If you are in a casino in Las Vegas right now and are wondering why the place is half empty – beyond the fact that it’s a Wednesday afternoon – it’s because today is arguably the best day of the poker year: the first day of the World Series of Poker. Okay, yesterday was technically the first day, but today is when the bracelet events actually start, so that’s what I’m going with.

There are two official gold bracelet events on tap for Wednesday, May 30th. The first is the $565 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em event, whose field will be populated solely by – you guessed it – employees of casinos. That one is about to get underway at the Rio. The first “open” bracelet event, one in which anyone and everyone is permitted to play, is the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Super Turbo Bounty, which will begin at 3:00pm local time.

Say Hello, Say Goodbye

As we discussed in December, there are nine new events on the schedule, while five events have been tossed aside. From the WSOP’s press release last year, here is the list of new tournaments, with notes on which ones they are replacing, where applicable:

1. $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty No-Limit Hold’em (replaces the $10k Tag Team)
2. $100,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em (new addition)
3. $365 PLO GIANT (replaces a $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em)
4. $1,000 DOUBLE STACK No-Limit Hold’em (10,000 starting chips) (replaces a $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em)
5. $565 WSOP.com ONLINE Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed (new addition)
6. $1,500 BOUNTY Pot-Limit Omaha (replaces a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em)
7. $1,000 DOUBLE-STACK No-Limit Hold’em (30-minute levels) (replaces a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em)
8. $1,500 THE CLOSER No-Limit Hold’em (15,000 starting chips, 30-minute levels) (new addition)
9. $50,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em (new addition)

The 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event will begin Monday, July 2nd with the first of three starting flights. The survivors from Days 1A and 1B will compete in Days 2A and 2B on July 5th (the fields will be separate, even though they will play on the same calendar day), while those who remain from Day 1C will play on Day 2C on July 6th. Everyone who is still alive after the Day 2 flights will come together on Day 3 on July 7th. The field will be narrowed to the final table on July 11th. After that, the final table will be contested across three days. Remember, there is no “November Nine” anymore.

Back this year is the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop, positions as the final event on the schedule, slated to run July 15th through July 17th.

There are also four World Series of Poker online bracelet events this year, made even better by the recent player pool merger between Nevada and New Jersey. For the first time, players in New Jersey will be able to compete for online bracelets; the events were previously restricted to people located in Nevada.

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