A partial 2019 WSOP schedule was released, and it includes a new 50th anniversary commemorative event, the $500 buy-in Big 50 which guarantees at least $1 million to the winner.
Dates for six events were announced, but you can expect a full schedule with 70-plus tournaments to be released sometime early in the new year.
Flight A, the first of four Day One sessions, for the Big 50 begins May 30. This rake-free event has a $5 million guaranteed prize pool with at least $1 million set aside for the winner.
WSOP Events and Dates Released
May 30, Big 50 ($500 buy-in, $5 million guaranteed)
June 7, Millionaire Maker ($1,500 buy-in, $1 million guaranteed to winner)
June 13, Seniors No-Limit Hold’em ($1,000 buy-in, must be 50+ to participate)
June 14, Double-Stack No-Limit Hold’em ($1,000 buy-in, big stack poker)
June 21, Monster Stack ($1,500 buy-in, big stack poker)
June 28, Crazy Eights ($888 buy-in, $888,888 guaranteed to winner)
July 3, Main Event ($10,000 buy-in, world championship of poker)
There probably weren’t many poker players in 1970 who anticipated the WSOP would one day see its 50th anniversary. And certainly no one could have projected the annual series would become so successful.
Things sure have changed since the inaugural World Series of Poker. President Richard Nixon was still four years from being removed from office. John Wayne won Best Actor for his role in the movie “True Grit.” The Cincinnati Reds were actually good at baseball. And Puggy Pearson, Johnny Moss, and Doyle Brunson dominated the world of poker.
Moss won the first two Main Events, defeating a combined field of 12 players to win $30,000. Last year’s world championship of poker event had 7,874 entries, second most all-time, won by John Cynn who received $8.8 million.
Similarities Between 1970 and Today
The San Diego Padres are still a terrible baseball team. Doyle Brunson can still play cards at a high level. A sitting US President (Donald Trump) faces a criminal investigation much like “Tricky Dicky.” And Republicans and Democrats still can’t seem to agree on much.
Main Event Changes
One minor change is being made to poker’s most prestigious annual event. Participants in the $10,000 buy-in Main Event will start with 60,000 chips, up from the 50,000 starting stack in recent years.
John Cynn will attempt to defend his crown, something that hasn’t been accomplished since Johnny Chan went back-to-back in 1987 and 1988.
Joe Cada, the 2009 champion, nearly became the first repeat winner last year since Stu Ungar won his third title in 1997. But “The Kid” busted in fifth place for $2.15 million. Days later, however, he won the $1,500 Closer for $612,000. It’s safe to say, unlike some – most notably Jerry Yang – his Main Event title was no fluke.
A full 2019 World Series of Poker schedule will be released sometime later this winter.