No sooner is the WSOP Online over than a new one begins. GGPoker announced the full slate of 33 bracelet events to be held online starting on August 1, 2021. The GGPoker leg of the WSOP Online—in contrast to the WSOP.com leg—will be available internationally.
The WSOP.com leg of the online series is currently running. It began on July 1 and runs until August 1. It is only available to residents of Nevada and New Jersey. The GGPoker event takes over as soon as WSOP.com leaves off.
“World Series of Poker is proud to partner once again with GGPoker to allow players throughout the globe compete for WSOP glory,” Ty Stewart, the WSOP Executive Director, said in a press release. “It’ll be the closest thing to the live WSOP tournament experience outside of Vegas!”
Buy-ins for the GGPoker leg range from $50 (Event #1: The Return) to $25,000 (Event #21: Super High Roller Championship). There will be a $5,000 main event (Event #27: MAIN EVENT Online Championship), which comes with a $20 million guarantee.
Key final tables will be broadcast online with Norman Chad and Lon McEachern doing the commentary. Other highlights of the schedule include short deck, pot-limit Omaha, limit Texas hold ’em, and heads-up NLH championships. The schedule remains decidedly short of non-hold’em events and contains zero non-flop games. Both of these issues were features of last year’s online WSOP too.
Satellites are already underway for many of the events. GGPoker announced the schedule in a tweet reading: “#WSOP 2021 STARTS HERE.”
Many players are temporarily holed up in Nevada so as to be able to play the WSOP Online on WSOPC.com. These same players will all have to move outside the states to get onto GGPoker, as GG does not serve the U.S. yet.
European players have no such issue. “Retired” player Fedor Holz who announced that he will definitely be playing. “The schedule for WSOP Online is out and I’ll be back in the mix,” he wrote.
Holz is part of the GGPoker machine.
Daniel Negreanu is also part of the GGPoker juggernaut. GGPoker’s marketing department would have you believe Negreanu said, “After making history last year, WSOP Online opens up to the international poker community again this August and September. I’m ready to join tens of thousands of poker players from all over the world at the tables, all of us aiming to take down one of those thirty-three gold bracelets!”
Even if he is having words put in his mouth by the GGPoker marketing team, he almost certainly will be playing the online events.
These various bracelet legs of the WSOP have garnered a certain amount of criticism. I wrote earlier in the year about the WSOP’s problem with bracelet fatigue. Instead of trying to fix the issue, the WSOP has doubled down, inflating the number of bracelets even further with multiple online series as well as the live event in the fall.
There will be 88 bracelets at the live WSOP in Vegas. The WSOP.com and GGPoker series will award 33 each. That’s 154 bracelets. In 2019 there were 90. At least the online legs won’t involve too many harrowed dealers.
“Anyone know how many WSOP main event champions we’re expecting this year?” wrote Chris Kruk on Twitter. “Gotta be at least 4-5 right? An online, a live, a GG, a GG/kings colab. Hopefully, this accelerates us toward a place where people understand these bracelet metrics are worthless.”
Jason Koon agreed, replying to Kruk: “I said something about this 6 months ago and received death threats.”
Then again, we missed a year last year. Perhaps, this is just the WSOP playing catch-up, and 2022 will be back to business as usual. GGPoker could prove a hard gob of toothpaste to get back in the tube though.
Featured image source: Flickr by Gordon Ednie