The highly anticipated 2014 World Series of Poker tournament schedule was revealed on Tuesday and this year’s schedule not only featured a number of interesting changes but it also contained something we have never seen before; direct links to online satellites at WSOP.com.
As a poker lifer, it’s incredibly exciting to see online and live poker come together in this way, and I was thrilled to find that every event with an online satellite at WSOP.com is clearly marked on the schedule.
It would seem that we are truly entering a new age of poker.
The 2014 WSOP schedule
Before I get into the crux of this column (online satellites at WSOP.com), let’s take a look at some of the key aspects of the schedule itself.
- There will be 65 bracelet events at the 2014 World Series of Poker
- The $1,500 Millionaire Maker is back with its $1 million guarantee for first place
- There will be 10 “Championship” events (not including the Main Event) with $10,000 buy-ins
- The $1,000,000 buy-in Big One for One Drop is back after a scheduled one year hiatus
- The $1,111 Little One for One Drop will return for the second straight year
- The Main Event will feature a $10,000,000 Guarantee for first place
- Several scheduling tweaks have been made including expanded late registration
Why links to online satellites are a game changer
Even during the Poker Boom, when the WSOP and online poker had a very strong relationship, the official online schedule of events at the WSOP website never featured links directing players to online satellite tournaments for specific tournaments.
But now, thanks to legislation in Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey we have entered unchartered waters in what is possible between live and online poker, and getting a glimpse at the mutually beneficial relationship the two industries can form, and how a company like Caesars can play one off the other.
It should be pointed out that these online satellites are currently only available in Nevada and New Jersey, but think about the future potential for a moment?
Imagine a scenario where there is legal online poker in the United States (ok, quit smiling and daydreaming and get back to reading), where the WSOP.com online poker room is available to every aspiring poker player.
In this scenario, qualifying for the WSOP Main Event (or some other event on the schedule that tickles your fancy) is now incredibly simple, but more importantly, so is finding where you can qualify: It’s right there on the WSOP schedule!
What to expect this year
Even though it’s just Nevada and New Jersey offering satellites to the 2014 WSOP, I for one do not think that the number of qualifiers from the WSOP.com website will be negligible.
Not only will the two sites combine to send 100-150 players to the WSOP based on their current satellite schedules (which will likely pickup as the WSOP nears) but think about the around the clock satellites WSOP.com can offer in Nevada during the World Series of Poker tournament series?
Think about all of those poker players from around the globe in Nevada for weeks on end leading up to the Main Event; all wanting to play in the Main Event, but maybe not in the live satellites for whatever reason –price or simply because they are online players.
Well now, there is the WSOP.com online poker room, with around the clock direct entry satellites.
You can deposit by going to the casino cage and if you win an entry you can buy-in directly from your WSOP.com account instantaneously, with no hassle and no fuss –it couldn’t be simpler.
When all is said and done I wouldn’t be surprised if several hundred participants in the WSOP Main Event won their seat via a WSOP.com online satellite.
Maybe somebody named Carol Tournament winner can take home the title and kick start another Golden Age of poker bringing thousands of women into the game? A guy is allowed to dream right?