The 2020 WSOP schedule features a new “Value Menu,” which includes 25 bracelet events priced at $1,000 or less. No, you can’t Super Size that, and the Rio doesn’t offer a drive-thru cashier. But maybe they should.
The full schedule for the 51st annual World Series of Poker, which kicks off May 27, is unfinished, but getting closer to completion. Last week, the WSOP released the dates and times for its $10,000 and above Championship events. Those tournaments include the prestigious $50,000 Poker Players Championship, $10,000 Main Event, and $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship events.
This week, the focus is on the lower buy-in events, dubbed the “Value Menu.” As you’d expect from the gimmicky name, there are plenty of choices available for the low to mid-stakes tournament grinder or recreational player.
2020 Schedule Offers Value for Players on a Budget
In 2000, the World Series of Poker offered 25 bracelet events. Of the 23 open events — excluding the Ladies or Casino Employees tournaments — all were priced at more than $1,000. That differs greatly from the 2020 WSOP schedule.
This summer, 25 total bracelet events will cost $1,000 or less, starting with the $1,000 Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em and $500 Casino Employees event, both scheduled for May 27.
The “Value Menu” items are heavy on the no-limit hold ’em, light on the mayo. There are a few pot-limit Omaha tournaments on the menu, ranging from $600 to $1,000, for players craving something a little tastier. Perhaps, the most intriguing event is the $500 Big 50, back for a second year, on May 28. Last year’s Big 50 set a world record with 28,371 entries.
Keeping Customers Away from the Competition
You may be wondering why the WSOP, the biggest annual poker festival, is offering so many “cheap” tournaments, especially when some pundits believe the series should eliminate its under-$1,500 events. The argument these critics make is that low buy-ins cheapen the prestige of the World Series of Poker.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion in a free country, but the WSOP has a method to its menu, and is attempting to keep as many poker players in the Rio — and away from other casinos — as it possibly can during the summer.
Las Vegas is the place to be for poker in the US at any time of year, but especially during the summer. Many other card rooms, such as the Wynn, Golden Nugget, Aria, and Planet Hollywood, all offer their own popular poker series during the WSOP, and most of the events spread at these venues are priced at under $1,000.
In an effort to keep the low and mid-stakes players away from those other properties, the WSOP has added numerous cheaper buy-in tournaments in recent years. The 2020 WSOP schedule further reflects the importance of that marketing strategy.
So, if you’re looking for value this summer, you can find it at the World Series of Poker. Fries and a drink — like nearly everything else at the Rio — cost extra.