Less than two weeks away from the start of the 2021 World Series of Poker, the WSOP has announced the addition of ten official online gold bracelet events to the schedule. There will be one online event each Sunday during the WSOP, with the exception of October 3, which is “Double Bracelet Day.” Most of the tournaments will begin at 5:30pm PT/8:30pm ET, with a couple starting two hours earlier.
The internet-only tournaments are open to players on WSOP.com in Nevada and New Jersey. Participants need not be residents of the states, just be situated within state borders while playing on the site.
Our philosophy has always been to provide players the most options of any poker festival in the world.”
“Online Poker is an important form of tournament poker in 2021,” said Ty Stewart, senior vice president of the World Series of Poker at Caesars Entertainment, in Friday’s press release. “Our philosophy has always been to provide players the most options of any poker festival in the world. WSOP.com online bracelets have a strong track record of significant prize pools, making them a great option for players who want to multi-table while in a live tournament, or play from the convenience of their home or hotel.”
Players in Pennsylvania will have their own, single online bracelet event. The $1,000 buy-in “Mini Main Event” is scheduled for November 21. Though WSOP.com is in Pennsylvania, the state does not share player liquidity with New Jersey or Nevada yet, so poker players in the Keystone State cannot play in the other online bracelet events.
Come a long way since 2015
Online bracelets are still a relatively knew thing in the grand scheme of the World Series of Poker. The first online bracelet event was in 2015, the only one that year, and open only to those in Nevada. Perhaps as a way to appease traditionalists, the six-handed final table was held live at the Rio. It was originally supposed to be the day after the final table was determined, but hearing concerns from players who lived far from Las Vegas, the WSOP added an off-day for travel.
It was the same setup in 2016 for the $1,000 event, but the WSOP allowed re-entries. In 2017, the WSOP got rid of the live final table and expanded the online schedule to three events. One more was added in 2018.
online bracelets events are no longer the controversial topic they once were
2019 was the year that the online bracelet events really exploded, with nine on the slate for the 50th anniversary of the World Series of Poker. While there are those who still feel that the value of a WSOP has been watered down because of the overall increase in events, online bracelets events are no longer the controversial topic they once were.
From bracelet events to WSOP Online
Those who still don’t like online bracelet events had a hard time arguing about their importance last year, when the poker world – and the world, in general – stood still because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the cancellation of the live World Series of Poker in both Las Vegas and Europe, the WSOP Online was born. It featured dozens of events on WSOP.com for players in the US and GGPoker for players in other countries.
It was so popular that the $5,000 Main Event on GGPoker set a Guinness World Record for the largest online poker tournament prize pool at $27,559,500. It attracted 5,802 total entries.
And though the traditional WSOP in Las Vegas and WSOP Europe are back on this year, the WSOP Online was such a success that it ran once again in 2021, complete with gold bracelets. It looks like there is a chance that it is here to stay.