We live in interesting times and the folks at the WSOP are rolling with the punches in our pandemic-stricken world. Welcome to the hybrid World Series of Poker Main Event, which starts out as an online tournament, morphs into a final table on two different continents, and will ultimately end as heads-up battle between the top American and top international player.
What was going to happen with the World Series of Poker? That was the thought on everyone's mind the last few weeks. The organizers initially postponed the WSOP and pushed it back to the fall, but there was not a peep from them since then. Word broke this week that the Rio Casino would reopen in December, but nothing about the WSOP.
On Friday morning, the news officially broke with a press release from the WSOP. The 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event Championship, with its $10,000 buy-in, will be played out and the ultimate champion will be awarded a bracelet. Of course, there's a little twist and a different path to the bling. Hey, we live in unusual times, so why not have an unusual path to the WSOP Main Event champion?
So, there's two ways to win the Main Event bracelet. If you live in the USA, you can play at WSOP.com (but only in legal jurisdictions like Nevada or New Jersey) and that's one conduit, while international poker players have a chance to qualify via GGPoker.
Players at WSOP.com will start on December 13 play down to a final table the next day. The live final table will commence on December 28 at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas to determine a winner. That player banks the top prize in that pool and becomes eligible to win another cool million plus the bracelet.
Players at GGPoker will start on November 29 online. On December 7, play down to a final table, which will then move to a live setting at the King's Casino in RozVegas on December 14.
Once there's a winner from each bracket, the two will square off at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas to determine the bracelet winner and the extra cash. That finale is set for Wednesday, December 30 at the Rio.
For more intel and details, head over to WSOP.
There's also COVID restrictions for final tables, so if you catch COVID and roll up to a final table, they will not let you participate and you finish with ninth place money. Ouch!
This solution sounds great in theory, but there's so many potential problems -- especially regarding traveling -- that can arise that this is a clusterf-ck waiting to happen. Let's hope it goes off without a hitch and everyone stays healthy. Best of luck!
2020 WSOP Main Event
Dates Domestic Tournament
- Day 1: Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020
- Day 2: Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, Play down to 9 players
- Final Table: Rio Casino in Las Vegas, Monday, Dec. 28, Play continues to a winner; prize monies paid
Dates International Tournament
- Day 1A: Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020
- Day 1B: Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020
- Day 1C: Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020
- Day 2: Monday, Dec. 7, Play down to 9 players
Heads-Up Championship of Domestic Winner vs International Winner:
- Wednesday, Dec. 30 - Rio Casino in Las Vegas