The annual WSOP in Las Vegas traditionally sees the other major rooms running parallel poker series. The likely final addition to that schedule was announced by the Aria:
“2021 Autumn at Aria tournament series,” tweeted Aria Director of Poker Operations Sean McCormack.
The fact that the Aria runs an autumn series rather than a fall one illustrates what a classy establishment the hotel-casino is. Historically in Vegas, the only property using British English was the Excalibur, as maidens in abysmal wimples drifted around saying “forsooth” in Australian accents.
The Aria announcement adds a budget-friendly series to the previously-announced high-roller events at the property in October and November. With the Orleans publishing its fall tournament series schedule yesterday, there are now five major series running parallel to the WSOP. The other three will be hosted at the Wynn, Venetian, and Golden Nugget.
A well-balanced schedule
Running from October 5 to November 6, the schedule feels like a genuine, self-contained poker series.
Notable features include a two-day, no-limit hold’em tournament that serves as a de facto main event. At an $1100 buy-in, but with a $160 super satellite the day before, the tournament is likely to attract a mix of recreational players and more seasoned pros.
The seniors (50+) get two bites at the cherry thanks to a pair of $600 buy-in tournaments, and enthusiasts of games other than hold’em have plenty of options. Omaha high-low is featured in both pot-limit and fixed-limit formats, along with two $470 PLO events.
Of particular note are the two H.O.R.S.E. tournaments, with the second two-day affair matching the highest buy-in of the series at $1100.
There has long been a sentiment among poker professionals that a true champion should exhibit greatness in multiple variants. Nothing illustrated this more clearly than the 2006 WSOP introduction of the $50k Poker Player’s Championship. Initially run as a H.O.R.S.E. tournament, the event subsequently expanded to an 8-game tournament, with a couple of years at 10-game.
Given that no members of poker’s old guard have won the WSOP Main Event for two decades (Carlos Mortensen, 2001, although he wasn’t old when he won it), one could argue that the elevation of the $50k Championship is a case of sour grapes. That said, it is pleasing to see Aria feature a mixed-games event so prominently on their schedule.
Late announcements convey industry jitters?
The announcements of fall poker series by the five rooms mentioned above have come much later than normal. The Orleans and Aria in particular have given poker players less than a month to plan.
This may reflect delayed decisions to run fall series at all, in light of continued concerns over the impact of COVID. Like conventions and festivals, the big poker rooms seem to be locking in these events as late as possible.
That this year’s WSOP will be accompanied by the usual poker series at the other major properties in Las Vegas could therefore be a positive sign, both for poker and for Nevada at large.
Featured image source: Twitter