On February 15, World Series of Poker (WSOP) Director Gregory Chochon was a guest on the French poker podcast the RMC Poker Show. While speaking about upcoming 2016 WSOP events, Chochon mentioned that a team tournament may be in the works for this summer, breaking news of such an event for the first time.
Details are still sparse but what we do know (assuming Chochon’s details are correct) is that teams will have two to four players, and the buy-in will be $1,000 per team.
While many poker media websites seem to be reporting that the event buy-in will be $1,000 per team member, a translation of the podcast’s summary explicitly states:
“The tournament will cost only $1,000 (making the buy-in the most accessible of the World Series if it is divided between two, three or four players).”
The cost of entry being associated with each team makes far more sense logistically as well. If teams can be different sizes, it’s tough to envision a system to fairly divide prize money if teams pay different entry fees.
WSOP Mixed Doubles history
The first team event ever scheduled at WSOP was 33 years ago in 1979. The team event back then was called Mixed Doubles, the game choice was seven-card stud, and there was a $600 buy-in. As is the case with mixed doubles events in tennis (which is where they got the name), teams were made up of one male and one female player.
During the first year of Mixed Doubles, Doyle Brunson teamed up with Starla Brodie, who finished in 2nd place in the Ladies Event at the World Series the previous year, to win the event which awarded a $4,500 prize. Another notable winner of the event is author and poker player David Sklansky, who paired with Dani Kelly to win it in 1982.
Although Chochon didn’t suggest the upcoming team event would be mixed doubles, a team event may still increase participation among females who might not typically be comfortable entering an open WSOP event.
After word of the team event got out, Alexandre Dreyfus of the Global Poker Index tweeted his excitement for the team event. Dreyfus’ own Global Poker League will also feature team play, and the WSOP event could help legitimize his concept for the league.
— Alexandre Dreyfus (@alex_dreyfus) February 15, 2016
WSOP NV online qualifiers are expected to begin soon
Although they are not available quite yet, one of the best ways to qualify for a World Series of Poker event is through feeders available on WSOP.com. Last year, steps were available costing as little as $1.
Extremely low buy-ins can, after making it through a few rounds of steps, turn into seats for cheaper buy-in WSOP events or even the Main Event, the most prestigious event in poker.
Last year’s WSOP Main Event was won by Joe McKeehen, a twenty-four-year-old professional poker player from Pennsylvania. McKeehen’s first place finish was worth $7,689,346.
In 2015, WSOP.com offered ways to win seats to each of the following events through step tournaments, satellites, or freerolls:
- The Main Event ($10,000 buy-in)
- The Ladies Championship ($1,000 buy-in)
- The Little One For One Drop ($1,111 buy-in)
- Any $1,500 buy-in of your choosing