LAS VEGAS – GAMING – The 46th annual World Series of Poker – a set of poker tournaments open to anyone 21 years of age or older – officially puts cards in the air, Wednesday, May 27, 2015, with nearly $200 million in prize money up for grabs, and several new events and changes in store to provide better value and excitement to poker’s version of Woodstock – including a huge increase in starting chips.
New Events: This year, eleven exciting new events will debut. They are:
May 29-30: Event #5 – $565 Colossus No-Limit Hold’em with a $5,000,000 guaranteed prize pool.
May 31: Event #6 – $1,000 Hyper No-Limit Hold’em with a fast, two-day structure.
June 20: Event #42 – $1,500 Extended Play No-Limit Hold’em featuring longer, 90-minute levels.
June 21: Event #43 – $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’em. Must be age 65+ to enter.
June 26: Event #53 – $5,000 Turbo No-Limit Hold’em, two-day structure with a high buy-in.
June 27: Event #55 – $1,500 DraftKings 50/50 No-Limit Hold’em. Half the field to be paid.
June 29: Event #60 – $25,000 High Roller 8-handed Pot-Limit Omaha. 4-day event.
July 1: Event #62 – $1,500 Bounty No-Limit Hold’em. Every player is a bounty. Each is worth $500.
July 3: Event #65 – $777 Lucky 7’s No-Limit Hold’em, featuring a first-ever $777 price point.
July 3: Event #67 – $10,000 Dealers Choice, featuring 19 variants – the most ever played in a single WSOP event.
In addition to these exciting additions, the eleventh new bracelet event up for grabs this year is an online bracelet. WSOP.com, the online real-money poker home of the WSOP, will offer its first-ever bracelet event on July 2 at 12 noon. This $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event will be the first-ever WSOP gold bracelet awarded online (the final two players will compete live at the Rio on July 3). More details on this unique event, including information on online satellites, will be announced shortly but preliminary details can be found here.
Huge Increase in Starting Chips! Who doesn’t love more chips to start play? New for 2015, the WSOP has significantly adjusted upward the starting stack for all WSOP events that have a buy-in under $10,000. The new starting stacks for these events will be as follows:
$565 buy-in: 5,000 starting chips (Colossus, new event; 10 times the buy-in, same as last year’s Monster Stack)
$777 buy-in: 5,000 starting chips (new buy-in level this year, treated like a $1k event) – 100 big blinds
$1,000 buy-in: 5,000 starting chips (increase of 66% over 2014) – 100 big blinds
$1,500 buy-in: 7,500 starting chips (increase of 66% over 2014) – 150 big blinds
$2,500 buy-in: 12,500 starting chips (increase of 66% over 2014) – 167 big blinds
$3,000 buy-in: 15,000 starting chips (increase of 66% over 2014) – 200 big blinds
$5,000 buy-in: 25,000 starting chips (increase of 66% over 2014) – 250 big blinds
In addition to the starting chips, the structures have been improved as well to better address player concerns. Now low buy-in events will feature the 250/500 blind level, and later on the 2500/5000 level. These adjustments along with the increase in starting chips are expected to add a couple levels of play to each event before reaching a winner. Additionally registration has been extended in many events to accommodate the bigger starting stacks, with eight levels of registration now an option for events with buy-ins $2500 or more in most cases (consult structure sheets).
The WSOP in 2015 is also tweaking some key returning events to allow for better player experience. This includes a concerted effort to push back the weekends to include Fridays, with several prominent events now beginning on a Friday along with a new earlier start time. These events include:
Friday, June 5/Saturday, June 6: Millionaire Maker $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em. Now features two starting days, with flights beginning at a new time – 10 a.m. – both Friday and Saturday. Starting chip stack is now 7,500 in chips. Players who are eliminated in the morning flight may re-enter the 4 p.m. flight.
Friday, June 12/Saturday, June 13: Monster Stack $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em. Now features two starting days, with both flights starting at 10 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Starting chip stack is 15,000 in chips.
One big new addition for 2015 is the new $565 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event – the lowest buy-in open event at the WSOP since 1980 – with a massive $5,000,000 prize pool guarantee. This event, dubbed the “Colossus” is part of the 2015 WSOP opening weekend where the WSOP hopes to set the record for the largest live tournament field size ever. (Note the new start time for later flights from previously announced). The following starting flights are planned:
Friday, May 29 – 10 a.m. Flight 5A. 6:00 p.m. Flight 5B.
Saturday, May 30 – 10 a.m. Flight 5C. 6:00 p.m. Flight 5D
The format will be re-entry (limited to flights not previously entered). Players will love the robust 5,000 in starting chips (10 times buy-in!) with the tournament beginning without an ante and blinds at 25/50 (100 big blinds!). The previous record for largest live tournament is the 2006 WSOP Main Event with 8,773 entries. This event, with the $5 million guarantee, is expected to draw well over 10,000 players. Thus, players are encouraged to pre-register, register early and come take part in history!
The full 2015 WSOP schedule can be found HERE and downloaded HERE.
Additionally, the 2015 WSOP continues its track for high-buy-in mixed games, rarely spread at other tournaments around the world, certainly not at the $10,000 price point. In total, 11 poker variants beyond No-Limit Hold’em will see $10,000 “Championship” bracelet events contested in 2015.
The annual poker extravaganza, which dates back to 1970, is televised exclusively on ESPN from the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The tournament series consists of a comprehensive slate of the game’s most popular poker variations running from May 27 through July 14.
A total of 68 coveted WSOP gold bracelets will be up for grabs – which is three more than in 2014.
“If you’ve never thought about coming to Las Vegas for the WSOP, this is the year,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “Now more than ever, the WSOP has something for everyone and with this schedule we believe the value and the opportunity for player success exists in each and every event we are offering in 2015.”
In 2014, the WSOP gold bracelet tournaments set an all-time record for attendance, with more than 82,360 entries and over $227 million in prize money. An incredible 50 events had prize pools of at least $1 million, with 14 events reaching more than $2 million, six events reaching $3 million, two events reaching $4 million, plus two events reaching $10 million+, and a $37 million+ and $62+ million prize pool. The average WSOP gold bracelet event in 2014 featured a $3,503,275 prize pool with $792,504 going to the event’s winner.
In terms of the physical layout, 2015 will look very similar to recent years. The Pavilion, Brasilia and Amazon ballrooms will be transformed into poker’s version of Woodstock. There are expected to be around 450 poker tables spread throughout the Rio Convention Center’s three largest areas, allowing for non-stop tournament, satellite, Daily Deepstack and cash game action.
The late afternoon gold bracelet events will begin play at 4:00 p.m., and play 10, one-hour levels, with 15-minute breaks after every two levels. Players will be able to register for most of these events until the start of Level 9 (approximately 1:00 a.m.; please check individual structure sheets) and play will end for the day at 3:00 a.m. Most other gold bracelet events close registration before the start of Level 7 (with the exception of shootouts, heads up and Main Event). 12 Noon events will close registration at approximately 8:10 p.m. in most cases. (Please consult individual structure sheets).
“We feel very good about the 2015 WSOP schedule and appreciate all the feedback and assistance the poker community provided,” said WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel, who will oversee the tournament for the tenth straight year. “We can’t wait to see everyone, break some records and award life-changing money beginning May 27.”
All Caesars Entertainment properties in Las Vegas offer reduced hotel room rates for entrants of WSOP bracelet events if they book early using the special advanced booking codes. The Rio is now offering its weekday (Sunday-Thursday) rates to WSOP players beginning at just $66. On the Las Vegas Strip there are plenty of options as well. Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Paris Las Vegas, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah’s Las Vegas, Bally’s Las Vegas and The Linq provide WSOP player rates as low as $42-$120 a night. To view a complete list of rates across all Caesars Entertainment properties, please visit our reservations page HERE. (Note: Rates are based on availability and are subject to blackout dates).
The 46th annual WSOP concludes with the grandest spectacle in all of gaming – the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship (aka “The Main Event”) (Event #68). Main Event play begins on a Sunday this year to avoid conflict with the Saturday July 4 holiday. The quest begins Sunday, July 5 and will reach its final table on Tuesday, July 14, at which time play will be halted until November.
The WSOP Main Event features three starting flights. Participants begin their journey to fame and fortune on Sunday, July 5 (Flight A), Monday, July 6 (Flight B) or Tuesday, July 7 (Flight C) at 12 noon. Day 2 of the structure is Wednesday, July 8 for all players who played on Days 1A (Sunday) or 1B (Monday). Day 1C (Tuesday) players who survive with chips play their Day 2 on Thursday, July 9. All fields combine for Day 3 on Friday, July 10. In totality, those playing Day 1A can reach the final table in, at most, 10 calendar days. Players choosing to start on Day 1C can reach the final table in just eight days. The event plays five full two-hour levels each day. The world’s best tournament structure remains exactly the same, with 30,000 in starting chips, two-hour levels and Level 1 starting at 50-100 blinds with no ante. This year, for the first time, the WSOP is guaranteeing to payout 1,000 places.*
As is now customary with the Main Event, the delayed final table, aka “The November Nine” returns and is expected to air live on ESPN and ESPN2 in November, 2015.
July 4th will continue to be a special Main Event “satellite day” at the Rio featuring a comprehensive slate of satellites, mega satellites and single-table satellites with entry fees as low as $125. (Satellites are tournaments which award tournament chips that can be used to enter larger buy-in tournaments).
WSOP.com in Nevada and New Jersey remain the exclusive home to WSOP satellite offerings online in the United States. New this year will be the ability of players to participate in online events on their mobile or tablet devices while at the Rio. For the first time ever, players can multi-table at the WSOP, playing live in the Rio, while playing online on their device at the same time! Players can register and jump online to win their way to the WSOP. Go to WSOP.com for schedules and details.
Though most WSOP gold bracelet events begin at 12 noon or 4 p.m., there are exceptions where a 10:00 a.m. or other start time is in effect. The Colossus (Event #5), Millionaire Maker (Event #16), Monster Stack (Event #28), Seniors (Event #40), Super Seniors (Event #43), Little One for ONE DROP (Event #61) and Lucky 7’s (Event #65) all begin this year at 10 a.m. The Colossus and Lucky 7s events do also offer 6:00 p.m. flights as well, while the Little One for ONE DROP offers a 4:00 p.m. wave for those that prefer later start times. The High Roller for ONE DROP (Event #58) begins at 1:00 p.m. Event #6, the Hyper Hold’em has a special 11:00 a.m. start time on Sunday, May 31.
All other WSOP gold bracelet tournaments will begin at 12 noon or 4 p.m. Pacific Time each day, with a maximum of 10 one-hour levels being played for the noon starts if the field size is under 1,500 players. If the field size reaches 1,500 players or more, the event will play 11 levels on Day 1. Thus, noon tournaments will end at 12:40 a.m. and include four 20-minute breaks and a 90-minute dinner break after Level 6. For events where an 11th level is necessary, play will extend to 2 a.m., with an extra break of 20 minutes after Level 10. (Note: Consult event structure sheets. Some events have levels that are more or less than one hour in length, and in those cases, breaks, number of levels played in a day, etc., vary).
For those advancing past the first day, re-starts for noon bracelet events are at 1 p.m. the next day. Events that start at 4 p.m. will restart at 2 p.m. the next day, with a maximum of 10 levels being played each day until a champion is crowned. The Main Event features two-hour levels, plays five levels a day, starts at noon daily and concludes at 12:40 a.m. daily.
Pre-registration is now open online for the 2015 WSOP through http://www.wsop.com/registration . Beginning March 1, 2015, players may also choose the in-person pre-registration option at the Rio main casino cage in Las Vegas.
The 2015 WSOP marks the 46th running of the game’s most prestigious annual tournament. In 2014, the WSOP saw entrants from 110 different nations and surpassed the $2 billion mark in total prize money awarded. Players compete for prize money and the championship gold bracelet, globally recognized as the game’s top prize.
To view the entire schedule, visit WSOP.com/2015. This page will remain leading up to and during the event, where we will add relevant information about the WSOP.
Other notable highlights of the 2015 schedule:
Enhanced Starting Chips – Gold bracelet events in 2015 under the $10,000 price point have all increased the starting chip stack players will have at the outset from what used to be three times the buy-in, to this year which will be five times the buy-in in most instances. Please consult individual structure sheets to learn more.
ONE DROP Charity – After terrific success with charitable giving the past three years, with more than $16 million donated to charitable causes via the WSOP, all events will continue to offer an opportunity to donate. The “1% for ONE DROP” returns, where players cashing in any event, may donate 1% of their winnings to ONE DROP. In addition, Events #58 & #61 will each have specific charitable components to help raise funds for WSOP charitable partner, the ONE DROP organization (www.ONEDROP.org)
The Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Championship – On Friday, June 19 at 10:00 a.m., Event #40 featuring a $1,000 buy-in for all poker enthusiasts 50 years of age or older. This year, a Super Seniors gold bracelet event has been added too, for those age 65+. It will take place Sunday, June 21 at 10 a.m. as Event #43.
The Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship – On Friday, June 26 at 12 p.m., featuring a $10,000 buy-in for the Ladies Championship (Event #53). Ladies enjoy a special discounted buy-in of $1,000. This continues to be the largest ladies poker tournament annually.
Daily Deepstack No-Limit Hold’em Tournaments – The Rio will host three different daily No-Limit Hold’em tournaments from May 27 to July 14. The first one, at 3 p.m. daily, is a $235 buy-in that averaged more than 1,000 entries last year. At 6 p.m., players can play the daily $185 buy-in tournament and at 10 p.m., a daily $135 tournament will be offered. These are one-day structured tournaments, and non-bracelet events. These events will take place in the Pavilion Ballroom and in 2014 attracted a record 66,805 entrants.
Satellites Every Day! – A complete array of satellites, from single-table to mega, will be offered from May 27 – July 7. Mega satellites with buy-ins at $330 for the daily 5 p.m. and $550 buy-in for the daily 8 p.m. start. And $75 Turbo-Mega-Satellites begin at 8 a.m. daily. New this year to the satellite offerings, is a daily 10 a.m. $185 buy-in Mega Satellite, played as No-Limit Hold’em.
The schedule, events, start times, end times and locations of events are subject to change. Tournament chips have no cash value. Winners will be required to provide a valid picture ID. Tax forms will be completed for those with winnings in excess of $5,000 net of event buy-in. Players without a Tax Identification Number and foreign players from non-tax treaty countries are subject to up to 30 percent tax withholding.
WSOP reserves the right to cancel, change or modify the tournament or any tournament event, in part or in whole, without notice.
Notes: Event #16 is offering a first place payout of $1 million. The funds for this payout come directly off the top of the prize pool, with the remaining positions potentially adjusted to account for this. Roughly 10 percent of the field will be paid out in this event, as is typical for WSOP events.
- Event #68 is guaranteeing to pay out a minimum 1,000 places. The event must have a minimum 5,000 entrants for this to go into effect.