The World Series of Poker has announced the return of the WSOP Circuit to the live felt. The Circuit’s 17th season begins on November 25, Thanksgiving Day, at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in North Carolina. The World Series of Poker in Las Vegas – now just past the halfway mark – ends only a couple days prior.
allowing regional players to experience big-time poker”
“It’s been too long, so it’s great to see the Circuit hitting the road once again,” said Ty Stewart, the World Series of Poker’s senior vice president and executive director. “The WSOP-C is one of our most important initiatives, allowing regional players to experience big-time poker and providing grinders a platform to earn a living. We’re pumped up about the new ‘Tournament of Champions’ format where all our winners will come together for one event. Just win and you’re in!”
Like other live poker tournaments, WSOP Circuit events were canceled starting last spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The WSOP did host some Circuit events online, such as the Spring Online Circuit Series, the WSOP Circuit Super Series, and the Global Casino Championship, which was normally the season-ending invitational.
More Circuit stops on the way
In all, there are currently 13 Circuit stops on the 2021-2022 schedule, starting with, as mentioned, Harrah’s Cherokee. Rounding out this year are The Bicycle Casino (“The Bike”) in Los Angeles December 4-15 and Hilton Aruba December 9-19.
There are three confirmed new venues for the revived WSOP Circuit season. The first is Deerfoot Inn in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, running January 12-23, 2022. The following month is the Isle of Pompano in Pompano Beach, Florida, running February 3-14, 2022. Then, from March 17 through March 28, players can visit the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.
Each WSOP Circuit stop will feature at least a dozen gold ring events starting at $250 buy-in and a Main Event that will cost $1,700. All events will use the Big Blind Ante format and will have standardized structures and payouts for consistency across the schedule.
More Circuit stops will be announced when the WSOP gets them confirmed.
Season culminates with Tournament of Champions
The season will end with the newly-reconfigured Tournament of Champions. In past years, it was called the Global Casino Championship, a $1m prize pool freeroll for the top performers of the season. It was invitation only; qualifiers included the winner of each stop’s Main Event, the top points earner at each Circuit stop (the “Casino Champion”) and the top 50 points earners during the entire season who did not otherwise qualify automatically.
The new Tournament of Champions also has a $1m prize pool, but the qualification criteria are a bit different. Points totals and Main Events are no longer important. Now, every official gold ring event winner – live or online – gets an invite to the freeroll. Wednesday’s schedule announcement also said that 2022 live or online bracelet winners will also “be eligible to compete,” which may imply that they would have to pay their way in.
The Tournament of Champions will be contested during the 2022 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. The winner will receive an official gold bracelet in addition to prize money.