The largest poker tournament in the world, the World Series of Poker finally released its 2021 schedule, with the return of live, in-person competitions and events, and the esteemed Main Event, the US$10,000 No-Limit Hold’em World Championship. The series is expected to start on September 30, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Word Series of Poker, or WSOP, is an annual series of poker tournaments held in Las Vegas, regarded as one of the largest and most prestigious gaming events in the world, and dating back to 1970. It consists of over 100 events, with most major poker variants features, although Texas hold’em comprises most of those. In 2019, the WSOP accounted for a record 187,298 entrants from 118 countries, and awarded almost US$300 million in prize money.There are a number of bracelet events, and the series culminates with the Main Event, which is scheduled to begin on November 4 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.
After adjusting to a hybrid format last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with several tournaments being held online, the World Series of Poker reported record-breaking attendances in both domestic and international online events, and also announced the creation of a slate of Gold Bracelet online tournaments for the 2021 season.
Return of live events
The most famous poker tournament series in the world is back to in-person action in 2021. The season is scheduled to begin on September 30, and the opening weekend will feature a few special charity events to aid frontline health workers, including a US$25,000 H.O.R.S.E. and a US$5 million GTD No-Limit Hold’em. The Main Event is set to start on November 4, with the final table being played on November 17. Players will be allowed to choose from four starting dates, and all play will be concluded on November 23. The first player to qualify for the Main Event was former NBA star and San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker.
Specific COVID-19 safety and health protocols, and other related policies, are currently under review by gaming regulators, and the WSOP will comply with any directives issued by the state of Nevada, including social distancing restrictions and capacity limits.
The WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart said, “This year, more than ever, we embrace our role at the WSOP to deliver memorable experiences and bring this community of poker lovers back together. In 2021, the theme is ‘get vaccinated and get back to Vegas’”.
In 2020, the WSOP online domestic series awarded almost US$ 27 million in prize money, in 31 events, which marked the largest online tournament series in the history of American regulated poker. This year, WSOP.com will hold the domestic tournaments on its All-American Poker Network, starting on July 1. Qualification will available for as little as US$1, and players can even enjoy World Series of Poker promotions and bonuses.
In partnership with GGPoker, the WSOP also announced the schedule of online events and the WSOP Online 2021 International tournament, which will take place from August 1 through September 12 on the GGPoker app. Online satellite tournaments, awarding entries to the live WSOP Main Event, will also be held on WSOP.com online poker platform and at GGPoker, beginning on August 1 as well.
GGPoker Head of Poker Operations Steve Preiss said, “When GGPoker & WSOP partnered in 2020, we broke world records. Our plans for 2021 are to offer even more to our customers. With massive tournaments, WSOP gold bracelets and rings, and a route into the live WSOP Main Event in November, we hope players will love what we have in store for them.”.
In 2020, the WSOP Online Main Event broke the Guinness Book World Record for largest online poker tournament, with a US$27.5 million prize pool for a single event.
Action back in Europe
WSOP Europe is also expected to return to in-person action in 2021, with the tournament being held at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. The event is expected to feature 15 gold bracelet tourneys, including the €10,000 WSOP Europe Main Event and a €50,000 High Roller event. WSOP Europe is scheduled to take place between November 19 and December 8, but the dates are subject to regulatory approval.
“We hope and anticipate travel restrictions will ease by the fall. It’s important to us that we have an excellent tournament schedule available to our European players”, said Stewart.