Five of the 31 bracelet events on the WSOP.com network have been awarded and so far the turnout should be encouraging for the operator.
Across the first events, a total of $3,739,410 in prize money has been paid out, an average of nearly $750,000 per event—despite none of these events carrying guarantees.
This year, for the first time since the inception of the World Series of Poker, a majority of the events have been moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the operator still hopes to host the event live in the fall. 85 online bracelet events are being awarded between two platforms this summer: 31 on WSOP.com for US players, and 54 on GGPoker for the rest of the world.
Final tables of all bracelet events are being live-streamed with cards-down on multiple platforms including PokerGO, WSOP’s own site, and WSOP’s Twitch channel.
The first WSOP 2020 online bracelet event kicked off last week on Wednesday, July 1. The $500 NLHE Kick-Off event pulled in 1195 unique players and 520 reentries to create a $771,750 prize pool—a decent enough start considering that the series kicked off mid-week.
Jonathan “Art.Vandelay” Dokler outlasted the field in the opening event to take down the first bracelet event of the year and over $130,000 in prize money.
Event #2, a $1000 Deepstack on Thursday, drew 919 total entries (647 players and 272 rebuys) for a total prize pool of $873,050, the biggest so far.
The $400 buy-in NLHE bracelet event on Friday attracted the biggest crowd. 1450 players registered and there were 641 rebuys for a final prize pool of $752,760. With total entries of 2091, it becomes the fourth largest online bracelet event in the US by turnout.
An ambassador of Americas Cardroom, a US unregulated online poker room, won the event.
Top Five Largest WSOP Online Bracelet Events (Entries)
|Year||Event||Total Entries||Prize Pool||Buy-in|
|2019||#88 NLHE Summer Saver||1950||$836,550||$500|
The Super Turbo NLHE event on Saturday pulled in 1179 total runners for a prize pool of $530,550. The $1000 NLHE Freezeout event attracted 854 players to swell its prize pool to $811,300.
While the numbers appear solid, they are not groundbreaking. Last year, nearly $10 million was paid out across nine bracelet events, five of which generated seven-figure prize pools.
Both $1000 bracelet events that ran in 2019 exceeded $1 million prize pool easily. This year, none of the online bracelet events have breached the seven-figure mark yet. The aforementioned #4 Super Turbo NLHE on Saturday ran last year on a weekday and built an $800,000 prize pool.
Still, while it appears that participation is down on last year, circumstances are obviously quite different. Firstly, the Super Turbo notwithstanding, most online bracelet events are traditionally held on Sundays. This year, these events are running each day throughout the week.
The operator has also made a cut to the number of re-entries allowed from 3 to 2, and half a dozen events are freezeouts.
WSOP.com 2020 Online Bracelet First Five Events
|Event||Buy-in||Re-Entry||Prize Pool||Players||Rebuys||Total Entries||First-Place Prize||Rake Collected|
|#1 NLHE Kick-off||$500 ($450+$50)||2||$771,750||1195||520||1715||$130,425.75||$85,750|
|#2 NLHE Deepstack 8-Max||$1000 ($950+$50)||2||$873,050||647||272||919||$168,585.95||$45,950|
|#3 NLHE||$400 ($360+$40)||2||$752,760||1450||641||2091||$115,849.76||$83,640|
|#4 NLHE Super Turbo||$500 ($450+$50)||2||$530,550||828||351||1179||$97,090.65||$58,950|
|#5 NLHE Freezeout||$1000 ($950+$50)||0||$811,300||854||854||$161,286.44||$42,700|
But the biggest factor will be the lack of supporting live summer series. In previous years, the site could rely on an influx of foreign players who would play online events alongside live events while visiting in the state.
This year, there is practically no international travel into Las Vegas. With these online bracelet events available only in New Jersey and Nevada, participation will be restricted to residents of these states and some limited internal tourism.
Still, if the average of $750,000 can be maintained for the entire series, north of $20 million will be generated in prize money. This will be more than all previous WSOP Online Bracelet events over the previous five years combined.
The US leg of the WSOP online bracelet event runs every day through July 31. Online bracelet events on GGPoker kicks off on July 19 and runs through to September 6.
WSOP Online Bracelet Event History
|Year||Events||Total Prizepool Awarded||Avg Prizepool per Event||Total Entries||Avg Entries||Avg Buy-in|