Big Stacks and Big Blind Ante Poker: Changes Coming to 2019 WSOP

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Changes “designed to improve the overall experience for participants” are on the horizon for the 2019 WSOP, including increased starting stacks and replacing the traditional ante format with big blind ante poker in no-limit hold’em events.

2019 wsop poker
Big stack poker is coming to the 2019 WSOP. (Image:

Additionally, most event dates have been revealed for the annual poker series which begins May 29. A finalized schedule will be announced within a few weeks.

Last week, Seth Palansky, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Caesars Entertainment, shared the schedule for all $10,000-plus buy-in events. And last month, he released the first six tournaments. Now, we have a more clear picture of what to expect from the 2019 World Series of Poker.

What’s New for 2019 WSOP?

Most players will surely appreciate two of the major changes coming this summer. The first is to replace the traditional ante format with big blind ante poker in all no-limit hold’em events. Last year, the WSOP used this new format but only in a couple of events.

Big blind ante poker was created to help speed up the game. Instead of waiting for everyone at the table to post their ante, only the big blind antes up. While most enjoy the format, some poker players dislike it because the big blind’s ante is expensive. The cost of the big blind is paid by one person twice, one for the standard big blind and one for the ante.

Another change, which likely won’t cause any complaints, is the significantly increased stacks players will start with at the 2019 WSOP. In the Main Event, for example, starting stacks are jumping from 50,000 to 60,000. In the past, players began low buy-in events with small stacks.

This year, however, they will play big stack poker. In most events last year, players started with stack sizes that equated to five times the buy-in. But that amount will be bumped big time in 2019. For example, the starting stack in the $1,500 buy-in tournaments has jumped from 7,500 to 25,000. And in some events, such as the Monster Stack, players will begin with 50,000 chips.

A Look at World Series of Poker Schedule

The 2019 World Series of Poker begins May 29 with the $500 Casino Employees and $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty events. It concludes July 17 with the final table of the $1,500 Closer, won by 2009 world champion Joe Cada last summer.

In between those events are 70-plus tournaments ranging from $400 to $100,000. There won’t be a $111,111 High Roller for One Drop or $1 million Big One for One Drop this year. But the $1,111 Little One Drop returns and is scheduled for July 6, one day after Day One of the Main Event concludes.

For the first time, the WSOP will host an event open only to past bracelet winners. That tournament, $1,500 50th Annual Bracelet Winners Only No-Limit Hold’em, takes place July 10.

Other Key 2019 WSOP Events Recently Announced

  • $1,500 Razz (June 23)
  • $888 Crazy Eights (June 28)
  • $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty (July 9)
  • $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed (July 12)

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