Christmas morning for poker fans! Or Hanukah morning for Jewish poker fans! The 2016 WSOP schedule has been released and it's like the entire poker world's head exploded. It's the moment everyone has been waiting for. Poker lovers couldn't wait to scan the new schedule to pick out events they want to play, while poker haters quickly dismissed the schedule and tore it apart. The 2016 WSOP starts on May 31 and runs through July 18.
Yes, the WSOP is less than 100 days away. That's the itching sensation you are feeling. It always flares up at this time of year. Everyone is itching to play poker in Vegas. This year's schedule added eight new bracelet events, so that makes a total of 69 bracelets that are up for grabs this summer. One of the biggest changes is also the most controversial and it involves the percentage of players getting paid out. Originally the number was 10% of a field was awarded a cut of the prize money but this year the number has been bumped to 15%.
Whether you think the WSOP is the greatest gift to the poker universe, or nothing more than an annual corporate cash grab… then the 2016 WSOP schedule seems to cater to both polarizing realms. Lots of juicy events from the standpoint of a pro's pro, especially with 10 championship caliber events. Plus there's a slew lower-buy in events on the weekends that will reel in a ton of fish. The dearth of weekend warrior-type events like Colossus will pump up lofty numbers that will keep the beancounters happy and give PR flacks plenty of ammo.
Yup, the WSOP is a cash grab….a gigantic one… why else would sane people venture out to the scorching desert in the middle of the summer unless there were millions of dollars at stake? The WSOP is what it is... but where else are you going to get a 7-week non-top stream donkeys, fish, wombats, and other lower forms of prey with deep pockets full of cash?
Some new things of note from the 2016 schedule:
- Main Event starting stack is now 50,000
- 10 Championship events
- 11am and 3pm start times moved up an hour (from noon and 4pm)
- Top-Up Turbo event allows players to get extra chips various ways
- $565 PLO running of the donkeys
- Tag-Team bracelet event with 2-4 person teams
- 50K Players Championship is 8-Game and 6-Handed
Yeah, someone is going to get trampled during a stampede of donkeys during the $565 PLO event. Plus the 50K Players Championship is slimmer and meaner than ever! The entire Players Championship was tweaked and instead of ten events, it's returning to the 8-game format (kiss Badugi and 2-7 Lowball goodbye!). The other adjustment to the 50K is that the format is now six-handed.