WSOP — the inventor of the ever-growing Mystery Bounty variant — is investing heavily in the format.
After introducing the now-über-popular format to its weekly tournament schedule and then adding it as part of the WSOP Online Circuit Series, the operator has stepped up its Mystery Bounty game, now scheduling a tournament series dedicated entirely to the format.
The Mystery Bounty Series runs simultaneously on WSOP MI & WSOP PA platforms, kicking off on Sunday, March 26, and running through to April 2.
No such series has been scheduled on the WSOP NJ/NV network as the platform (which still uses 888poker’s decade-old software) does not yet support the Mystery Bounty format.
- Up to $100 in free play with first deposit
- Top-quality software
- Compete for WSOP bracelets & rings
24 tournaments — three per day — are on the schedule, each with a guarantee between $2000 and $5000. Buy-ins range from $10 and go up to $215.
The Pennsylvania edition guarantees over $240,000, while its counterpart Michigan series has promised over $225,000 in guaranteed prize money. Both series culminate in a $215 buy-in Main Event boasting a $50,000 guaranteed prize money.
Most of the events are No-Limit Hold’em, at 6- and 8-handed tables, but players will also find Pot-Limit Omaha events. All tournaments allow players to re-enter multiple times.
Mystery Bounty Gaining Popularity
As the name suggests, every tournament in the series is played in the Mystery Bounty format. It comes at a time when more and more operators are venturing into the randomized style of knockout tournaments.
The format works similarly to a traditional knockout format, with 50% of the entry fees going toward the prize pool and the other 50% toward the bounty pool. Unlike progressive knockouts (PKOs), where bounties increase as the tournament progresses, in a Mystery Bounty format, the bounties are randomized, meaning players don’t have to wait till the end of the tournament to win a massive prize.
Another difference is that the bounty portion does not come into play immediately. Instead, the tournament is divided into two parts — the First Phase and the Second Phase. The First Phase plays as a standard tournament, with no bounties awarded for knocking out players.
The bounty portion only kicks in the Second Phase — once the bubble bursts and players are in the money. Each time a player knockouts someone, the mystery portion comes in, meaning no one knows what a particular player’s bounty is until that player is eliminated.
The format has been winning the attention of poker players worldwide in both live and online poker circles. The idea was conceptualized by WSOP itself in 2020 when it was initially meant to run as part of the WSOP 2020 live series, but due to COVID-19, the series was canceled, and the format could not be tested out.
Wynn borrowed the idea a year later and ran its own version. The result was an instant success. The format became quite popular, with almost every major live poker organizer hosting the format. It also made its way to the WSOP 2022 live series, where the Mystery Bounty event was among the biggest crowd-pullers.
Mystery Bounty made its debut on the WSOP MI platform in late January and on WSOP PA in the first week of February. It is the only operator to introduce such a format in the regulated US online poker market.
Multiple operators have started spreading the format in the dot-com market, including GGPoker, Winamax, and 888poker.
WSOP becomes only the second operator to launch a tournament series dedicated entirely to the Mystery Bounty format. 888Poker was the first to do so in the dot-com market, launching the Mystery Bounty Festival with over $2 million in guarantees. The operator also held the series in the regulated Ontario online poker market, with CAD $400,000 in guaranteed prize money.
The Mystery Bounty Series on runs on WSOP MI and WSOP PA from March 26 to April 2. It kicks off on the last day of the WSOP Online Super Circuit Series with nearly half a million in guarantees.
Sign up for WSOP MI or create your WSOP PA account and try your luck at landing a hefty bounty in the upcoming series!