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2020 was a game changer for the gambling industry in a lot of ways, some positive and some negative. One major development was the World Series of Poker moving its events online.
The summer’s twin bracelet series – one on WSOP.com the other on GGPoker – was a massive, record-smashing success. By now, you’d be forgiven for having forgotten what came before. Prior to settling on that plan as a substitute for the traditional summer at the Rio All-Suites, WSOP first moved its Circuit events online as a test run of sorts.
That, too, proved immensely successful. So much so that WSOP has committed to repeating the experiment throughout 2021, even if the pandemic abates and the summer’s bracelet events can play out in person as usual.
The WSOP Online Circuit Series for 2021 will play out in 13 parts. The first dozen series are spaced at approximately one-month intervals, with a final single-day invitational to be held on December 28 to cap off the year.
Each individual series consists of at least 12 events, each awarding a gold Circuit ring to the winner. Each quarter, one series has been dubbed a Super Circuit Series, and with six additional events on the schedule. All twelve culminate in a $25,000 Circuit Stars invitational freeroll for the top performers.
Counting the invitationals, the total for the year will be 180 rings, which is fewer WSOP awarded in recent live seasons of the Circuit. On the other hand, if circumstances allow, we might see live Circuit stops resume alongside the online series.
Online ring events are an even more recent phenomenon for WSOP than online bracelets. The first online bracelet event took place in 2015, yet the first opportunity for players to win a ring in online play was in 2018, in New Jersey.
The first leg of the season is just about to get underway at 4 PM this afternoon for players in Nevada, 7 PM in New Jersey. This opening event is an 8-Max No-Limit Hold’em event with a $500 buy-in and up to three re-entries. It guarantees $75,000 in the prize pool, as well as the coveted ring.
This is also the Winter Super Circuit, so there are 18 events in total, running across as many days. It will conclude on January 31, leaving players a little over two weeks to rest before the next leg of the season. That one, called the Planet Hollywood Circuit, kicks off on February 17.
Below is the full schedule for the current leg. Details for the others will be released shortly before each leg begins.
|Jan 14||$500||NLHE BIG $500 Kick-Off 8-Max||3||$75k|
|Jan 15||$215||Limit O8 or Better 8-Max||3||$40k|
|Jan 16||$320||NLHE Double Stack||2||$100k|
|Jan 17||$215||NLHE Monster Stack||2||$125k|
|Jan 18||$250||NLHE Freezeout||0||$50k|
|Jan 19||$1,000||NLHE High Roller 6-Max||2||$100k|
|Jan 20||$500||PLO BIG $500 6-Max||2||$50k|
|Jan 22||$300||NLHE Knockout Freezeout||2||$50k|
|Jan 23||$320||NLHE Double Stack||0||$100k|
|Jan 24||$525||NLHE Monster Stack 8-Max||2||$150k|
|Jan 25||$215||NLHE Deep Turbo||3||$50k|
|Jan 26||$2,000||NLHE Super High Roller 6-Max||2||$100k|
|Jan 28||$320||NLHE 6-Max||2||$75k|
|Jan 29||$250||NLHE Turbo||2||$50k|
|Jan 30||$320||NLHE Double Stack||2||$100k|
|Jan 31||$525||NLHE Main Event 8-Max||3||$250k|
As mentioned, the legs of the series are spaced so as to make this a more or less monthly affair. The exact timing of each shifts around a bit, however. Aside from the four Super Series and the year-end Championship, each leg is named for a casino where WSOP traditionally hosts live Circuit stops.
Each leg also features some additional ways to win money and potentially an entry to the season finale.
A final table appearance or deep run in any ring event earns players points towards a monthly leaderboard. This uses the same system as the live Circuit, with 50 points for the winner down to 15 points for 9th, and 10 points for anyone in the top 20% of in-the-money players but not at the final table.
The prize is split between the top ten players on the leaderboard, and consists of tournament tickets rather than cash.
A few days after the end of each leg, WSOP will host a freeroll with an additional $25,000 up for grabs. All players who’ve won a ring during the corresponding leg receive an entry, as do all players who won a prize on the leaderboard. Naturally, each player can only win a single entry, so the total number of participants can vary.
Finally, anyone who played in at least four events in a single leg but did not win a ring or leaderboard prize can play a winner-take-all event held alongside the monthly freeroll. This has no cash prizes, but awards the winner an entry to the year-end Championship.
On December 28, the Circuit season will conclude with a special invitational Gold Bracelet event. Up to 256 players will participate, qualifying by one of the following methods:
The full calendar for the year is as follows:
|Jan 14-31||Winter Online Super Circuit||18||Feb 2|
|Feb 17-28||Planet Hollywood Circuit||12||Mar 2|
|Mar 19-30||Silver Legacy Circuit||12||Apr 1|
|Apr 10-27||Spring Online Super Circuit||18||Apr 29|
|May 8-25||Caesars A.C. Circuit||12||May 27|
|June 10-27||Summer Online Super Circuit||18||June 29|
|July 16-27||Bally's Circuit||12||July 29|
|Aug 20-31||Rio Circuit||12||Sep 2|
|Sep 15-26||Caesars L.V. Circuit||12||Sep 28|
|Oct 9-26||Fall Online Super Circuit||18||Oct 28|
|Nov 10-21||Paris Las Vegas Circuit||12||Nov 23|
|Dec 8-19||Harrah's L.V. Circuit||12||Dec 21|
|Dec 28||Year End Championship||N/A||N/A|