Will the 2021 WSOP Online Bracelet Events achieve the success of 2020?

Will the 2021 WSOP Online Bracelet Events achieve the success of 2020?
Poker writer Geoff Fisk profile photo
Geoff Fisk
Posted on: April 7, 2021 10:22 PDT

World Series of Poker online tournaments to play out on WSOP.com and GGPoker

Perhaps the most significant announcement so far on the 2021 poker calendar hit the public last week. The 2021 World Series of Poker will run in its traditional live format at the Rio Las Vegas Sep. 23 through Nov. 30.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of the 2020 WSOP. An online substitute for the world’s largest poker festival did take place, with 85 official series bracelets awarded in the WSOP Online Bracelet Events series.

The announcement of a live 2021 World Series of Poker doesn’t spell the end of the online component of the series, however. WSOP has announced that the 2021 series will include the Online Bracelet Events once again.

WSOP.com, GGPoker to run WSOP Online Bracelet Events this summer

Recent editions of the World Series of Poker have included online-only tournaments that run alongside the series. Up to the 2019 WSOP, online events made up just a few of the tournaments on the WSOP schedule, with players located in Nevada and New Jersey eligible to compete in those events.

COVID-19 caused a set of circumstances in 2020 that prompted WSOP officials to massively expand the number of available online bracelet events. U.S. players enjoyed the opportunity to play in a set of 31 bracelet events on WSOP.com, again limited to New Jersey and Nevada.

GGPoker offered an international version of the WSOP Online Bracelet Events, with 54 bracelets on the line. Both the WSOP.com and GGPoker sides of the online festival played out as massive successes.

The U.S. version of the WSOP Online Bracelet events series paid out just under $27 million in combined cash prizes, playing out as the biggest online poker series in the history of the regulated U.S. market.

The GGPoker side of the festival drew major player interest and attendance. The 54 tournaments in the series produced nearly $150 million in prize money.

GGPoker’s $5,000 buy-in WSOP Online Main Event got into the Guinness Book of World Records, producing the biggest prize pool in the history of online poker at $27,559,500. Stoyan Madanzhiev topped a field of 5,802 entries, taking home a $3,904,686 payday, also an all-time record.

Can the 2021 WSOP Online Bracelet Events match last year’s success?

GGPoker went big from the start with last year’s $5,000 Main Event, promising an ambitious $25 million guaranteed prize pool. That guarantee alone marked the tournament as the biggest in online poker history before it even started.

Does GGPoker have an equally ambitious tournament in mind for its 2021 online schedule? Last year’s Online Bracelet Events essentially took the place of the canceled 2020 WSOP, and GGPoker’s massive Main Event guarantee made sense in an effort to draw players to the online series.

GGPoker isn’t afraid to go big with the guaranteed prize money. The international platform is currently in the midst of its $150 million guaranteed GG Spring Festival, which offers two different $10 million guaranteed Main Events.

Will GGPoker attempt another $25 million guarantee for its upcoming online WSOP events? Don’t count it out.

The WSOP.com side of the 2020 Online Bracelet Events featured a $1,000 buy-in Main Event, generating more than 2,000 entries and a prize pool north of $2 million.

U.S. players can likely expect a similar buy-in for the 2021 online Main Event. Achieving 2,000-plus players might be unlikely, however, as the incentive for out-of-state players to travel to New Jersey or Nevada could be lower with a live WSOP set to begin in September.

WSOP.com will release the schedule for U.S.-based WSOP Online Bracelet Events on April 15. The series will begin July 1 for U.S. players.

GGPoker will release its schedule shortly after that, according to a WSOP press release.

Featured image source: Twitter