World Series of Poker continues to bolster its online presence
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WSOP Increases Number Of Online Bracelets Again, With Four Up For Grabs In 2018

WSOP online bracelet
There are 78 bracelet events on the 2018 World Series of Poker schedule, but only 74 of them will be won at the Rio in Las Vegas.

WSOP Nevada is giving away the other four via online events held throughout June. The brand’s online poker client has hosted online bracelet events each year since 2015.

Four online bracelets in 2018

All four online events are one-day events played entirely on WSOP.com. They each feature unlimited re-entry and should take around 12 hours (or so) to play from start to finish.

Here’s the schedule:

  • June 3 at 3:30 p.m.: Event #9: $365 No-limit Hold’em
  • June 22 at 3:30 p.m.: Event #47: $565 Pot-limit Omaha 6-Handed
  • June 29 at 3:30 p.m.: Event #61: $1,000 No-limit Hold’em
  • June 30 at 3:30 p.m.: Event #63: $3,200 High Roller

The four online events represent the most in the four years since their inception. They’re scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays, overlapping non-hold’em events and those with multiple starting flights.

Satellites start in February, and they’ve delivered players in the past. More than 1,000 live seats were awarded via online satellites last year.

History of WSOP.com online bracelet events

WSOP.com first hosted an online bracelet event in 2015. Anthony “casedismissed” Spinella won that inaugural $1,000 event, topping a field of 905 entries.

The event has reappeared on the calendar ever year since, and attendance has climbed each time. Last year’s event ended up with 1,312 entries.

“We attribute a lot of that [growth] to increased awareness,” WSOP’s head of online poker Bill Rini told Online Poker Report. “Obviously the WSOP at the Rio is the main attraction of the summer, but as players increasingly become familiar with the online offering, they are starting to view the online and offline as a more integrated schedule of events.”

In 2015 and 2016, the online events were paused at the final table, and the finalists were brought to the Rio to play it out in the live arena. That changed last year, when the events ran from start to finish on WSOP.com — truly online events.

Speaking of last year, 2017 was also the first with multiple online bracelet events. In addition to the $1k, WSOP.com ran a $333 event with more than 2,500 entries, plus a $3,333 High Roller with 424 entries.

Here are the numbers from the previous online bracelet events:

YearBuy-inEntriesPrize poolWinnerScreen name
2015$1,000905$859,750Anthony Spinellacasedismissed
2016$1,0001,247$1,184,650Clayton MaguireSLARKDUCK
2017$3332,509$752,700Joe Mitchellul_gg
$3,333424$1,335,600Tom CannuliFLOATZ
$1,0001,312$1,246,400Nipun JavaJavatinii

The rising participation is just part of the incentive for the WSOP to keep giving away online bracelets. To date, the events have generated more than $330,000 in combined rake (revenue) for the site.

Can players in other states play?

Nevada is one of four states with legal online poker, though Pennsylvania likely won’t launch until sometime later in 2018.

Thanks to an interstate agreement with New Jersey and Delaware, the three active states will eventually share player pools. At this point, though, it’s not clear if this will happen before the summer.

Rini has given the stiff arm on the issue so far, in talking with OPR:

“Although it’s still too early to determine one way or another whether or not interstate shared liquidity will be available before the WSOP, we should be able to make an announcement in a couple of months,” Rini offered.

“A couple of months” would be drawing down on the summer pretty hard. Whenever it does happen, though, Rini confirmed that players in the pooled states will have access to the online bracelet events:

“We fully anticipate NJ players being able to compete for WSOP bracelets,” Rini said. “It’s always been our desire to allow players to compete for WSOP bracelets on WSOP.com in any jurisdiction where it’s legal to do so. That’s why the interstate liquidity-sharing agreement is such a game changer.”

The agreement means that — at some point — someone not physically in Nevada will win one of the summer’s bracelets. But 2018 is no guarantee for this to happen.

 

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Eric Ramsey
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Eric is a freelance reporter and writer primarily covering the daily fantasy sports industry. He comes from a poker background, formerly on staff at PokerNews and the World Poker Tour.