GGPoker released what turned out to be a controversial WSOP Online Bracelet Series schedule on Friday. Many pros seem less than impressed with the Main Event’s structure, despite its $25 million guarantee.
The 2020 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas was postponed due to COVID-19. Operators of Caesars’ annual poker extravaganza still hope to run a live series in the fall, but that likely won’t be possible if Nevada’s coronavirus problem doesn’t abate. Daily confirmed cases in Las Vegas have reached all-time highs since the casinos reopened on June 4.
In the meantime, an online series will take place beginning July 1 at WSOP.com for players in New Jersey and Nevada. The WSOP.com series spans 31 events until July 31. Most of those bracelet events are low to medium stakes, ranging from $400 to $3,200. You can get more information about the specific tournaments on the WSOP website.
Beginning on July 19, GGPoker will spread the first of its 54 tournaments available for international players. Those in the United States will be excluded unless they travel south to Mexico or to another country with legal nationwide internet gambling. Daniel Negreanu, who represents the host poker site, already has a pad lined up south of the border so he can chase his seventh bracelet.
But while 85 bracelets will be handed out this summer despite COVID-19, many poker fans aren’t too excited.
GGPoker Schedule Positives
The Rolling Stones sure had a way with words. You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you can get what you need. No lyrics apply more to the 2020 WSOP than those.
While some are disappointed the live WSOP won’t take place in Las Vegas this summer, something is better than nothing. We’ll still have a Main Event, although it will be different than the usual $10,000 world championship event we’re all accustomed to. This year’s Main Event, beginning Aug. 16, costs $5,000 to enter and will have 22 Day 1 starting flights, to the dismay of many on poker Twitter. The tournament guarantees $25 million, the largest prize pool in online poker history, surpassing the $21 million PartyPoker Millions prize pool in 2018.
Buy-ins range from $50 to $25,000, so there is a good mix of events for players at most levels. The $100 Opener on July 19 is the cheapest bracelet event in the WSOP’s 51-year history. It will hold that title until Aug. 23 when the $50 Big 50 ($1 million guaranteed) event kicks off. The series wraps up on Sept. 6 with the Main Event final table.
What’s Wrong with the Online Poker Series?
You can’t always get what you want, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a right to complain when things don’t go your way. Poker Twitter is full of negative remarks toward the upcoming GGPoker WSOP series. Most notably, the plethora of unlimited re-entries and Main Event starting flights. DJ MacKinnon didn’t mince words.
Ju$t another embarra$$ing day for W$OP
— DJ MacKinnon (@djmacjr) June 26, 2020
MacKinnon’s view is shared by many other poker players. GGPoker has yet to clarify if the Main Event is a freezeout or if players can re-enter a different flight upon busting. Some poker players, such as Patrick Leonard, are convinced players can fire up to 22 bullets.
One positive is at least we won't have to hear the same question this year "hand 1 WSOP Main event, small blind says he's all in blind, do you fold QQ?" I'm calling T9s now and getting a stack or trying again tomorrow! 🚀🚀🚀
— Patrick Leonard (@padspoker) June 26, 2020
Another downside to the GGPoker series is that US players are excluded unless they travel outside the country. Some players also don’t like the unlimited re-entry structures most of the tournaments offer. Only three tournaments out of 54 use the freezeout structure. Players with unlimited bankrolls will be at an advantage to rack up bracelets.
If you’re a recreational player, let me honestly tell you your chances of doing good in the upcoming @WSOP GG Online Bracelet Main Event is far smaller than it should be.
It’s the Main. A Bracelet Event. Freezout is the way to go.
— João Vieira (@Naza114_oficial) June 27, 2020
Highlights of the GGPoker WSOP Online Bracelet Series
- $1,111 Every 1 for Covid Relief Charity Event (July 25)
- $10,000 Short Deck Championship (July 30)
- $400 Colossus $3 Million Guaranteed (Aug. 1)
- $1,500 Millionaire Maker $1 Million to Winner (Aug. 8)
- $5,000 Main Event $25 Million Guaranteed (Aug. 16)
- $25,000 NLH Poker Players Championship $10 Million Guaranteed (Aug. 29)
No mixed games are on the schedule, a point of criticism from some on poker Twitter, including Randy Ohel, one of the top mixed game players in the world. He made a point to advise the powers that be that the Poker Players Championship, annually a $50,000 8-game mix, shouldn’t be a no-limit tournament.