New Jersey Residents Can Play in All Nine WSOP Online Bracelet Events
This year’s World Series of Poker, the 50th edition of the annual poker festival, is a bonanza for online poker players that includes nine online bracelet events. The problem that developed earlier this year, though, was that the eligibility of New Jersey players to participate was in doubt after the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel opined that the Wire Act made all interstate online gambling illegal, rather than just sports betting, as the OLC said in 2011 (when Barack Obama was President). Prior to the opening of the World Series of Poker last week, the WSOP said that New Jersey players could definitely play in the first two bracelet events, but the rest were still up in the air. This week, though, with the New Hampshire Lottery’s victory of the Department of Justice in court, it has been announced that all events are back on for New Jerseyans.
For the first few years of online poker regulation, New Jersey and Nevada led separate lives. But about a year ago, players on each state’s version of WSOP.com began to sit at the same tables (Delaware players were on the 888 network as well, but not specifically WSOP.com). One thing cool about this was that previously, the World Series of Poker online bracelet events were open only to people situated within Nevada’s borders, but now New Jerseyans could join in the fun, as well.
But with the publication of the OLC’s Wire Act decision in January, the online poker world sharply inhaled, now with new worry about the future of the game in the United States. One concern was the status of the WSOP online bracelet events. In March, the Department of Justice delayed the Wire Act compliance deadline until June 15th, which [checks calendar], is only eight days away. At that point, if states and/or operators have not adjusted their online gambling operations to meet the new Wire Act opinion, they could be subject to prosecution.
As such, the World Series of Poker said that New Jerseyans could compete in the first two online bracelet events because they came before June 15th, but after that, there was much uncertainty. I do not believe that the WSOP ever completely nixed New Jersey from the other seven events (please correct me if I’m wrong), but it was basically assumed that New Jersey was out.
With the New Hampshire Lottery’s court victory, though, resulting in a federal judge ruling that the most recent OLC interpretation of the Wire Act was wrong and that it did only apply to sports betting, multiple media outlets have reported that all online bracelet events are now open to New Jerseyans.
“….barring something unforeseen, we plan on continuing with shared liquidity between Nevada and New Jersey for the remaining eight WSOP gold bracelet events between now and July 14,” said WSOP Vice President of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky.
The first online bracelet event was contested in 2015, a decision that rankled poker purists who didn’t see anything taking place outside of the live tables as worthy of inclusion. Lots of online players, of course, were happy, as they not only felt they had an inherent advantage playing online, but they could also save money by staying home (though not totally – more on that in a sec). The lone WSOP online bracelet event that year was a $1,000 tournament which drew more than 900 players.
There was also a single online bracelet event in 2016, though that one allowed re-entries. The weird thing about those two tournaments was that while they played out online, the final tables took place live at the Rio. The first one in 2015 was scheduled for the day after the final table was determined online, but because of complaints that travel from the more distant parts of the state would be really rough, a one-day gap was inserted.
There were three bracelet events in 2017 and four in 2018; the live final table disappeared after 2016.
This year, then, is quite the explosion of online events, with as many in 2019 as there have been in all of the previous years of the WSOP combined. And “barring something unforeseen,” the turnouts should now be great.
Below is the complete schedule for the nine online bracelet events at the 2019 World Series of Poker.
June 2nd – $400 No-Limit Hold’em, 3x re-entry (Champion: Yong Keun Kwon)
June 9th – $600 Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha, unlimited re-entry
June 16th – $600 Knock-Out Bounty No-Limit Hold’em, freezeout
June 19th – $500 Turbo No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack, 3x re-entry
June 23rd – $1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em, 3x re-entry
June 30th – $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship, 3x re-entry
July 3rd – $3,200 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em, 3x re-entry
July 7th – Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em, 3x re-entry
July 14th – Summer Saver No-Limit Hold’em, 3x re-entry