The cards, the chips, the money, the prestige, the television cameras – the gold bracelets. The World Series of Poker is right around the corner with rounders from around the globe, making their way to the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas to take a shot at poker glory.
This year marks the 50th Series, which runs from May 28 to July 16. With a record 89 bracelet events with buy-ins ranging from $400 to $100,000, it should be quite a summer.
The series has offered two tiers of buy-in ranges in recent years, with $10,000 and higher championship events attracting big-name pros and lower buy-ins in the $1,000 to $2,500 range for regular Joe players looking to get in the action.
One Year Older and Lower Buy-In Events!
This year’s event represents an attempt to even offer a few events below that and cater to lower rollers. That includes six events with buy-ins from $600-$800 in No Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha.
“We hope everyone who loves the game of poker comes out to experience our big 50th,” WSOP Vice President Jack Effel said. “We are confident you will find an event or two to your liking, and hopefully, one that allows you to raise the gold bracelet over your head at the end of it.”
A couple lower buy-in highlights include:
- Big 50 (May 30) – The WSOP gets the big field action started early with this event celebrating its 50 years of poker heritage. With a $500 re-entry format, this should bring in a massive number of players. The event has a guaranteed prize pool of $5 million with $1 million going to the winner.
- Deep Stack Championship (June 25) – This $600 re-entry event features a $500,000 guarantee and an added WSOP $10,000 Main Event seat to the winner.
Plenty of Highlights for Low Rollers and High Rollers
Beyond those events, there is something for every poker taste and bankroll on the 2019 schedule. The WSOP offers poker variants often not seen in other series and is the biggest poker festival in the world.
Last year’s event set records, with 123,865 entries and $267 million paid out to winners, up 15.1 per cent from 2017.
888poker Ambassador and 2014 Main Event champion Martin Jacobson will fly to Vegas right after 888poker LIVE Barcelona. He has a full schedule of no-limit events in his plans.
“The schedule looks good, quite similar to last year, which I liked,” he says. “The WSOP is the highlight of the year with its history, big fields, and prize pools.”
One new event stands out for Jacobson – the $1,500 Bracelet Winners Only event. That event is set for July 10 and should make for some great coverage on the PokerGO stream.
A few other highlights include:
- $50,000 50th Annual High Roller No-Limit Hold’em (May 31) – This special event should attract plenty of big names.
- $10,000 Short Deck NLHE (June 2) – This is a new tournament featuring a format that is growing in popularity. Not sure what Short Deck is? Check out 888poker’s strategy guide for this unique game.
- $10,000 Heads Up Championship (June 5) – This attracts some of the best in the world in a bracket-style format.
- $1,500 Millionaire Maker (June 5) – Win this popular tournament and take home a million bucks.
- $25,000 High Roller Pot-Limit Omaha (June 19) – PLO fans will be out in force hoping for a huge payday.
- $1,000 Ladies Championship (June 20) – This is always a popular event. The actual price is $10,000, but women receive a discount to $1,000.
- $1,000 Tag Team (June 24) – This one usually has the Rio buzzing with players and their friends teaming up for some fun.
- $50,000 Poker Players Championship(June 24) – Plenty of big names and mixed game specialists will be hoping to bring their A-games.
- $888 CRAZY EIGHTS No-Limit Hold'em 8-Handed (June 28) – 888poker’s own tournament has become extremely popular with a massive guarantee of $888,888 for first place. The event features unlimited re-entries. Long-time player, Galen Hall, won this event last year, which featured 8,598 entries and a $6.9 million prize pool, for his first career WSOP bracelet.
- $10,000 Main Event (July 3) – The big daddy of the WSOP features three starting flights with much of the action televised on ESPN. Last year’s event featured 7,874 entries with Indiana’s John Cynn winning the bracelet and $8.8 million.
Along with the gold bracelet events, the popular daily one-day, non-bracelet Deep Stack tournaments return with some additional weekly offerings:
- $250 NLHE, 1 p.m. daily
- $200 NLHE, 4 p.m. daily
- $400 NLHE (accelerated format), 7 p.m. daily
- $150 NLHE (accelerated format), 10 p.m. daily
- $250 Pot-Limit Omaha, 5 p.m. Sundays
- $250 Seniors Deep Stack, 9 a.m. Wednesdays. Players must be aged 50 and over.
Make Your Trip to Vegas Great with 888
You don’t have to have a massive bankroll to book that trip to the WSOP. 888poker is offering plenty of ways to get to Sin City through its Road to Vegas promotions.
For as little as one penny, players can qualify for a tournament package.
Other step qualifiers feature buy-ins as low 10 cents, $1, and $5. Jump in a tournament and give it a shot. Get on a hot streak, and you could find yourself on a plane bound for Vegas this summer.
Players can also enter in $16.50 daily qualifiers and $109 Sunday qualifiers with a chance to work your way up to compete in a $1,050 WSOP 2019 Main Event Package Qualifier, which has been held each Sunday since Jan 20.
Winners earn a Main Event prize package valued at $12,600 that includes:
- 6 nights (July 4-10, 2019) at the luxurious Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas
- $10,000 WSOP Main Event buy-in
- $1,000 for travel and expenses (paid directly to your 888poker account)
- Invitation to a welcome party at the Vdara
- Transportation to the Rio Hotel & Casino
- An 888poker LIVE swag kit
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888poker Ambassadors Ready for Action
The Team 888poker crew will be out in force again this summer as well as numerous qualifiers hoping to play well, win big, and have some fun.
Here’s a look at some 888poker Ambassadors’ summer plans:
“Six-max is one of my favourite formats, and I’ve always had the most success in those tournaments,” he says. “Plus, I have fond memories after winning a bracelet in a six-max event in 2017. The Main Event is a beast of a tournament that I’ve not conquered yet, and you only get to play once a year. So, it’s extra special and something I’d love to do well in.
“So many different things make the WSOP special for me. One of the main ones is you get to meet so many cool people from different walks of life, whilst also getting to reconnect with people you may not see outside of each summer. Every year I find that a new friendship really ends up blossoming over this period.”
Vegas can’t just be about poker, however. Moorman’s also hoping for another interesting undertaking – the Vegas Olympics.
“This is where me and my friends play different games all day whilst drinking and compete to see who is the champion,” he says. “The list of games normally includes pool, mini-golf, bowling, beer pong, and go-karting.”
- Vivian Saliba – This is her fourth straight WSOP, and she’ll be there for the full seven weeks. Her schedule includes numerous tournaments and cash game sessions – and hopes for a profitable trip.
“The WSOP is very special because it’s a poker paradise. There are so many different games running all the time, and that’s what makes it the best place to find good games and put in a lot of volume playing live poker.”
A big fan of most WSOP PLO tournaments, Saliba loves that there are so many varieties of buy-ins and structures with such massive fields.
She’s also looking forward to the Big 50, commenting that it’s “an awesome event because the guarantee is huge and the buy-in is very affordable.”
Of course, Vegas offers more than poker.
“I hope to keep a balanced lifestyle – and planning to enjoy a little of the city,” she says. “I would like to watch some shows, such as Cirque du Soleil and taste some amazing food. This is my favourite time of year!”
- Ana Marquez – She’s in it for the long haul also and plans to grind as many tournaments and cash games as possible.
“I am pretty excited for the Crazy Eights,” she says. “It’s always a fun one!
Her other two favourite events are the Main Event and the $3,000 Six-max. She also looks forward to spending some time with the friends she doesn’t see throughout the year. The amazing Vegas restaurants are also a priority.
What makes the WSOP so unique?
“So many things,” Marquez says. “I wait for it all year – the poker action, friends, and so many cool activities. I may even go hiking if I can go early enough that the sun doesn’t kill me.”
New WSOP Promotions and Options
Beyond a plethora of major tournaments events, the WSOP announced some special promotions and player options this year.
Some of those exciting promotions include:
- Main Event Seat Giveaway – The WSOP is giving away five $10,000 Main Event seats to loyal tournament players. Players can earn up to five entries for a drawing to be held July 1. Players earn free entries based on participation in bracelet events.
- Ladies Warm-Up Tournament – A new $150 NLHE tournament will be held on the eve of the $1,000 Ladies Championship – June 19 at 6 p.m.
- Tournament Account for Easier Registration – Players now have the option to wire funds for WSOP tournament play or put money on account when they arrive. After setting up an account at the WSOP Main Cage, players can register for tournaments online or via mobile device – much easier than waiting in line.
- Credit Cards at the Cage – Players can now use credit and debit cards for registration as well as cash, casino chips, and cashier’s checks.
With only days until the World Series action is underway, many players may be feeling the same as 888poker Ambassador Ana Marquez.
“It is such an exciting trip that I’ve already started counting down the days,” she says. “Summer camp is almost here!”
For a complete WSOP schedule, click here.