The World Series of Poker Returns to Las Vegas May 28 - July 16, Celebrates 50th Anniversary
What’s the ultimate culmination of Las Vegas glitz, celebrity, white-knuckle pro sports excitement, and poker? The only acceptable answer is, of course, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournament festival.
The most celebrated institution in table games again returns to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas from May 28-July 16, 2019 in what marks the 50th anniversary of the WSOP.
Thanks to poker TV programming like Poker Night in America from CBS Sports and interactive, instant play content from live-dealer casino providers, poker continues to achieve new highs in popularity. The 2019 WSOP promises to follow suit with its biggest and best installment to-date..
While a finalized, official event schedule has yet to emerge, as of January 23rd, 73 events across the most popular variants of poker have been announced including 20 events of $10,000 or greater buy-ins.
Perhaps the most notable is Big 50, a brand-new No-Limit Hold’Em tournament slated for the WSOP’s opening weekend from May 30-June 2. Created as a nod to the WSOP’s golden anniversary, Big 50 is a $500 buy-in event featuring a hefty $5 million prize pool and $1 million guaranteed first place price.
Each player’s initial entry will be rake-free, meaning the whole $500 entry fee will flow directly into the prize pool. All subsequent entries will pay standard rake. Big 50 will have four starting flights, one on each day of the tournament. Each player will begin with 50,000 chips, and 12 50-minute levels are planned for flights starting on the first day.
Big 50 is likely to shape up as one of the largest events in WSOP history, according to Executive Director Ty Stewart. It’s also one of the best values, with Stewart noting, “This is part of our concerted plans to make the 2019 WSOP a better value all-around.”
Stewart’s promise to deliver value extends to the popular Colossus event. The Colossus buy-in price has been shaved by $165 down to $400 this year. As the least expensive gold bracelet event at the 2019 WSOP, Colossus comes with 40,000 starting chips and 40-minute levels throughout. Starting days are June 26 and June 27. Survivors will be combined on June 28 with the final table scheduled for June 29.
Of course, The annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas of poker pros and world-class amateurs would be incomplete without the $10,000 WSOP Main Event. Running from July 3-16, the Main Event begins at noon each day. Initial flights run July 4-July 5 with survivors playing on July 6-July 7. The remaining fields combine on July 8 with players expected to reach money before the end of the day..
As in years past, the Main Event remains a freeze-out format with no re-entries. However, a few modifications debut this year. Entrants will receive 60,000 chips rather than 50,000 and play with a Big Blind Ante format. Players can also buy into the Main Event up until the beginning of play on the second day.
A $1,000 buy-in tournament billed as the Mini Main Event kicks off two days before the Main Event on July 1 – July 2. And just like its big brother, the Mini Main Event will see players start with 60,000 chips while competing in the same blind structure. Levels here are 30 minutes instead of the 120-minute levels found in the Main Event.
Also commemorating WSOP’s 50th birthday is a special “alumni” event open exclusively to bracelet winners. Taking place July 10, all 1,078 past bracelet winners and 2019 bracelet winners are invited to compete in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’Em event. The tournament features a 50,000 starting stack.
A complete 2019 WSOP event schedule is expected soon. Individual event online pre-registration begins in March or April once all events have been reviewed and approved by regulators. Please follow WSOP.com for forthcoming information and registration details.