Organizers seek change in structure of 2015 WSOP Online Bracelet Event
The World Series of Poker has been a staple of the industry for 45 years, paving the way for evolution in the game of poker around the globe. This year’s announcement of a revolutionary WOSP Online Bracelet Event is a huge leap into the modern technological age, but not one that everyone agrees with. And according to some sources, the original structure for the event announced last month may be changed before the 2015 WSOP gets underway.
Never before has the WSOP awarded a gold bracelet in any forum except live poker tables at the designated venue in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 2015 WSOP will change all that as organizers announced the summer schedule in February, including a historical milestone – an online bracelet event set to take place on WSOP.com.
The online tournament is slated for July 2nd as Event #64 on the 2015 WSOP schedule. With a buy-in of $1,000 to the NLHE tournament, the original structure was devised to bring the final two players out of the online realm and onto a live table at the Rio on July 3rd. Due to concerns about timing and a potentially short televised end to the highly anticipated online bracelet event, organizers are hoping to change the final table format.
According to PokerFuse, WSOP organizers have sought the permission of the Nevada Gaming Control Board to alter the final table arrangement. Instead of televising a heads-up finish on July 3rd, they want push it to July 4th, making the 3rd a “travel day” so that final tablists who aren’t already in easy traveling distance to Las Vegas have time to make it to the Rio. They would also prefer to have the final six players enter the live stage, rather than just two.
“We had concerns initially of getting the players to the Rio the next day to play out the event live,” said Caesars Interactive VP of Corporate Communications, Seth Palansky. He explained that they’ve “decided that July 3 will be a ‘travel day’ in essence for any players not in proximity to Las Vegas. As such, we will play the final table on July 4 now. This allows us to increase the live portion to six players and know we can get them all to the Rio in time.”
WSOP officials are declining all requests for comment for the time being. A spokesperson said that no comments will be issued regarding the proposed changed to the 2015 WSOP online bracelet event until the Nevada Gaming Control Board makes its decision.
Positive/Negative Responses to a 2015 WSOP Online Bracelet Event
The reaction from professional poker players regarding the first ever online bracelet event at the 2015 WSOP have been mixed.
One prominent supporter of the interactive transition has been Greg Merson, winner of the 2012 WSOP Championship. Merson called the online bracelet event his “favorite part of the schedule” this year. “Online has been a big boost for the game and rewarding the industry with a bracelet is amazing,” explained the former WSOP champ.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are players like 2013 WSOP bracelet winner Trevor Pope. “I think the WSOP online event is going to be quite overrated,” criticized Pope. His largest gripe seemed to be that serious online poker players prefer to multi-table, stating that “I personally won’t be playing the online event because I will just get too bored playing one table myself…”
Pope went on to condemn the requirements for participating in an online bracelet event compared to a live structure. Throughout history, the WSOP has been “a poker series played at the casino where all you need is a ‘chip and a chair’ as they say, but this is putting a whole new spin on that because now you need a good computer, reliable Internet, a place to play, and probably some good tracking software.”
In the end, though, Pope admitted that he could be wrong, and that the 2015 WSOP online bracelet event could have “a huge turnout” and help to “push online poker in the right direction.”