2020 World Series of Poker Dates Announced

  • 2020 WSOP will run May 26 through July 15 at the Rio in Las Vegas
  • BIG 50 slated as the opening weekend’s featured event
  • Seniors event first closed event to be announced
  • $10,000 Main Event kicks off on July 1
man walking up the steps at the entrance of the World Series of Poker
Key dates for the 2020 World Series of Poker have been announced, including the $10,000 Main Event Championship, which will run July 1 through July 14. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

51st WSOP to get underway May 26

The World Series of Poker has announced the key dates for the 2020 WSOP in Las Vegas. Festivities for the 51st running of the annual poker series will begin on Tuesday, May 26 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. The 2020 WSOP will continue for nearly two months, through Wednesday, July 15.

“We can’t wait to open our doors for the 2020 World Series of Poker,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart in a press release. “Summer can’t come fast enough, and we look forward to welcoming poker players from all over the globe back to the Rio in Las Vegas to award gold bracelets and hundreds of millions of dollars.”

BIG 50 event highlight of opening weekend

The complete schedule has not been finalized, but the featured event of the WSOP’s opening weekend has been revealed as the $500 buy-in BIG 50 No-Limit Hold’em tournament.

The event will have starting flights each day from Thursday, May 28 through Sunday, May 31.

This year was the first time the BIG 50 was run and if next year’s is structured the same way, players will be allowed one re-entry in each of the four starting flights. The first buy-in for every player was rake free, helping juice the prize pool. The WSOP guaranteed a prize pool of at least $5 million with a $1 million minimum first prize.

Each day drew more entries than most WSOP Main Events, with Day 1D topping out at 9,121 entries. In total, there were 28,371 entries in the BIG 50 and the prize pool amounted to $13,509,435, crushing the guarantee.

the prize pool amounted to $13,509,435, crushing the guarantee

The event that will kickoff opening weekend will almost certainly be the $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em tournament, as it has been the opener for years.

Seniors event

The WSOP has also confirmed the $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Championship, to be held on Thursday, June 18. This is a “closed” event, as only players age 50 and older are eligible to play.

This year’s Seniors event boasted 5,916 entries and a $5,324,400 prize pool.

Other closed events included the aforementioned Casino Employees tournament, the $1,000 Super Seniors event for poker players aged 60 and over, the $1,500 Bracelet Winners Only event, and the $1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em event. The WSOP has not schedule these events yet.

The Ladies event technically has a $10,000 buy-in, but women get a $9,000 discount. It is structured this way because men have previously entered the tournament as a joke.

It is against Nevada regulations to discriminate on the basis of gender, so men have to be allowed to play. The rules do permit different buy-ins, though, so in 2013, the buy-in for men was increased to $10,000. That year was the first in a while in which no men entered the Ladies event.

2020 WSOP Main Event

The $10,000 Main Event Championship is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, July 1.

There will be three starting days. As has been the standard for a number of years, the survivors from Days 1A and 1B will play on Days 2A and 2B on July 4. Those who make it out of Day 1C will play on Day 2C on July 5. The remaining players from all Day 2 flights will combine into a single field for Day 3 on July 6.

The nine-handed final table will be reached on July 10. After an off day, the final table will begin and will span three days. ESPN and ESPN2 will broadcast the final table action on a 30-minute delay.

The 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event was the second largest of all-time, with a field of 8,569 players. Only the 2006 Main Event, at the height of the poker boom, was larger, with 8,773 players. Hossein Ensan won the Main Event this year for $10,000,000.

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