The domestic portion of the WSOP Online 2021 will run July 1 through August 1 on WSOP.com for poker players in Nevada and New Jersey. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
33 events in 32 days
WSOP.com has announced the complete schedule for the domestic portion of the WSOP Online 2021. The internet version of the World Series of Poker will span July 1 to August 1 and feature 33 gold bracelet events. One tournament will run each day except for Sunday, July 25, which will see both the $7,777 buy-in Lucky 7’s High Roller and the $500 buy-in The BIG 500 Kick-Off roll out their single-day events.
the final week is what WSOP.com is calling its first-ever “Championship Week”
There is no “Main Event” of the WSOP Online 2021, per se, but the final week is what WSOP.com is calling its first-ever “Championship Week.” The highlight would appear to be the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship, which is likely what people will consider the Main Event. Four other championship events will run the week of July 26, including Pot-Limit Omaha, a No-Limit Hold’em High Roller, Turbo Deepstack, and Six-Max.
The WSOP Online 2021 concludes with the No-Limit Hold’em Grand Finale, a $500 buy-in bookend to The BIG 500 Kick-Off that leads the schedule. Most of the buy-ins are less than $1,000, with the overall range spanning $333 to $7,777.
“Poker deserves a big finish to 2021 and we’re looking to heat things up this summer,” said WSOP executive director Ty Stewart in Thursday’s press release.
Live WSOP delayed until the fall
The WSOP Online 2021 comes two weeks after the release of initial details for the upcoming, live World Series of Poker at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The WSOP is usually held from the end of May to the middle of July, but this year, the Series is slated for two months in the fall, September 30 through November 23.
The reason for the schedule change should be obvious: we are still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Though things are significantly better than they were at the beginning of the year thanks largely to increased vaccinations throughout the United States, there is still a long way to go to get back to normal. Pushing the WSOP back gives more people time to get the vaccine and gives tournament organizers more time to work with the Nevada Department of Health and state gaming regulators on how to best throw the world’s largest poker festival.
Another difference in this year’s WSOP is that the $10,000 Main Event will have four starting flights, rather than the three that we have seen for the last many years. The Main Event is scheduled to run November 4 through November 17.
One new tournament that has already been announced is a $5m guaranteed No-Limit Hold’em charity tournament dubbed “The Reunion,” which will benefit frontline healthcare workers.
WSOP Online 2020 was a success
There have been online WSOP bracelet events for a number of years, but last year was the first time for such a broad, online schedule, a necessary change because of the pandemic. The WSOP Online was on both WSOP.com and GGPoker to accommodate players in the US and around the rest of the world. The “domestic” side in the US was similar to what it will be this year, with one tournament each day of July.
GGPoker hosted 54 bracelet events, building nearly $150m in prize pools. The $27.5m prize pool for the WSOP Online Main Event was recognized by Guinness World Records as the largest online poker tournament prize pool in history. WSOP officials will release the schedule for the international segment of WSOP Online 2021, presumably at GGPoker, in a few weeks.
In addition to last summer’s WSOP Online, the World Series of Poker held what it considered the “official” $10,000 WSOP Main Event at the end of 2020, surprising the poker world with its November announcement. It was a hybrid online/live tournament, mostly played on both WSOP.com and GGPoker (again, the US/international split). When each portion got down to the final table, they paused and then played it out live. The winner of each bracket then met at the Rio in Las Vegas to duke it out heads-up for the championship plus an additional $1m on top of whatever they had already won. In the end, Damian Salas defeated Joseph Hebert for the bracelet.