The snow on the ground has melted away and the trees are beginning to grow back their summer leaves. Not for me, I live in Florida. But regardless of region, it is now May and that is a special time in the lives of poker players worldwide.
The snow on the ground has melted away and the trees are beginning to grow back their summer leaves. Not for me, I live in Florida. But regardless of region, it is now May and that is a special time in the lives of poker players worldwide. In a few weeks, rounders from all over the globe will flock to the gambling mecca that is Las Vegas, Nevada to participate in the World Series of Poker. Many people stay for the whole summer. I have kids and cannot do that, but I do enjoy getting out there for even a few days to try my luck and see people that I normally only hang out with virtually. All poker players have dreamed of playing in the WSOP, and although the main event may be a pipe dream for some, it is now easier than ever to take your shot at the gold bracelet with the continued addition of smaller buy-in events. Here are some of the events that I think provide the most value or will be the most fun to play at this year's series.
EVENT #4: $1,500 OMAHA HI-LO 8 OR BETTER- June 1
I know most Betcoiners love to get down with a little PLO8. It's a fun variation with an interesting strategy that keeps players on their toes all the way to the last card. This is a 3-day event with 60 minute blinds but with starting stacks of only 7,500 you are going to have to get lucky in some key spots to make it through the field. But with last year's winner taking home over $244,000, it is definitely worth taking a shot!
EVENT #5: $565 COLOSSUS NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM- June 2
This event provides unbelievable value for your money if you can somehow make it through the 5k starting stack and 30 minute levels on day 1. They Guarantee an 8 million dollar prize pool with 1 million going to first place. How do they manage this massive guarantee? By herding in and out 6 starting flights, 2 every day on June 2, 3 and 4 before the remaining players combine for day 2 on June 5. With 1 reentry allowed per flight, you could technically buy-in to this thing 12 times. And with a million up top, people will likely be getting it in early and often to try and build a stack going into the more reasonable 1 hour levels on day 2. At $565, this is one of the cheapest events in the series, and also one of the least skill-based, but if you feel lucky this is a great event to try out and take your shot at the gold.
EVENT #10: $1,000 TAG TEAM NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM- June 5
This is a really fun event and last year was won by big name pros Doug Polk and Ryan Fee. It is a team event where you and a team of 2-4 players can battle it out with other teams to be the last one standing. Take a bad beat and feel tilted? Just tag in your clear-headed buddy for a bit. Is one of your friends great at early stages and another a final table crusher? This is the event for you. You can also divide the entry up to 4 ways, so your personal buy-in could be as low as $250. And yes, everyone on the winning team gets their own bracelet! This is a 3-day event and everyone on your team must play at least 1 full rotation to qualify.
EVENT #47 $1,500 NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM MONSTER STACK- June 24
This is one of the lower buy-in events that actually has a great structure. With a 15k starting stack and 60 minute levels all the way through, you can definitely pick your spots and play your A-game in the monster stack event. This is a 3-day events with 2 day 1 flights on June 24 and 25, and with last year's winner taking home over $1.1 million this event, one of the greatest chances you will have at a huge return for some solid poker.
EVENT#60: $888 CRAZY EIGHTS NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM (8-HANDED)- July 1
This is another multi-flight, get you in and out for a huge prize pool event. There are 4 day 1s, 2 each on July 1 and 2, with each having 30 minute levels. In keeping with the theme of 8s, this is an 8-handed tournament with 8,000 starting chips. The winner of this event takes home a whopping $888,888 for a nice roi, but with the short levels and starting stacks, this is another tournament where you are definitely going to have to avoid a lot of landmines and get lucky in key spots.
EVENT #71: $1,000 WSOP.com ONLINE BRACELET- July 7
As a primarily online player, this event has special significance to me and I was fortunate enough to play the debut event a couple years ago. Back then if you made the final table (which I did not), you actually played it out live in the Rio poker room, which kind of defeated the purpose of playing for the online title. It appears the WSOP has seen the error of their ways, because now the entire 1-day event will be played online. This is one of the hardest fields of any World Series event, with the greatest online players from all over the world sitting in their hotel rooms grinding it out for this year's title.
EVENT #73: $10,000 WSOP MAIN EVENT- July 8
This event is the granddaddy of them all, so much so, that the legendary poker movie, Rounders, is all about getting there. With a $10k buyin, this event isn't one of the cheap ones, but if you win you can console yourself with the $8 million or so first prize that Qui Nguyen took home last year. This event has the best structure of all events with 2 hour levels and 50,000 starting chips so they really make it worth your while for the buy-in. The fields in this tournament are actually some of the easiest around, with so many people taking a shot at being on ESPN and winning the most coveted bracelet of all. There are 3 starting flights on July 8, 9 and 10 and there are enough entries, that there are actually 3 day 2 flights as well before everyone combines to play day 3 together. Then there are 5 more grueling days before the final table is decided. You will have to fly back later in the year to play the final table, but with $1 million or so for 9th place, I don't think it will be too much of a budget burden at that point!
EVENT #74: $1,000 LITTLE ONE FOR ONE DROP NO-LIMIT HOLD'EM- June 11
This is now the event that closes out the series. Probably because everyone who busts the main event is looking to get 1 more shot at a gold bracelet and this gives them that opportunity. Techically the buy-in is only $1000 but 100% of entrants also make the $111 donation to the One Drop charity because it doubles your starting stack from 5,000 to 10,000. This is a great event for a great cause, but it is also a great value because with unlimited reentries over the first 3 flights of day 1, a win in this tourney is going to net you over $500,000. My good friend got second in this event a few years ago for just under $400k and since then it has been one of our favorite events to play. With 60 minute levels all the way through, you can actually use your poker intellect, instead of playing push-fold poker (which, granted, has its own skill set). This is a 3-day event and I can't wait to go to the WSOP and play it soon as a member of Team Betcoin!
Getting to the World Series of Poker is no longer a pipe dream. With the addition of plenty of lower buy-in events, now anyone can take their shot at the gold in Las Vegas, where the greats of the game will flock this summer. If you are concerned about whether it is worth it to take a trip just for a couple events, you need not worry. There are great poker tournaments all over Vegas during this time, including daily $235, $185, $365 and $135 deepstack side events every day at Rio which usually get you in the mid 5-figures for a win. Also, the cash games are extremely juicy throughout the city during this time. If you have already been to Vegas for the World Series of Poker, you already know that it is the place for poker player's to spend the summer. If not, I highly recommend that you give it a shot! The great thing about poker is any person on any given day can wind up a champion!
The full WSOP schedule can be found here"
What events would you like to play at this year's World Series of Poker and why?
I will be giving 3 250 GTD freeroll tickets to people who comment below. Entries must be received by Wednesday at 10AM EST to qualify.