In a stunning announcement this morning out of Las Vegas, Caesars Entertainment and the World Series of Poker have announced that there will be a SINGULAR event to commemorate the 2020 WSOP. The $10,000 WSOP Championship Event will be a hybrid event and will attempt to appease players outside of the U. S. and inside the country. In the end, the WSOP will look to crown a “world champion” in a live setting at the end of December.
Starts Online, Moves to Live Setting
This is something that took some planning by not only Caesars and WSOP officials but also those in the online world they’ve chosen to team up with.
The $10,000 WSOP Championship Event, given the colloquial name of the “Main Event” by television several years ago, will be started on two different platforms. For international players, the tournament will begin on November 29 at GGPoker.com, with Day 1A of the event on the 29th, Day 1B on December 5 and Day 1C on December 6. The U. S. contingent isn’t getting the convenience of a multi-day start, with the Day 1 battle starting on December 13 on the WSOP.com battlegrounds.
Day 2 for the internationals will play down to nine players on December 7, with those nine heading to King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic to play down to the last man (this is tentative; currently King’s Casino is closed due to COVID-19 restrictions). On December 14, Day 2 will play down to the final nine in the U. S. on WSOP.com and those players will head to the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino to play down to a last man (or woman) standing.
The two champions – the international victor and the U. S. winner – will then meet in a televised Heads-Up match at the Rio on December 30 (if the international winner is under 21, then of course the schedule would have to be adjusted) on ESPN, with the traditional broadcast team of Lon McEachern and Norm Chad offering commentary. The two players who meet in this match will have an additional $1 million to play for beyond what they already won with their own particular tournaments. The winner of the Heads-Up match will be officially recognized as the 2020 WSOP Championship Event winner and the World Champion of poker.
“There Must Be a World Champion”
“There must be a World Champion in 2020,” said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the World Series of Poker, during Friday’s announcement. “Poker’s history is too important. It’s a unique format for the Main Event, but this is a unique year. We want to keep players’ health and safety top of mind and still deliver a great televised showcase for the game we love.”
Added GGPoker Head of Poker Operations Steve Preiss, “We’re very happy to continue to deepen our relationship with WSOP. It was a huge summer of record-setting action on GGPoker and we’re excited to offer players access to the biggest tournament of all.”
It really does make sense for the WSOP to try to hew to history. Although this summer’s tournament schedule on WSOP.com and GGPoker were quite lucrative for the pocketbooks of Caesars and several players, there is absolutely nothing that was memorable about the online proceedings. In fact, without looking it up, probably nobody other than the winners and maybe their immediate family could name the eventual “Main Event” winners from this year’s schedule on the two online sites. It was necessary to try to make sure that there would be a champion in the world of poker and, while this isn’t a perfect situation (there isn’t the 60-day slog that comes before the pinnacle of the poker world), it is the best that can be allowed under current conditions.
It will be interesting to see what the response of the players will be. While there will be a plethora of online satellite possibilities, will players look at this as the way to carry on with the WSOP history or look at it as just another “money grab?” We’ll see when the festivities start at the end of the month.