poker industry faces such as multi-accounting.
However, there could also be concerns as some players may not feel comfortable playing with their real identities due to privacy issues.
However, considering that real names will only be deployed at the final tables of the bracelet events, it should be well received.
Partypoker is the Pioneer of the Real Name Policy
GGPoker is not the first online poker room to force players to reveal their true identities. Its competitor partypoker is the pioneer of the use of real names at the tables after having introduced it last year over the summer period.
The operator began trialing real names at high-stakes and heads-up tables in August 2019 and slowly expanded the policy to other game formats including tournaments.
It is now being trialed on various high-profile MTT series, which reportedly proved popular among players. In fact, partypoker’s Managing Director Tom Waters recently stated the system was “something of a game changer.”
These moves were taken as a part of partypoker’s ecology changes under the campaign “#fairplay,” to make the games as clean as they would be in a live environment.
With GGPoker following in the footsteps of partypoker, it appears that the industry is starting to adopt the use of real names.
WSOP Online bracelet events on GGPoker kick off on July 19. The operator is expected to release the bracelet events schedule on a rolling basis. Watch this space for the full schedule.