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The World Series of Poker is putting some much-needed effort into its online poker offerings these days. Having awarded a record four online bracelets and the first online Circuit rings this year, the site is preparing to run its first WSOP-branded online series.
The inaugural WSOP Online Circuit runs from Sept. 18-30, featuring 13 events, 13 gold rings and more than $700,000 in guaranteed prize pools. Thanks to the multi-state poker agreement, players from both Nevada and New Jersey will compete alongside each other at the virtual tables.
The events all carry buy-ins between $200 and $1,000, though that upper number is reserved for the High Roller on Sept. 25. The majority of events cost either $215 or $320 to enter.
A glance through the schedule reveals a few other transplants from the live Circuit series. A $320 Monster Stack, for example, carries a $100,000 guarantee, the second-largest prize pool of the series. Players will begin with 20,000 chips, and levels are 12 minutes apiece.
As with its land-based counterpart, the Main Event will cap off the Online Circuit on closing day. While the live event carries a buy-in of $1,700, the online main costs a reasonable $525 to enter. It carries a $200,000 guarantee, boasting 15,000-chip stacks and 15-minute levels.
The majority of events allow unlimited rebuys, though a few (the Main Event and High Roller, most notably) only allow a maximum of four. A $215 Pot-Limit Omaha event represents the lone non-hold’em event on the schedule.
The series also awards points toward the Global Casino Championship on the WSOP Circuit’s season-long leaderboard.
Slowly but surely, the WSOP has worked to expand its online offerings over the past few years. It helps to have a self-branded online poker client, of course, and its world-class live events transition nicely into the virtual realm.
WSOP NV awarded its first-ever online bracelet back in 2015, and the $1,000 event has remained on the calendar each year since. There were a record four online events in 2018, setting new high-water marks for attendance and prizes. The multi-state agreement with NJ even allowed a player outside of Nevada to win a bracelet for the first time.
More recently, the WSOP Circuit has begun to establish its own online footprint.
The traveling tour awarded its first online ring in February, alongside a live series at Rio Las Vegas. Oddly enough, that event was won by the same player who won the inaugural online bracelet in 2015, Anthony “casedismised” Spinella. A month later, the Circuit gave away a second online ring and the first in New Jersey during its stop at Harrah’s Atlantic City.
The brief history of WSOP online events is trending sharply positive, showing consistent growth since inception. The recent addition of New Jersey players makes the product even more appealing, and additional states (like Pennsylvania) will almost certainly join the pool in time.
This Online Circuit venture seems to represent another step forward for the brand, with an entire WSOP festival set to run electronically for the first time.