A Brief Look at the New WSOP Events

Last week, the schedule for the 2016 World Series of Poker (WSOP) was released, showcasing 69 events, including the $10,000 Main Event, which will run July 9th through July 18th before pausing for the November Nine. Eight new events have made their way into the expansive lineup. We touched on them in our previous write-up, but let’s have a deeper, more personal look at the newcomers, shall we?

2014 WSOP Bracelet

2014 WSOP Bracelet

June 5: Event #4 – $1,000 Top Up Turbo No-Limit Hold’em

When they say turbo, they mean it. With 20-minute levels, players are not going to have much time to find a hand and make a move. 20 minutes online is one thing,  but live, there will be plenty of occasions where a full table won’t even get through an entire orbit before the blinds increase.

But that’s not the interesting part of this tourney. Anyone who qualifies for the event via $55 single-table satellite on WSOP.com or live at the Rio will have a chance to double their starting stack for the main, live portion of the tourney. Supposedly the information on how to add those chips is on the WSOP.com promotions page, but this writer can’t seem to find it. The info will also be available at the Rio.

While this isn’t as internet-focused as the online event that was introduced last year, it is clearly a way to both encourage those who would normally just play live to hop on WSOP.com for the qualifiers and to lead online players to the live venue. Last year, poker “purists” loathed the idea of an online event, but look, we’re halfway through the second decade of the 21st century – there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging the times we live in and giving something different a shot. There are a bazzilion other WSOP events in which to play for those who abhor change and want to “Make the WSOP Great Again.”

June 9: Event #12 – $565 Pot-Limit Omaha with Re-Entry

This is the cheapest Pot-Limit Omaha event in WSOP history. Sounds good to me – brings more people to the event, grows the prize pool, likely lowers the average overall skill level of the field.

June 15: Event #23 – $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em

The WSOP isn’t hurting for No-Limit Hold’em events. This is apparently just a new price level. I could not care even the slightest bit.

June 23: Event #40 – $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball

On the opposite end of the spectrum from the $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em Event is this one, which features Fixed-Limit A-5, 2-7 and Badugi. We went through a period in poker where mixed games and essentially anything that wasn’t No-Limit Hold’em declined in popularity, but these types of games are back on the rise.

Historically, triple draw and similar events tilted towards the more expensive end of the spectrum at the World Series of Poker, with price points often at $5,000 and $10,000. Having a $2,500 event should be fun; like the rock-bottom Omaha tournament, this might attract players who wouldn’t normally want to try a tournament dense with sharks.

June 26: Event #45 – $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha

Many poker players are familiar with “H.A.,” which is a game that alternates between Pot-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha. This is the same, except the Hold’em portion is No-Limit. As the WSOP says, these are two of the most popular games nowadays and at that low price point, it should attract a lot of casual and online players.

June 30: Event #53 – $1,500 Mixed Pot-Limit Omaha-8/Omaha-8/Big O

All the Omahas in one place. Nifty. For those unfamiliar with Big O, it is the same as Omaha except that players are dealt five cards instead of four. That extra card increases the possible card combinations significantly. Naturally, Big O is a major action game; straights are often the minimum hand needed to win. If the board makes a hand possible, someone probably has it.

July 1: Event #54 – $888 Crazy Eights Eight-Handed No-Limit Hold’em

Basically a gimmick event that Count von Count would enjoy immensely, this one has four starting flights. It is a re-entry event, so players who are eliminated in one flight can buy-in again to any subsequent starting flight. The WSOP is hyping this is as the first time an event with a buy-in below $1,500 will be run short-handed. First of all, while eight-handed is technically short-handed, it’s just one shy of a full table. Second, this is not important.

July 7: Event #61 – $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em

With the Global Poker League starting up, it is only appropriate that there is a team event at the 2016 World Series of Poker. Players register as teams of two to four players; the buy-in is for the team as a whole, not for each individual player. Interesting, participants can almost play this event as a regular, individual tournament, as the only real requirement is that each team member must play at least one round of blinds. The rules don’t say “one round of blinds per level” or anything like that, so theoretically, a top pro could bring their non-poker playing buddy along, tell him to fold every hand for an orbit, and let him be on his merry way.

Each member of the winning team will receive a bracelet and the prize money will be divided evenly amongst all team members.

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