The WSOP revealed plans to host a series of Circuit events online at WSOP.com throughout the year, indicating that live events may be on the shelf for quite some time.
The World Series of Poker Circuit tour is widely popular among low and mid-stakes tournament grinders. Each year, a number of events are hosted at various stops around the world, mostly in the United States. At each stop, a dozen or so events take place, and the winner in each tournament receives a shiny gold ring.
During the 2020 season, the WSOP was forced to cancel its remaining events starting in March due to COVID-19. With the virus continuing to spread, and more than 350,000 dead in the US, hosting major poker events remains an issue. WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart told CardsChat News he isn’t yet ready to stop hosting live Circuit events in 2021, despite revealing plans for online Circuit events throughout the year.
“Obviously we want to have large scale live events in 2021, and we’re increasingly optimistic about that viability,” Stewart said. “But as of today, we still face various limitations on gathering sizes, contact-tracing protocols, which could greatly impact our poker customers, and other difficulties in the organization.”
Stewart added that the WSOP wants to proceed with an expansion of the Circuit online in 2021, using the same kind of model and value they have traditionally offered for the live events. To that end, the WSOP had their customers in mind when planning the online events.
Stewart told us his team felt the need to provide WSOP Circuit “tournament regulars with an outlet they could plan for immediately.”
What’s the Plan?
The plan for the WSOP is to ensure its Circuit players still have an opportunity to compete for gold rings, despite COVID-19. How they’ll accomplish that is by hosting a dozen series throughout the year on WSOP.com. They will then finish up the year with a $250,000 guaranteed, Year End Championship on Dec. 28.
It all kicks off Jan. 14-31 with the 18-event Winter Online Super Circuit. The tournaments in that series range from $215 ($125,000 guaranteed Monster Stack on Jan. 17) to $2,000 ($100,000 guaranteed Super High Roller on Jan. 26). The opening series concludes with the $525 Main Event ($250,000 guaranteed) on Jan. 31.
There are 11 additional WSOP Circuit series in 2021, one each month. In total, 168 rings will be distributed this year. At the end of each month, WSOP.com will host a $25,000 freeroll for its top 10 performers and gold ring winners in Circuit events from the current month.
The 12 monthly leaderboard winners will receive a free entry into the Year End Championship with $250,000 up for grabs. To compete in any of these tournaments, you must be physically located in Nevada or New Jersey during play. But you don’t have to be a resident of those states.