Pandemic pushed festivities to the fall
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) released the schedule for its annual poker festival, revealing an 88-event slate spanning nearly two months. As has been the case for over a decade and a half, the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas will serve as host for the 2021 WSOP, which will run September 30 to November 23.
This should be one of the most highly-anticipated Series in history, as the traditional WSOP was wiped out last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic is also the reason why the World Series of Poker has been moved to the fall, rather than taking place in the late spring and early summer. Though live poker is already back in Nevada, shifting the WSOP to later in the year gives more time for people to get vaccinated, for any global travel restrictions to be relaxed, and for officials to continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation for health and safety planning.
we’re preparing for a poker reunion all players can celebrate”
“Make no mistake, the 2021 WSOP will be the real deal and we’re preparing for a full house.” Said WSOP executive director Ty Stewart in Tuesday’s press release. “Throughout the storied history of the WSOP, this year will be particularly memorable and we’re preparing for a poker reunion all players can celebrate.”
Four Main Event starting flights
The 2021 World Series of Poker Main Event will have four starting flights this year, an increase from the three we have seen in recent years. There will be one flight each day from November 4 through November 7. The survivors from Days 1A and 1B will combine to play in Day 2AB on November 8 and those who make it out of Days 1C and 1D will all meet up for Day 2CD on November 9. This is also a change, as in the three starting flight format, there were also three Day 2s with the survivors from each Day 1 playing separately.
Starting November 10, the entire remaining WSOP Main Event field will be unified. The final table begins November 16 and concludes the following day.
everyone is dealt three hole cards and, in pineapple style, choose two to keep
The rest of the schedule is full of the usual events we have become accustomed to seeing, like the Ladies and Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Championships and scores of different game varieties and buy-ins, but there are also some interesting new tournaments on the schedule. Starting on October 10 is the $1,000 Flip & Go No-Limit Hold’em event, sponsored by GGPoker. In this internet-inspired tournament, everyone is dealt three hole cards and, in pineapple style, choose two to keep. Then everyone is put all-in until one player is left per table. Each table winner makes the money and proceeds with a normal tournament structure the rest of the way.
On November 17 is the new $1,979 Poker Hall of Fame Bounty tournament, priced to reflect the first year of the Poker Hall of Fame. Every member of the Hall who plays does so for free and has a bounty on their head equal to the year they were inducted. During (or before or after, it’s not quite clear) the tournament, the WSOP will announce the 2021 Poker Hall of Fame inductee.
There are many more unique events, all of which can be found on the World Series of Poker website.
WSOP Online appears here to stay
Though the World Series was thrown for a loop with the pandemic last year, there were still WSOP tournaments to be played. The 2020 World Series of Poker Online featured 85 bracelet events split between WSOP.com for people in New Jersey and Nevada and GGPoker for those in many countries outside of the United States.
The 5,802-entry 2020 WSOP Online Main Event set the Guinness World Record for the largest online poker tournament prize pool at $27.6m.
Organizers then created a separate 2020 WSOP Main Event, considered the “official” Main Event of the year. This one was a hybrid online/live tournament, with brackets starting at WSOP.com and GGPoker. The final tables of each site were played live in Las Vegas and Rozvadov, Czech Republic, respectively. The winner of each played heads-up at the Rio in Las Vegas for the bracelet and an extra $1m. Damian Salas defeated Joseph Hebert for the title.