[toc]The day is here, let poker players rejoice. The 2017 World Series of Poker (WSOP) is officially underway. Players are already flocking to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada to register for events, stake claim to a box, and scope out the home away from home for the next two months.
The start of the WSOP is exciting, but it can also be a little overwhelming. Rather than stumble around until you figure things out, we put together a little FAQ for those who want to try to and play, those who want to follow along, and those who want to pay a visit to poker Mecca sometime this summer.
How can I play a bracelet event on the cheap?
The Giant and Colossus
If you only want to put a couple hundred bucks down and try to win a bracelet, there might be no better year to do it.
First of all, there is a new record-low price point for bracelet events this year. The $365 buy-in Giant event is a small buy-in, but a big bang for buck. The event runs a new flight every Friday, starting June 9. Each of the five starting flights starts at 7 p.m., then they gather under one roof for Day 2 on Saturday, July 8. It is an unlimited re-entry event.
Of course, the Colossus is back for a third year. The $565 buy-in event is days away, with the first of six flights kicking off on Friday. The tournament generated a massive prizepool last year. This year, first place is once again earning a million-dollar payday.
$333 online bracelet
This Saturday, the other $300 buy-in bracelet event will get underway, and you can participate from the comfort of your couch. This year, the WSOP expanded from one to three online bracelet events. The first one undercuts even The Giant on price point. This $333 buy-in online bracelet event runs Saturday, June 2 at 3:33 p.m. The entire event plays out over the course of one day.
The popular Millionaire Maker and Monster Stack tournaments are back this year. They cost you a little more than Colossus, but thanks to WSOP.com, you can win your way in on the cheap.
There are satellites running nightly, including the popular tournaments where you can win your way into a $1,000 event. This weekend, there are also two big mega satellites running.
On Friday, June 2 at 5:00 p.m. there will be a $22 buy-in mega satellite for the $333 online bracelet event. This mega guarantees 33 seats.
The following day at 5:00 p.m., there will be another $22 buy-in mega satellite, but this one will be for Colossus and guarantees 22 seats.
The satellites are just part of a massive summer schedule on WSOP.com. The self-proclaimed Summer Grind Tour features $2.5 million in guarantees. More than just satellites, the schedule offers an online tournament series as well. The online summer schedule is not quite as big as the live WSOP, but the online offerings are more lucrative than ever and not to be missed.
Can I register for events online?
Yes. You can even do so with a credit card. However, it is not exactly as simple as buying something on Amazon. If you wish to buy-in to a WSOP event online, first you need to open an account with Bravo Online. If you have ever been to the WSOP before, you might be familiar with Bravo. The company provides software that powers the tournament clocks and cash game lists at the Rio.
There is an instruction page to buy-in online. The good news is you can use a credit card to buy-in. In fact, you can register online up to the day before with a credit card. Once you register online, you still need to arrive at the Rio early and pick up your seat assignment to begin to play.
The bad news is, if you want to buy in via money order or cashier’s check, you’ll want to do so at least two weeks in advance in order to ensure your payment clears in time.
Of course, the standard buy-in options are still available at the cage at the Rio. If you choose that option, the credit card is off the table.
Is there a stream of every event?
In past years, WSOP produced its own livestreams of preliminary events on WSOP.com. This year, though, PokerCentral obtained the rights to streaming. The company recently launched its own streaming app, PokerGO. The app is subscription-based. It runs $10/month or $99 for the year.
Be warned though, it appears PokerGO is only streaming some of the events, not all of them. Kevin Mathers, the WSOP social media point person, Tweeted out a schedule of the first few events PokerGo plans on covering:
The @PokerGO WSOP streaming schedule (so far):
1Drop HR (2-4)
10k HU (1-3)
1.5k NL 6-Max (FT)
Milly Maker (FT)
3K NL 6-Max (FT)
— Kevin Mathers (@Kevmath) May 30, 2017
The site also said it plans to cover the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. final table. That is the only non-hold’em event on the schedule so far. The numbers next to the One Drop High Roller and $10,000 Heads-Up event indicate multiple days of coverage, which is new this year.
Where can I find live updates?
After two years of handling the task in house, WSOP is letting PokerNews take the reigns again on the live updates front. The site will be on hand for every event. You can follow along on PokerNews, but the updates will again be available on WSOP.com as well.
When is the Main Event?
The preliminary bracelet events got started on Wednesday, but you will have to wait a little while longer for the biggest tournament of the year to kick off. The $10,000 buy-in Main Event starts on Saturday, July 8 with the first of three starting flights. The field will get down to a final table on Monday, July 17.
There will be a break after that, but instead of a couple of months, it will only be a couple of days. The “No longer November Nine have 48 hours to relax, then cards are back in the air on Thursday, July 20, with three days of final table action. ESPN did away with the delayed final table format this year. As a result, the TV viewers at home get to watch the entirety of the Main Event on ESPN with same-day coverage on a 30-minute delay. The filming begins on Day 1 and continues until there is just one left on Saturday, July 22.
If I decide to go to the Rio, what should I know?
Business is mostly as usual at the WSOP’s home in the Rio Convention Center, but there are a few changes worth highlighting:
- The feature table is now in Brasilia. If you’re looking to sweat a final table, the Amazon Room is no longer the destination.
- You might want to pack a snack. The Poker Kitchen is gone this year. Though there are still grab and go options, All-American Dave, and hot dog carts roving the Rio, the food options are a little more limited than in years past.
- There is no more WSOP valet. The parking changes in Vegas did impact the Rio a bit. While you don’t have to pay to park, those expecting to valet their car by the convention center entrance will be sorely disappointed.