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Despite having begun as an experiment in response to the pandemic, the World Series of Poker’s Online Circuit Series appears to be here to stay.
Now in its third year, the 2022 edition of the series kicked off with an event in January. While similar to last year’s Winter Online Super Circuit for Nevada and New Jersey, it advertised a slightly smaller guaranteed prize pool of just over $1 million compared to last year’s $1.5 million. However, the series did open in Pennsylvania for the first time, offering an event with a $500,000 guarantee.
This weekend, the series continues with a second WSOP Online Circuit Event, running Feb. 18 to March 1 in all three states. The February event will feature a total guaranteed prize pool of $1.1 million in NV/NJ and $510,000 in PA. As usual for events in this series, it is comprised of 12 tournaments with each awarding the winner a WSOP Gold Ring along with the prize money.
In addition, all tournament winners from these online circuit events will gain entry to a Tournament of Champions $1 Million Freeroll. This invitation-only event will also host winners of 2022 WSOP Bracelet events and in-person circuit events. That field of 2022 winners will then compete for a WSOP bracelet and a share of that $1 million during the 2022 WSOP.
After crushing its guarantees in 2020 and repeating the winning formula in 2021, it’s not surprising that the WSOP Online Circuit is back this year. What’s surprising is that WSOP has not released its Online Circuit schedule beyond this second event of 2022.
Given its plans for an end-of-year freeroll and the past popularity of its Online Circuit events, we expect that WSOP will end up hosting a full slate of them this year. For now, the missing schedule could be explained by WSOP’s renewed focus on its in-person circuit events. Late last year, the live events returned for a full 2021-2022 season after an 18-month hiatus.
Since many of live and online events run concurrently, it’s possible that WSOP is waiting to see if that zaps some energy from the online series. Either way, let’s take a closer look at what players can be excited for this month.
With many of the same tournaments and guarantees, this month’s WSOP Online Circuit Series stop is remarkably similar to the same event from a year ago. Meanwhile, for PA players, the schedule is new for February but nearly identical to what they saw last month.
For NV/NJ, buy-ins range from $215 to the $2,000 Super High Roller, which caps off the event on March 1. The event also features two other high roller events, a $1,000 6-Max and the $525 Main Event. Guarantees for those two weigh in at $100,000 and $250,000, respectively.
Like last year, there is a nice mix of structures and starting stack sizes. Some highlights include the $215 Monster Stack (which cost $525 to enter last year) and returning events like the $215 Turbo Deep Stack and $320 Double Stack. Also keeping in step with the 2021 version, there is just one non-Hold’Em tournament, the PLO Big $500 on Feb. 28.
The Super High Roller is the most notable addition to the schedule compared to last year. With a hefty $100,000 guarantee and a likely small field, it should attract plenty of pros gunning for a ring.
With it being a newer and smaller market for WSOP.com, PA’s event features more affordable buy-ins. They range from $109 to $1,000, but there are only two events priced at $500 or more. Technically speaking, there is just one high roller, the $1,000 6-Max that comes with a $100,000 guarantee. Other notable tournaments include the $215 Main Event and the Big $500 event finale, with $100,000 and $40,000 guarantees, respectively.
Like the event in NV/NJ, PA players also get one Omaha event, the $320 PLO 6-Max with a $20,000 guarantee. However, to differentiate itself, the PA event has two progressive knock-out tournaments, including a $109 NLHE PKO on Feb. 28.
WSOP won’t be the only option players have for a late-February tournament series. BetMGM is also offering a tournament series beginning this weekend. The company is rolling out Bounty Blitz Poker Fest, which runs Sunday, Feb. 20 to Feb. 27.
Available to players in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan, the bounty-themed series features 24 tournaments over the eight days. Events in each state are offering a total guaranteed prize pool of $200,000 and three tournaments each day. Buy-ins range from $35 to $1,000, while bounties range from $10 to $500.
While the event will likely be overshadowed by the WSOP circuit event, it may be doing enough to stand out. The popular knockout format will certainly draw a certain tournament player niche, while the volume of games and the low buy-ins should be appealing to a broader group of casual players. Throw in the fact that the Bounty Blitz Poker Fest is the only online tournament series open to Michigan this weekend, and you could have a winning strategy for BetMGM.
“Bounty Blitz puts one of the most entertaining formats in poker in the spotlight for an entire series,” said Luke Staudenmaier, Director of Poker, BetMGM, via press release. “We’re excited to follow-up the New Year Knockout Weekend with even more bounty-centric events at additional, accessible price points.”
Looking for the schedule? Here’s the event lineup for WSOP Online Circuit Series (Feb. 2022 Edition) in your state.
|1||Feb. 18||Big 500 Kickoff||$500||$50k|
|2||Feb. 19||2x Re-entry||$320||$100k|
|3||Feb. 20||Monster Stack||$215||$125k|
|5||Feb. 22||High Roller||$1,000||$100k|
|6||Feb. 23||6-Max 2x Re-entry||$320||$75k|
|7||Feb. 24||Knockout Freezeout||$320||$50k|
|8||Feb. 25||Turbo Deepstack||$215||$50k|
|9||Feb. 26||Double Stack||$320||$100k|
|10||Feb. 27||Main Event||$525||$250k|
|11||Feb. 28||PLO Big 500||$500||$50k|
|12||Mar. 1||Super High Roller||$2,000||$100k|
|1||Feb. 18||Turbo Deepstack||$215||$40k|
|2||Feb. 19||Monster Stack||$109||$30k|
|3||Feb. 20||Sunday Special||$215||$75k|
|5||Feb. 22||High Roller||$1,000||$50k|
|6||Feb. 23||PLO 6-Max||$320||$20k|
|7||Feb. 24||Progressive Knockout||$215||$40k|
|8||Feb. 25||Freezeout 6-Max||$215||$25k|
|9||Feb. 26||Monster Stack||$215||$40k|
|10||Feb. 27||Main Event||$215||$100k|
|11||Feb. 28||Progressive Knockout||$109||$25k|
|12||Mar. 1||Big 500||$500||$40k|