Remember way back in 2015 when the World Series of Poker introduced its first online bracelet event and half the poker world was all like, “THE WSOP IS DEFILING THE PURITY OF POKER! IT WILL NEVER BE A REAL BRACELET!” They must think the WSOP is a downright mutant now, as this year, there will be nine – count ‘em – NINE online bracelet events, the same number that have been held in the last four years combined.
Not only are there a lot of online bracelet events this summer, but they have been specifically scheduled to cater to the preferred schedule of internet poker players. Sunday is probably the biggest day of the online poker week, so the WSOP has scheduled one bracelet event every Sunday from June 2nd through July 14th at 3:30pm PT. The other two online bracelet events will be on Wednesdays – June 19th and July 3rd – also at 3:30pm PT.
One aspect of the online bracelet events that may divide the poker community is that almost all of them allow re-entries. Seven limit the number of re-entries to three, while one has unlimited re-entries. Just one of the tournaments – the June 16th Knockout Bounty No-Limit Hold’em event – is a freezeout, and that’s only because it has to be by nature of being a knockout event.
The nine tournaments are also much more affordable than most of the live events at the Rio, as six of the nine have price points of less than $1,000.
Looking back, the first two years of online bracelet events – 2015 and 2016 – had just one such tournament each. Those two events also had the added feature of a live final table at the Rio. The 2015 online bracelet event was originally scheduled to run straight through without a break, with the tournament pausing when the final table was set and then having those final six players compete the next day at the Rio. Hearing the complaints and realizing it was unfair logistically to ask someone way on the other side of the state to travel to Las Vegas to play the next day, a one-day gap was put in place.
Starting in 2017, the live portion of the online bracelet events was removed and all three tournaments that year were played online in their entirety. There were four online bracelet events last year.
Obviously (or not, I suppose), only people who are eligible to play on WSOP.com can compete in the online bracelet events. Right now, that means just people located within the borders of Nevada at the time of the tournaments. People can play on WSOP.com in New Jersey – even play with the Nevada counterparts – but a press release says that their eligibility for “online gold bracelet events has yet to be determined.” Last year they were eligible, but the uncertainty this year may come from the recent Department of Justice opinion on the Wire Act.
Players can also compete on the mobile version of WSOP.com, except for the Pot-Limit Omaha events. And for any re-entries, cash must be used; no tournament tickets or anything like that.