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2018 has been a year of massive wins and an ambitious run of tournaments as far as the World Series of Poker is concerned. The richest sporting event in the world and the longest running poker series attracted thousands of players from all over the globe from May 29 to July 17 this year, rewarding 78 bracelets in all!
While Caesars Interactive Entertainment is yet to come out with the complete schedule of events for WSOP 2019, it yesterday announced the official dates for the upcoming series along with details of seven marquee events that will be part of the schedule.
The historic poker festival will be returning on May 30 and continue all the way till July 16, 2019, at its usual venue, the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Apart from offering the standard roster of events that is expected to feature a total prize pool guarantee of over $200 Million, the series will play host to a new edition, a rake-free $500 buy-in $5 Million guaranteed event in celebration of its 50th anniversary.
The mega festival will be aired exclusively on PokerGO and ESPN, from July 3-16.
“There are a lot of exciting changes in store. We’re still working through a lot of it actually, and plan to continually announce updates as things get solidified. But with this being our 50th WSOP, we have some fun things in store,” said Vice President of Corporate Communications at WSOP, Seth Palansky.
“All that said, the WSOP will stay true to the WSOP. All variants of poker on the schedule, all buy-in levels and big prize pools. We are excited to celebrate poker and our 50th in 2019. If there is one main one, it is value. We hear the cries for more value and we are hard at work to deliver that more effectively this year,” he added.
“Another one is reentries/unlimited reentries. Trying to make sure more events are freezeouts and to use single reentry more often than unlimited,” Palansky said.
For Team India, WSOP 2018 was groundbreaking in more ways than one. With the largest-ever-Indian contingent reaching Las Vegas to attend the prestigious poker festival, the outing truly put India on the global poker map. Given the steady rise in the popularity of the game in India, we can look forward to a bigger and stronger representation for Team India next year!
With 2019 marking the 50th year of running of the popular WSOP banner, WSOP 2019 is going to have the extra glamour and glitter, with special events being included in the schedule.
Headlining the special events list is the Big 50 No-Limit Hold ‘em that will kick off on May 30 with four starting flights. The ‘golden event’ has a buy-in of $500 and will be rake-free for all initial entries.
“We’re excited to commence our golden event,” WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart said. “We expect our opening weekend Big 50 event to be one of the largest in our history, and certainly one of the best value tournaments ever offered. This is part of our concerted plans to make the 2019 WSOP a better value all-around.”
The Big 50 also features a starting stack of 50,000, 50-minute levels and a $5 Million prize pool guarantee. Although not the Millionaire Maker event on the WSOP roster, the event guarantees the winner $1 Million in prize money and allows players to re-enter once per flight.
Dates for several popular events including the $1,500 Millionaire Maker NLHE guaranteeing $1 Million prize to the winner, and the 50-plus Seniors NLHE have also been announced. The two starting flights of the Millionaire Maker will be hosted on June 7 and 8 respectively, with one re-entry allowed per flight and all players starting with a 25,000 stack. The Seniors NLHE allows only one re-entry and kicks off on June 13.
The Double Stack NLHE starting flights will take place on June 14 and June 15 with single re-entry allowed each day, while the Monster Stack NLHE has starting flights scheduled on June 21-22.
The ever-popular $888 buy-in Crazy Eight’s NLHE kicks off with starting flights on June 28-30 with unlimited re-entries and guarantees a top prize of $888,888.
The biggest and most awaited event on the annual WSOP calendar is the $10,000 Main Event Championship that is slated to begin on July 3 with the first of three flights. True to it`s heritage as the biggest and most prestigious poker tournament in the world, the event will once again be a freezeout tournament with all players starting with60,000 in chips.
Players in New Jersey and Nevada will be able to participate in the various satellites running on WSOP.com’s real money online poker site and win seats into WSOP events along with taking part in the online bracelet events at the series. For the fifth year in a row, 888Poker remains the WSOP international online poker partner, offering low-cost satellites and packages for WSOP 2019.
Also marking the 50th anniversary will be a celebratory gala and awards evening on June 29.
The 49th annual WSOP played out a 78 strong roster of events and introduced several new events, while doing away with the November Nine concept, where the nine-handed Main Event final table played out in November each year.
The series also saw the return of the $1 Million Big One for One Drop to the WSOP schedule after a hiatus of four years, while the High Roller for One Drop event was replaced with $100,000 NLHE High Roller, and four different online tournaments were included in the schedule.
The series registered a record 123,865 entries, and the biggest ever prize pool of $266,889,193. Team India romped the show with a big turnout and commendable scores. Rubbing shoulders with accomplished players like WSOP bracelet winner Aditya Sushant, India’s poker veteran and Team PokerStars Pro Aditya ‘Intervention’ Agarwal, Raghav Bansal, Team PokerStars pro Muskan Sethi, Adda52 pro Kunal Patni and Nipun Java were a number of upcoming talents.
If Nikita Luther defended the title for Team India at the Tag Team event where she paired up with German pro Guiseppe Pantaleo, Agarwal posted the maximum scores by an Indian at the series, i.e. eight. Agarwal’s tally included his seventh Main Event score that took him closer to the world record of 10 Main Event cashes currently held by Berry Johnston.
Nishant Sharma and Vivek Rughani cracked the top 100-mark at the Main Event, with Sharma breaking into the top 50, with a 34th place finish, and Rughani finishing in 88th place. We also saw Kartik Ved score a 128th place finish in the Main Event while Indian challengers Kalyan Chakravarthy (DCPS $600 NLHE MonsterStack) and Yudhishter Jaswal (DCPS $1,600 NLHE Bounty) cashed in the big bucks at others events.
Paawan Bansal picked up the best score from the team with a runner-up finish in The Closer $1,500 NLHE (30 Min Levels) $1M GTD for $378,765 (~₹2.58 Crores).
According to the press release by WSOP, buy-ins at WSOP 2019 will start as low as $70 and the single table satellites will begin on May 28 alongside the events. Nearly 500 poker tables will be set up across more than 100,000 square feet of ballroom space, to accommodate the large numbers of players at the annual poker extravaganza.
The complete event-by-event schedule for WSOP 2019 is expected to be announced in the first quarter of 2019.