Circuit Adds Domestic, International Stops
The World Series of Poker Circuit is scheduled for major growth in 2016-17 as it expands its international series to six stops, with the potential for as many as eight more and adds three stops on the domestic circuit.
The 13th season officially kicks off Aug. 4 at Harrah’s Cherokee in western North Carolina. This stop will serve as both the culmination of the 2015-16 season, with the 2016 Global Casino Championship (formerly known as the National Championship) scheduled for Aug. 9-11, and as the opening stop for the 2016-17 season.
“We are excited to be adding a couple new stops to the domestic tour this year, expanding the international tour and continuing to refine each stop to make them bigger and better,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “We want to continue to provide the opportunity for everyone to take a shot at becoming a World Series of Poker champion.”
The growth in the domestic tour is particularly encouraging. U.S. stops on the circuit had dropped from 22 in 2013-14, to 20 in 2014-15 and 19 last season. Attendance in 2015-16 was up significantly from the previous season. The tour’s growth also follows a record-breaking 47th Annual World Series of Poker, which drew a staggering 107,833 entries this year – up 4.2% from the previous year.
Milwaukee, Tulsa Added, Biloxi Returns
There are two new stops on the domestic WSOP Circuit schedule – Potawatomi (Milwaukee) which runs from Feb. 2-13, 2017, and Hard Rock (Tulsa) from March 16-27. IP in Biloxi, Miss., returns to the schedule after a year off. The IP series is scheduled for September 8-19, 2016.
Harrah’s Cherokee becomes the first venue to have three stops in one season, beginning with the opening series, a fall stop (Nov. 24 – Dec. 5) and a spring stop (April 13-24).
The tour continues almost nonstop from August through May, with Harrah’s New Orleans returning as the ending point in the U.S. from May 11- 22, 2017.
Just like last season, there are two stops in Las Vegas (Planet Hollywood and Bally’s), Los Angeles and West Palm Beach. The Horseshoe Baltimore drops from two stops to one.
According to the WSOP, every stop will offer several a dozen gold ring events starting at the $365 buy-in level and will feature a $1,675 Main Event. The winner of the Main Event and the top points scorer at each stop will qualify for the 2017 Global Casino Championship along with the top 50 in season points who have not already qualified.
Six initial dates have been confirmed for the 2016 portion of the international calendar, and WSOP staff expects to add up to eight events in the 2017 calendar portion to be announced at a later date.
Like the domestic circuit, the International track will feature two qualifiers per stop for the WSOP Global Casino Championship. A Main Event winner and the Casino Champion will each win automatic entry into the season-culminating event, in addition to the gold WSOP Circuit ring and prize money from that event.