WSOP Beyond Vegas: What Other World Series Events Are There?
When talking about the World Series of Poker, most people refer to the yearly festival taking place in Las Vegas. With the Main Event as an unofficial world championship of poker, the series is definitely WSOP’s biggest asset.
However, it’s not the only one.
There are several other regular series taking place under the World Series of Poker umbrella.
This article will explain what these are, how they’re organized, and why you might be interested in getting involved.
Depending on where you live, there are enough World Series events to pretty much fill up your entire schedule if you’re a tournament grinder.
Of course, different events have different buy-ins and prize pools, so not all of them are equally appealing to all players.
World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE)
The World Series of Poker has been taking place regularly in Las Vegas since 1970. For many players and fans of the game, playing in the WSOP at least once is a dream.
However, the logistics of organizing a trip to the United States and all the extra expenses for someone living in Europe often make this dream quite distant.
With this in mind, and also looking to strengthen the WSOP brand, organizers have come up with the idea of the World Series of Poker Europe – or WSOPE for short.
The very first iteration of the WSOPE took place in 2007 in London.
In addition to the £10,000 Main Event, the first-ever WSOPE featured only two side events – one PLO tournament and one HORSE match.
That first Main Event in Europe was won by the young poker star Annette Obrestad, just one day before her 19th birthday.
From the UK, the WSOPE moved to Cannes, France, staying there for a few years. Then, in 2015, it took place in Berlin, Germany, followed by a gap year in 2016.
Finally, in 2017, the WSOPE found a new home at King Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, and they seem to be a likely partner for the future.
The whole idea behind the WSOPE was to give players in Europe a chance to compete in bracelet-awarding events, but the series has never picked up as much traction as its Las Vegas counterpart.
Still, organizers have kept the ball rolling every year since 2007, adding more and more events to the schedule.
The last WSOPE took place in 2019 in King’s Casino in Rozvadov and featured 15 bracelet events. There was no 2020 series, of course, as it was canceled due to Coronavirus concerns.
The WSOPE is basically an extension of the World Series, and if you want to try your hand at winning a bracelet but don’t feel like flying halfway across the world, this is an excellent alternative.
The Main Event costs €10,000 to enter, while buy-ins for side events are quite similar to those found in Las Vegas, usually in the €1,000 – €5,000 range.
It is worth mentioning that average fields are much smaller, rarely breaking the 1,000-players mark.
For comparison purposes, the 2019 Main Event in Las Vegas attracted 8,569 players, and the eventual winner walked away with $10,000,000 for his efforts.
The 2019 Main Event in Europe saw 541 entries, and the winner took home just over €1.1 million.
WSOPE tournaments attract many experienced professionals, especially since these events count towards the Player of the Year rankings.
It’s definitely not the softest tournament series out there, and it’s much tougher than the original WSOP, which continues to attract many recreational players who come for the experience.
WSOPE will be held at King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, from November 19 to December 8 this year. There will be 15 WSOP gold bracelet events and over €11 million up for grabs in prize pools.
So, if you feel like some year-end tournament action, circle this date on your calendar and start making plans.
The World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC)
The World Series of Poker Circuit, or WSOPC, is a year-long tournament series taking place at different locations across the United States and Europe.
Instead of bracelets, players compete for WSOPC rings, and winners of individual Main Events come together in the final tournament to compete for a big prize pool and prestige.
WSOP Circuit kicked off in January of 2005 with a grand total of five events taking place in several casinos in the US, including Rio and Harrah’s Atlantic City.
For the first few seasons, players had to pay $10,000 for Circuit Main Events, but later on, the buy-in was reduced significantly, and it’s usually $1,625 these days.
In 2015, WSOPC expanded beyond US soil, with the launch of the International Circuit, adding events in Europe, Africa, Canada, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America.
This was a very significant development, as more players worldwide were given an opportunity to join the action and compete for the rings.
As of the time of writing this article, WSOPC includes numerous venues in the United States and around the globe, such as:
- Foxwoods in Connecticut
- Potawatomi Hotel and Casino in Milwaukie
- Seminole Casino in Florida
- Playground Poker Club in Canada
- Horseshoe Southern Indiana
- The Star Casino in Sydney, Australia
- Bicycle Casino in LA
- Hard Rock Tulsa
- King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic
- … and more!
On top of these, there are also online WSOPC events on GGPoker and WSOP.com.
The number of these has been significantly increased in the recent period, as live poker was pretty much on pause for a long time.
Results from all tournaments are tracked for the purposes of qualifying for the WSOP Global Casino Championship. This is the final yearly tournament where 100 players can get their seats by invitation.
To qualify, you need to meet one of the following criteria:
- Win at least one WSOPC ring that season
- Have a high enough points score to qualify for one of the remaining seats
WSOP Circuit tournaments represent a great addition to the WSOP brand and an excellent opportunity for those serious about playing tournament poker but not quite bankrolled for the main stage.
Buy-ins are much more affordable, and there are plenty of tournaments throughout the year, especially for those living in the United States. These can help players build their bankrolls and hone their skills for bigger challenges in the future.
You should know that the Circuit is filled with good players.
Although there will always be some casuals in the field, there are many very good regs who grind these events full-time, and their results more than show it.
Currently, the player holding the most rings is Maurice Hawkins. He has 14 of them in total and has amassed $2,000,000 in winnings from WSOPC alone.
WSOP Asia Pacific
The successful debut of the WSOPE inspired organizers to try and do the same thing in a different part of the world.
So in 2013, the WSOP Asia Pacific was launched. However, unlike WSOPE, this one was short-lived.
The event took place in 2013 and 2014, both times at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia.
The 2013 iteration of WSOP Asia Pacific had a total of five bracelet events. The Main Event featured a buy-in of AU$10,000, and it was won by non-other than Daniel “KidPoker” Negreanu.
The Canadian triumphed in a 405-player field, earning just over AU$1,000,000 for his performance.
Simultaneously, there was the Caesars Cup running as well as a special high roller tournament. These weren’t officially part of the WSOP and didn’t award any bracelets, but they helped generate some more action and keep the players busy.
The WSOP returned to Australia in 2014, and the number of events on the schedule was doubled.
However, the Main Event saw a significant drop in interest, as only 329 players registered. Scott Davies, the winner, earned AU$850,000.
The organizers had the idea that they would rotate between WSOPE and WSOP APAC, so one year the international leg of the event would take place in Europe, followed by the Asia Pacific region. Because of this, there was no WSOPE event.
However, this idea was quickly abandoned.
The WSOP never really had much to say on the topic. In 2015, the international leg came back to Europe (as was planned), but then it just stayed there. There were no further attempts at organizing WSOP in Asia.
Of course, this isn’t to say that the WSOP won’t revisit the idea moving forward. There are many factors at play, but there may be some new attempts at running bracelet-awarding tournaments in the Asia Pacific region.
Plenty Of WSOP-Powered Poker Action To Go Around
As you can see from this article, there’s much more tournament action powered by one of poker’s most renowned brands than just the Las Vegas Series.
To avoid any confusion, all of these tournaments are completely open, so as long as you can pay the buy-in, you’re welcome to join the action.
Just like the original WSOP, these tournaments offer opportunities for anyone who thinks they have what it takes.
As a final note, with the WSOP now significantly expanding its presence in the online world through WSOP.com and via a partnership with GGPoker, you should be able to qualify for many of these events online as well, which is a rather appealing and cost-effective proposition.
Lead image: King’s Casino