2016 World Series Of Poker Begins In Las Vegas

Posted on: May 31, 2016, 01:58h. 

Last updated on: May 31, 2016, 02:54h.

The 2016 World Series of Poker (WSOP) kicked off in Las Vegas today. Although public events won’t begin until June 2, the first of thousands of the world’s best poker players have begun their descent into Sin City from all around the globe.

Joe McKeehen 2015 WSOP Main Event champion
Joe McKeehen, who took down over $7.6 million for winning the WSOP Main Event in 2015, will be returning with a heftier bankroll to this year’s events.(Image: Reuters/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus )

The WSOP runs at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino from May 31 until July 18, with 69 bracelet events up for grabs.

As in previous years, the showpiece $10,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament pauses once nine players have been reached. The “November Nine” (which this year will start end of October to avoid conflict with the no-doubt-high-TV-ratings US presidential elections) will then reconvene to fight it out for the first prize and a place in history.

The Main Event, which runs from July 9 to 18, will now feature starting stacks of 50,000 chips, which also applies to all championship bracelet events.

Satellites Kick Off 2016 World Series

The WSOP is kicking off with live qualifiers in sections of the tournament arena, with players able to satellite their way into larger buy-in tournaments for cheap. “Daily Deepstacks” are also to be held most days, with $135, $185, and $235 freezeouts available for all players.

Following the customary Casino Employees Hold’em event (which carries a bracelet and is open to casino employees from around the world), the Series starts in earnest with the Colossus II on June 2.

In 2015, the inaugural Colossus introduced a $565-buyin tournament, which allowed players a re-entry across its six Day One flights. This year, a $7 million guarantee is attached to the tournament, and organizers will be hoping to best 2015’s turnout of over 22,000.

Online Mixed With Live Events

There are over half a dozen new tournaments gracing this year’s World Series of Poker, with many geared towards recreational players.

In the Series’ first week, the $1,000 ‘Top Up Turbo’ is a two-day No Limit Hold’em event that allows players to boost their stacks via $55 single-table satellites played online at WSOP.com. Nevada is now into its third year of legal online poker, and the WSOP organizers are obviously hoping to make the most of the state’s regulated Internet gambling.

Anyone who is in Nevada at the time of the tournament may play; players need not be actual residents.

Recreational Pot Limit Omaha players can also get a taste of a WSOP bracelet without breaking the bank. Event #12 is a $565 PLO tournament that allows players a re-entry. Elsewhere, the $1,000 Tag Team event comes near the end of the WSOP and features teams of two to four players who take over stacks at the end of each blind level.

WSOP Highlights New Additions

Speaking to Casino.org, WSOP’s editor-in-chief Seth Palansky highlighted new schedule additions, including another new tournament played on June 20-24.

“[The] Summer Solstice event [Event 33] is a $1500 buy-in and the best-kept secret on the schedule,” Palansky said.”This event plays exactly like the Monster Stack, but instead of more starting chips, the levels are 90 minutes, instead of 60.

“This has the same effect as [having] more chips. It gives [players] plenty of time and plenty of play, where you can pick your spots, get to know the players around you and know one or two mistakes won’t cost you the tournament,” the WSOP exec added.

WSOP’s organizers have been listening to players’ grievances from last year. A ban on headphones during the money places has been lifted, and most bracelet and deep-stack tournaments will pay out 15 percent the field. The minimum payouts on most events are also up. Colossus II players will also make the cash before Day One has concluded.