High Roller Series Schedule Released for 2020 WSOP
The Super Bowl (oh wait, I don’t want to get sued… the “BIG GAME”) is this weekend, but once the offseason starts, that won’t be the last that we hear from the National Football League until the start of next season. The NFL is the absolute best at staying in the news, keeping itself relevant, even when there are no games for half a year. Don’t sleep on the World Series of Poker, though. The WSOP knows how to issue news releases little by little to keep itself in the public consciousness when there are no big tourneys going on (no offense to the WSOP Circuit). Case in point: the continued publication of portions of the 2020 WSOP schedule. The WSOP could just release the entire thing at once, but for marketing purposes, the little-by-little method works wonders. The latest group of tournaments confirmed for this summer’s poker festival is what the WSOP calls the “High Roller Series.”
It’s just money
As it sounds, the nine tournaments in the “High Roller Series” are expensive. Every one of them has a buy-in of at least $25,000. In a more innocent time, the $10,000 Main Event was looked at in awe.
“We have something for everyone on the 2020 World Series of Poker schedule and the high rollers are no exception,” said WSOP Vice President Jack Effel. “The High Roller Series are great spectacles for the fans and a challenging series of events is sure to bring out the game’s best and those looking to take them on.”
The High Roller Series gets started right away with the $25,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em event that kicks off May 29th, the first weekend of the 2020 World Series of Poker. It will be quite the contrast of fields, as the $500 BIG 50 will be taking place at the same time. Seek out a remote corner of the Rio and that’s probably where you will find the players in the $25,000 event, as the BIG 50 field will crowd everyone out.
Just a heads-up, but the price has increased
Just a couple days later, beginning May 31st, is the $25,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em event. Those who follow the World Series of Poker might notice that the price tag has jumped from $10,000. The field has also been capped at just 64 players, likely in order to try to avoid the awkwardness of giving players byes.
Last year’s Heads-Up field was 112 players. Those who had to play in the earlier “play-in” rounds (players were randomly selected) did get half of their buy-in back, so those rounds basically turned into satellites. I would guess that players would rather have started in the round of 64 for full price, but it worked out really well for those who did win their play-in rounds.
The event did have a $25,000 buy-in once, back in 2011.
$50,000 PPC, the Battle Royale of the WSOP
The $50,000 Poker Players Championship (PPC), whose buy-in dropped jaws when the tournament debuted, will start June 22nd. It will feature a nine-game rotation this year. Last year, the games involved were No-Limit Hold’em, Seven Card Stud, Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, Razz, Pot-Limit Omaha, Fixed-Limit Hold’em, Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better, and 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw 6-Handed. No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw is a newcomer for 2020.
The Poker Players Championship will always be one of my fondest and most painful memories of when I covered the World Series of Poker live. I was there for the first PPC in 2006 when it was the H.O.R.S.E. Championship. Chip Reese beat Andy Bloch heads-up in an insane marathon match. I was reporting on the final table, but it was one of the weekends I was flying home. It took so long that I had to leave to catch my flight early in the morning before the tournament ended. It was still going when I got home, all the way on the east coast.
There are two High Roller tournaments that have even larger buy-ins: the $250,000 Super High Roller No-Limit Hold’em (June 27th) and $100,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em (July 11th). And ridiculously, both allow for one re-entry. Just fire another quarter-million-dollar bullet, no problem. Shit, one entry for the Super High Roller could have paid for my house and my wife’s Ford Focus.
Most of the High Roller Series events permit one re-entry. The only two that do not are the Heads-Up tournament and Poker Players Championship. They are also the only two tournaments that will not be run eight-handed. Heads-Up is obvious, while the PPC will be six-handed.
2020 World Series of Poker High Roller Series Schedule
May 29: High Roller No-Limit Hold’em – $25,000 – 1 re-entry
May 31: Heads Up No-Limit Hold’em – $25,000 – freezeout
June 5: High Roller No-Limit Hold’em – $50,000 – 1 re-entry
June 17: High Roller Pot-Limit Omaha – $25,000 – 1 re-entry
June 22: Poker Players Championship – $50,000 – freezeout
June 27: Super High Roller No-Limit Hold’em – $250,000 – 1 re-entry
July 7: High Roller Pot-Limit Omaha – $50,000 – 1 re-entry
July 9: High Roller No-Limit Hold’em – $50,000 – 1 re-entry
July 11: High Roller No-Limit Hold’em – $100,000 – 1 re-entry