Wheels Up at the 2017 World Series of Poker
Ladies and germs, it is here. The 2017 World Series of Poker (WSOP) is officially underway. The festivities got started yesterday, May 30th, with a series of Deepstacks tournaments, but Wednesday is the day when the bracelet events get rolling. Celebrate, everybody!
As always, the kickoff bracelet event is the $565 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em tournament, which started at 11:00am Las Vegas time today. As one would guess by the title, the tournament is restricted to those employed in the gaming industry. Interested participants “will have to show proof of employment at a recognized and valid gaming or gaming-related organization.”
Hmm…does that mean I could play? I’m not a “casino employee,” but I do write for “gaming-related” websites. Actually, never mind, I’m freelance and therefore not technically “employed” by any site. I’m also sitting in my house all the way across the country, so this was just a waste of typing.
The first “open” WSOP bracelet event – one in which everybody at least 21-years old is eligible to play – is the $10,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em Championship. Cards get in the air at 3:00pm PT. As with the Casino Employees Event, the title of the tournament describes the contest quite well. In this tourney, rather than everyone playing individually as we normally see, players compete in teams of two to four people. Beyond that, though, the tournament can almost be an individual competition, as each player only needs to sit in for one round of blinds to fulfil the requirements. Technically, I could team up with Phil Ivey, play the first orbit by only folding pre-flop, and then just let him go the rest of the way.
Obviously, that would not be an ideal situation, as much of the benefit of the ability to tag out is to keep players fresh.
Here is what we are looking at with the WSOP schedule this week:
Wednesday, May 31st
Event #1: $565 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em – 11:00am (2-day event)
Event #2: $10,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em Championship – 3:00pm (3-day event)
Thursday, June 1st
Event #3: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em SHOOTOUT – 11:00am (3-day event)
Event #4: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better – 3:00pm (3-day event)
Friday, June 2nd
Event #5A: The COLOSSUS III – $565 No-Limit Hold’em – 10:00am (6-day event)
Event #5B: The COLOSSUS III – $565 No-Limit Hold’em – 4:00pm (6-day event)
Event #6: $111,111 HIGH ROLLER for ONE DROP No-Limit Hold’em (4-day event)
Saturday, June 3rd
Event #5C: The COLOSSUS III – $565 No-Limit Hold’em – 10:00am (6-day event)
Event #5D: The COLOSSUS III – $565 No-Limit Hold’em – 4:00pm (6-day event)
Event #7: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball (3-day event)
Event #8: $333 WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold’em (1-day event)
As we can see, the World Series of Poker starts off with quite the bang. After the big-ticket Tag Team tournament, there is the Colossus, which has become the largest event (in terms of registrations) in live tournament history. Not shown above are two more starting flights on Sunday. Everyone is permitted to re-enter their starting flight once and can enter any subsequent starting flight if they are eliminated.
One of the unique aspects of the Colossus is that the money will be hit before the conclusion of each and every starting flight. The reason the structure was designed this way is because with the thousands of players in the tournament, the mad rush to the cage if the money bubble burst on Day 2 would have been difficult to manage. This way, the initial surge to collect checks will be split into six pieces and then everyone returning on Day 2 is already in the money.
This setup leads to another quirk: it is possible for people to “cash” multiple times. To illustrate, someone could make the money during the first starting flight, get knocked out of the tournament before the end of the night, and then enter the second starting flight the next day. Rinse, repeat, and there you have multiple cashes by the same person.
Of course, the World Series of Poker culminates with the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event World Championship, which begins July 8th with the first of three starting flights. The big news in the last couple weeks was that the Main Event will no longer end with the November Nine. Instead, the schedule will revert to approximately what it was about a decade ago, with the final table playing out right after the rest of the tournament. There will only be a two-day break between when the tournament is narrowed to nine players and when the final table begins.