33-years after Johnny Moss won the inaugural World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, through a peer vote, the most prestigious poker tour in the universe decided it was time to live up to its name, and actually hold an event outside of America.
The year was 2007. Gordon Brown was replacing Tony Blair as the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and the WSOP held an event in London. The World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) was born.
For the next four years, European poker players, who couldn’t afford a flight ticket to Las Vegas, were able to play in a tournament organized by the greatest poker brand in the world. In 2011, the WSOPE hit the road. Cannes was the destination for the next two years, and then in 2013 it switched to Paris.
At the same time the WSOPE was switching to Paris, WSOP officials were confident enough to branch out even further. The World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific (WSOP-APAC) was born. For the next two years, Melbourne Australia was the home of the WSOP. Suddenly, gold bracelets could be won in three different continents: world by name, world by nature.
After seven years on the road, the WSOP are ready to take their brand to the next level. The grinders are well taken care of. It’s the recreational players that now need some love. The WSOP has recognized that. They have their ears close to the ground. They know what their customers value, they have a track record of delivering, and their latest project is designed to do just that.
The World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) currently operates exclusively in the United States. It’s a 20-stop tour designed for the working class man and woman. Smaller buy-ins, gold rings instead of bracelets, and the chance to earn their way into the $1 million WSOP National Championships Freeroll and a shot at a WSOP bracelet.
The WSOPC is preparing to fly.
Officials have been in talks with casino partners worldwide. Three deals have so far been struck, and there are more in the pipeline. The WSOPC will be coming to Italy and Morocco, and a WSOP branded poker room will be opened in Mexico.
The first international WSOPC event will be held at the end of the week. Keen eyed observers of the Hendon Mob ‘Poker Festival’ tab would have noticed a WSOPC event scheduled for 7-15 March being held at the Casino de Marrakech Es Saadi. There will be eight official gold ring events, culminating in a €1,350 Main Event. There will also be live satellites for seats at forthcoming WSOP and WSOPE events in Las Vegas and Berlin.
There are also plans for the WSOP to visit Italy. The dates are a little sketchy, but it’s believed the event will happen in September. The venue will be the Casino di Campione, the home of the European Poker Tour (EPT) for one season back in 2012.
It will be the first time a WSOP event has been held on Italian soil. There are no firm schedule details, but WSOP officials have made it clear that the event will be used to promote the WSOPE in Berlin (due to be held in Oct), and there will be extensive satellites available for the inaugural event on German soil.
Finally, Mexico’s Casino Jubilee de Monterrey will be the first WSOP branded poker room outside of the US. There are currently no plans to host a WSOPC event, but it’s almost a nailed on certainty.
All this traveling around the world means a change for the WSOP National Championships. From 2016 the word ‘national’ will be replaced with ‘international.’ Main Event winners, and Casino Champions, will qualify for the $1m freeroll and the chance to win a WSOP bracelet.
So there you have it.
There are now plenty of ways to get your WSOP fill: Las Vegas, Berlin, Italy, Morocco, Australia and Mexico.
I guess the only question that remains is where next?