2018 WSOP Schedule Released, Big One for One Drop Returns

I look forward to the day that the World Series of Poker (WSOP) consists of 100 events because you know that day is going to arrive. And when it does, look out – the WSOP will pull out all the stops to celebrate it. Event 100 will definitely be given some special name at the very least. And though we’re not at that point yet, the WSOP did just release the schedule for the 2018 running of the world’s favorite poker festival, one which features 78 events, from May 29th through July 17th.

The Main Event, or the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship as it is formally called, has been bumped a few days earlier and will start Monday, July 2nd. There will be three starting flights like this year and probably three more Day 2 flights with Days 2A and 2B running concurrently (we can’t say for certain, as the actual tournament structure sheets have not been published yet). We do know that Day 3, the first day when all remaining players will be in a single field, will be Saturday, July 7th.

Also like this year, the Main Event will play straight through to a winner rather than breaking for nearly four months. The November Nine was introduced in 2008 as a way to generate hype for the Main Event final table, allow the final table’s players to market themselves and earn endorsements, and to allow ESPN to create a narrative as the edited TV episodes built to the live final table. 2017 was the first year in a decade in which there was no November Nine.

The Main Event will again be broadcast on both ESPN and Poker Central’s PokerGO online streaming subscription service. Interestingly, in its press release, the WSOP warned players that they should be sure to check out the Main Event structure sheet during the tournament to verify start times, as they might be adjusted to make for a better broadcast.

The 78-tournament schedule is four events more than this year. Nine events have been added, while five have been subtracted. The nine new events are as follows:

•    $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty No-Limit Hold’em
•    $100,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em
•    $365 Pot-Limit Omaha GIANT
•    $1,000 DOUBLE STACK No-Limit Hold’em (10,000 starting chips)
•    $565 WSOP.com ONLINE Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed
•    $1,500 BOUNTY Pot-Limit Omaha
•    $1,000 DOUBLE-STACK No-Limit Hold’em (30-minute levels)
•    $1,500 THE CLOSER No-Limit Hold’em (15,000 starting chips, 30-minute levels)
•    $50,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em

And the WSOP says goodbye to:

•    $10,000 Tag Team
•    Two $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em events
•    Two $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em events

“With today’s announcement, we hope there is enough time to adjust your holiday wish list,” said WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel in a press release.  “We feel very good about the multitude of offerings on the 2018 World Series of Poker schedule and look forward to welcoming everyone to the Rio in Las Vegas this summer.”

Big One for One DropThe $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop also returns to the 2018 World Series of Poker. It will be the final tournament of the Series, running July 15th through July 17th. That’s right, the Main Event is not the last tournament next year. The WSOP is trying something different, starting a dozen tournaments after the Main Event begins. There have been events that have finished while the Main Event was going on, but having twelve commence after the Main Event kickoff is new.

In addition to the Big One for One Drop, the Little One for One Drop will also be situated near the end of the 2018 WSOP schedule.

The Big One for One Drop debuted at the WSOP in 2012 with 48 wealthy business people and deep-pocketed players competing (or players with deep-pocketed friends). Antonio Esfandiari won the $18.3 million first prize. $111,111 of each buy-in went to Guy Laliberte’s One Drop organization, a non-profit focused on making clean water available to impoverished communities around the world. The Big One skipped a year and came back in 2014. That one drew 42 entries and Daniel Colman won the $15.3 million top prize. There was no Big One at the WSOP in 2016; it was changed to an invitation-only event (supposedly to prevent pro poker players from participating and beating the wealthy non-pros) and held in Monaco.

As is noted in the list of new events, there was a fourth online bracelet event added for 2018. All four online events will be held on WSOP.com in Nevada. WSOP.com New Jersey will likely host qualifiers for the World Series of Poker, but the Nevada-based site is the only one where players can compete for a bracelet directly.

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