The second of nine online bracelet events at this year’s World Series of Poker was contested this weekend, with Josh “loofa” Pollock winning $139,740 and his second career bracelet. For a while, it seemed like that might be it for all of the online hopefuls in New Jersey, as the Department of Justice’s reinterpretation of the Wire Act put the ability of New Jerseyans to play on the same site as Nevadans in jeopardy. Fortunately for all, though, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission won its lawsuit against the DoJ and according to reports, the WSOP has said players in New Jersey can now participate in all nine online bracelet events.
The problem the WSOP and New Jerseyans were running into was that the DoJ’s Office of Legal Counsel issued a new interpretation of the Wire Act earlier this year, saying that it made all interstate online gambling illegal, rather than just sports betting, as the OLC said in late 2011. After being pushed back, the deadline for operators and states to comply was later this week, after which, the Department of Justice could choose to prosecute. As such, the World Series of Poker was only guaranteeing that players on WSOP.com in New Jersey could compete in the first two online bracelet events. All the rest fall after the June 15th deadline.
Last week, though, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission won its lawsuit against the DoJ, giving World Series of Poker officials the confidence to say that it was back on for New Jerseyans, that they could feel free to register for the upcoming online bracelet events.
Things could certainly change, but, “….barring something unforeseen, we plan on continuing with shared liquidity between Nevada and New Jersey for the remaining eight WSOP gold bracelet events between now and July 14,” WSOP Vice President of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky told media outlets.
WSOP Keeps Expanding Online Bracelet Events
This is the fifth year of online bracelet events at the World Series of Poker, but none of the previous years have come close to this year’s lineup. In both 2015 and 2016, there was just one online bracelet, and those sparked a bit of controversy, as many people could not fathom a World Series of Poker tournament being played out on the internet. The WSOP tried to find a happy medium by having the final table live at the Rio, but that structure was ditched after those first two years. In fact, in 2015, the original schedule had the final table taking place at the Rio the day after it was determined, but players who would potentially have to drive several hours to Las Vegas complained, and rightfully so, so a one-day gap was inserted.
In 2017, there were three online bracelet events and last year, there were four, so nine this year is quite the leap.
The next online bracelet event is on Sunday, June 16th, the $600 Knock-Out Bounty No-Limit Hold’em tournament, the only freezeout of the internet lineup.