The $1,000 Online NL Hold’em Championship returned to World Series of Poker schedule in 2016 after a successful inaugural run in 2015. As expected, the event set a new record for total players and entries.
The final table was brought to the Rio on July 11th to play to the bracelet live with Clayton Maguire eventually taking the title and $150,569. After a second straight year of success, we can safely assume that the online championship will become a staple of future WSOP events.
Now perhaps it is time to expand online bracelet events and maybe even consider making a separate series exclusively for online poker players.
Expansion of Bracelet Events in 2017 Makes Sense
The 2016 WSOP Online Championship drew a total of 1,247 entries with the addition of re-entry helping to beef up the total number of entries by 342 compared to 2015. Now that it is clear that an online bracelet event will work for the WSOP, why not examine the possibility of adding additional bracelet events.
If I was in charge of planning next year’s schedule, I would consider adding six additional bracelet events to the schedule. I’d add three NL event and three other forms of poker. Here’s what I would propose for a WSOP online bracelet schedule:
- Online Event #1 – $565 NL With Unlimited Re-Entry
- Online Event #2 – $565 PLO With Unlimited Re-Entry
- Online Event #3 – $565 Mixed With Unlimited Re-Entry
- Online Event #4 – $1,000 NL Six-Max Online Championship
- Online Event #5 – $5,000 NL Online High Roller
- Online Event #6 – $1,000 Mixed Online Championship
- Online Event #7 – $1,000 NL Championship with Unlimited Re-Entry
This schedule would give options for most online poker players with buy-ins appropriate for most bankroll levels. Obviously, there would also be satellites into each event.
The only events that I would have played out at a live final table are the $5k NL High Roller, $1k Mixed and the $1k NL Championship. There’s little reason to have the other smaller events play out at a live final table unless that’s a requirement by Nevada regulators.
If seven events are too many to expand into for 2017, maybe consider the $565 NL, the $1k Six-Max and the $1k Championship. Poker fans are embracing the online bracelet variant of WSOP events, so why not offer them additional chances to win a bracelet.
The World Series of Poker Online!
Another alternative idea that I would love to see come to reality would be to forego the WSOP online bracelet during the Vegas series and setup a WSOP Online series of bracelet events.
My vision would be to run the series as a separate WSOP series but running it concurrent with the Vegas series is fine as well. Expand the WSOP online bracelet events into a series of 12 to 15 online bracelet events covering most disciplines offered on WSOP.com. Perhaps regulators will allow other games to be added for this series.
One difference about the WSOP Online series is that it would not be exclusive to WSOP NV. Players on WSOP NJ could also participate in this series. One way would be to have events that award bracelets exclusively in New Jersey.
However, the way I would prefer to see it run is have concurrent events run in both NJ and NV with the final table of each event heading to the Rio or another established location to play down to the bracelet. This would add an extra element of strategy and intrigue as the final table from the concurrent events will have to adjust to players they haven’t seen yet.
I realize that it may be too soon to consider a WSOP Online series that includes multiple states as NJ is not part of an international compact with Nevada – at least not yet. With that said, Pennsylvania is expected to go online within the next year or so and one can hope that California and New York get their act together in the next couple of years.
Once this happens, there is a strong chance that we could see an interstate network linking WSOP.com in multiple states. At that point, the WSOP Online series could come to life.
Winter is Coming – Will Multiple Online Events Be Announced?
The WSOP typically announces the dates for the next year’s series sometime during the winter, typically in December. They also announce any major changes or gimmick events during that time. Is this the year they announce that multiple online bracelets will be added?
We hope so. The WSOP Online Championship has been a huge success and if they add the events, players will register. Even if they only add a single event, growth is growth and it is time to start growing the online bracelet marketplace.