Online October: alternatives to the WSOP

Kat Martin
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Posted on September 29, 2021 9:31 pm EDT

Many poker players are currently converging on Las Vegas to participate in the 52nd annual WSOP. However, live poker is not everyone’s cup of tea. Moreover, international travel to the U.S. remains difficult from much of the world, due to Covid-related travel restrictions.

The easing of those travel restrictions in November may boost attendance at the WSOP Main Event, but the bulk of the series occurs in October. Below are some online options for both U.S.-based and international players, keen to play tournaments during the month.

Online tournament series in the U.S.

The main online competition in the U.S. to the live WSOP is provided by WSOP.com. While companies don’t usually compete with themselves, the current limitations of regulated poker in the U.S. justify this decision.

With the poker world focused on Las Vegas, WSOP.com can reasonably expect far higher demand than usual for their Nevada product. Indeed, many Nevada-based players have expressed to Poker.org their excitement at the prospect of much larger player pools for the next few weeks.

WSOP.com has two independent series in October and November. The first is simply called the “2021 World Series of Poker Online” and runs from October 3 through November 21. The schedule is interesting, with all tournaments being held on a Sunday.

In the early days of online poker, Sunday rapidly became the tournament highlight of the week, with major sites offering their largest buy-in weeklies. WSOP.com has continued that tradition in their regular scheduling, and further cemented it through the WSOP Online schedule.

The series is billed as “NV/NJ/PA.” Sadly for PA players, that designation is slightly misleading. The only tournament available (and exclusive) to Pennsylvania players is a $1k NLHE freeze-out on November 3. The remaining ten events require players to be in Nevada or New Jersey, and kick off with a $5,300 buy-in freeze-out on October 3.

On the other days of the week, WSOP.com is offering the Fall Online Super Circuit from October 9-26. The full schedule was not available at the time of writing, but we do know that 18 gold rings will be awarded to event winners.

For those of you wondering whatever happened to Intertops, they too are running a fall series. Thirty events will be held from September 30 to November 28, with a total guaranteed prize pool of $70k. Despite being dwarfed by WSOP.com’s offerings, that has not prevented Intertops from advertising the series as “one of the biggest online poker tournaments in North America.” This is technically true.

International online tournament series

Outside of the U.S., October online tournaments are dominated by PokerStars and their $30 million total guaranteed prize pool. The Bounty Builder Series runs from October 3-18 and manages to cram in no fewer than 208 tournaments over the two-week period.

As the name suggests, all the events are knock-out tournaments. This format has become increasingly popular over recent years, with the prize pool being split between a conventional pay-out structure and bounties on each participant. Although dominated by NLHE events, the full schedule includes some other poker variants, including PLO and short deck.

Partypoker has also announced a more modest October series, badged as a WPTDeepStacks Online event. The series runs from October 8-26 and is capped by a $1 million guaranteed, $1,100 buy-in main event.

Whatever your poker-playing preferences, October is a fantastic month for indulging your passion.

Featured image source: Poker.org