Stay in on Sundays
The 2021 World Series of Poker is almost here, just ten days away. But if you have felt something was missing from the gargantuan 80-plus-tournament schedule, you wouldn’t be wrong. Despite all the WSOP Online events both this and last year, there was not a single online bracelet event on this fall’s WSOP schedule. Until now.
On Friday, the World Series of Poker announced that yes, there will be gold bracelet events contests on WSOP.com. Ten of them, one each Sunday of the Series except for October 3, on which day there will be two. The online bracelet events are open only to players in New Jersey and Nevada, as they share tables on WSOP.com. Pennsylvania players, despite also having a chance to play on WSOP.com, are not linked with the other two states, so they only get one special online bracelet event all to themselves on November 21.
“Online Poker is an important form of tournament poker in 2021,” said Senior Vice President of the World Series of Poker at Caesars Entertainment, Ty Stewart, in Friday’s press release. “Our philosophy has always been to provide players the most options of any poker festival in the world. WSOP.com online bracelets have a strong track record of significant prize pools, making them a great option for players who want to multi-table while in a live tournament, or play from the convenience of their home or hotel.”
Though it feels like online bracelet events have been around for at least a decade, it has only been about half that. The poker community was undoubtedly torn in 2015 when the first online bracelet event was put on the schedule. “Blasphemy!” the purists cried because, after all, internet poker isn’t really poker, right?
And no, that tournament wasn’t perfect. WSOP organizers had the idea to make the six-handed final table live to at least keep somewhat with tradition. The problem, though, was that having it the day after said final table was determined made for some really tough travel arrangements from those who lived far away from Las Vegas (the tournament was only open to players in Nevada, but Nevada is a pretty darn big state). Fortunately, the WSOP inserted a one-day break to make things easier.
In 2016, re-entries were added. In 2017, the schedule expanded to three online bracelet events and the live final table was nixed. The slate was up to four events in 2018.
So after four years, the online bracelet events were definitely a thing and didn’t look to be going anywhere. Not only were they here to stay, though, they were extremely popular. In 2019, the WSOP expanded the schedule to nine internet events.
Of course, last year was messed up, but at least the internet poker world was blessed with the WSOP Online. And now, even though the WSOP Online returned this year, we are up to ten online bracelet events during the World Series of Poker proper.