The 50th annual World Series of Poker begins in about two weeks and though the schedule was finalized quite a while back, there has still been uncertainty about the nine online bracelet events. With the new Wire Act opinion published by the Department of Justice in January, the ability of people in New Jersey to participate is up in the air. Most of it is still up in the air, but recently, the WSOP at least confirmed that players in New Jersey could compete in the first two online bracelet events.
There will be nine online events this year, all beginning at 3:30pm Pacific time:
Sunday, June 2 – $400 No-Limit Hold’em (3x Re-entry)
Sunday, June 9 – $600 Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha (Unlimited Re-entry)
Sunday, June 16 – $600 Knockout Bounty No-Limit Hold’em
Wednesday, June 19 – $500 Turbo No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack (3x Re-entry)
Sunday, June 23 – $1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em (3x Re-entry)
Sunday, June 30 – $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship (3x Re-entry)
Wednesday, July 3 – $3,200 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em (3x Re-entry)
Sunday, July 7 – $800 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em (3x Re-entry)
Sunday, July 14 – $500 Summer Saver No-Limit Hold’em (3x Re-entry)
As you can see, most of the tournaments are on Sundays. The other noticeable feature is that all but one of the nine bracelet events permits re-entries, which will likely perturb many players.
Online Events in Limbo for New Jersey Players
As in previous years, the online bracelet events are open to those with access to WSOP.com in Nevada. Though people in New Jersey can play on that state’s version of WSOP.com, the press release put out by the WSOP in February said that their eligibility for “online gold bracelet events has yet to be determined.”
This is because the new Wire Act opinion says that all interstate online gambling is illegal. This would naturally seem to prohibit interstate poker networks, even if communications originate and terminate in the same state, which is why New Jersey players might be locked out.
The deadline for operators to comply with the new opinion and avoid possible prosecution is a month from now, June 14. In the meantime, the WSOP has confirmed that players on WSOP.com in New Jersey will be able to play in the first two online bracelets: $400 No-Limit Hold’em on June 2 and $600 Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha on June 9. After June 14, though, we still do not know what the World Series of Poker will decide.
The WSOP introduced online bracelet events in 2015; there was just one online event in both 2015 and 2016. A unique aspect of both of those tournaments was that the final table played out live at the Rio in Las Vegas. In 2017, there were three online bracelet events and the live final table was eliminated. The 2018 schedule had four online bracelet events. The nine internet events this year is as many as the history of the WSOP had combined.