The latest iteration of WSOP.com’s online circuit series entered its second half today, with the Caesar’s Palace $1k high-roller event. The tournament is the largest buy-in of the series that awards twelve WSOP gold rings to event winners.
Only 21 players were seated at the scheduled start time, but over the three hours of late registration, the field swelled to 119. With 64 rebuys, this generated a total prize pool of $174,765, comfortably exceeding the $100k guarantee.
The high-roller tournament mirrors a similar one played just three weeks ago as part of the Rio-badged series. That tournament attracted 133 unique entries. The slight drop in numbers will disappoint those predicting an uptick in online Nevada action as the 52nd annual WSOP nears.
Late registration too long?
By the time late registration closed, only 54 players remained in contention for the 27 paying places. This is typical of the structures used in WSOP.com online series, but it’s not to everyone’s taste.
The opportunity to register at a point at which half the remaining field gets paid — albeit with only about one third the average stack — is anathema to many tournament poker purists.
It would be interesting to see whether the field size dropped significantly if WSOP.com tried an hour of late registration instead of the current three. It would, of course, significantly reduce the prize pool through fewer rebuys, but guarantees are set sufficiently low in these events that WSOP.com’s bottom line should remain unaffected.
An upset victory
The bubble took a while to burst, largely thanks to the tournament going hand-for-hand at 30 remaining players. With 28 players left, Katie “katelin” Lindsay open-shoved her short stack with KTo and was called by Frank “thewholefunk” Funaro holding A8s. The board didn’t help Lindsay, sending her to the rail.
The heads-up battle for the win was, based on form, an uneven affair. Anthony “Flawlessbink” Maio won his fourth WSOP gold ring in the Summer Online Circuit event in July, also in a $1k 6-max tournament. Apparent newcomer pmtbmusic’s only publicly-available data suggests a losing 2021 record prior to today on 888.
The final hand saw Maio’s AK flop top pair, only to lose to a turned straight and pmtbmusic’s QJs. In addition to the gold ring, the win paid $37,836.
More to come in 2021
The tournament action at WSOP.com will continue at a frenetic pace throughout the remainder of 2021.
Next up is the Fall Online Super Circuit, (October 9-26) that will dole out 18 gold rings. It is followed by clones of the ongoing series, with the Paris Las Vegas Online Circuit (November 10-21) and Harrah’s Las Vegas Online Circuit (December 8-19) each awarding a dozen gold rings.
Unlike Planet Hollywood, Harrah’s, Paris, and the Rio, the Flamingo actually has a poker room, but is not included on the 2021 WSOP.com circuit calendar. This is likely to further fuel rumors that Caesars Entertainment is looking to shed one or two Strip properties as early as 2022.
Featured image source: Twitter