How much more ambitious can the crown jewel of the poker world get with the 2016 WSOP schedule? Caesars, the organizers of the massive live (and now even online) spectacle, will present their answer starting on June 1. The last few years have brought several fresh ideas and larger WSOP schedules than ever. 2016 promises to continue the trend of bigger, better, and more streamlined.
The 47th WSOP
Beginning in 1970 with humble origins this will be the 47th edition of the World Series of Poker, the annual Mecca of the poker world. It will take place entirely at the Rio in Las Vegas, as it has every year since 2005. WSOP bracelet events, non-bracelet daily tournaments, satellites, and cash games all take place within the Rio’s massive convention center.
8 new events for the 2016 WSOP
Caesars has put an increasing focus on recent years on making the WSOP experience accessible to almost every bankroll by adding numerous sub-$2,000 buy-in events that draw recreational players in massive numbers. WSOP continues this trend with the following 8 new bracelet events:
- Event 4 (June 5) $1,000 Hybrid Online/Live No-Limit Texas Hold’em
- Event 12 (June 9) $565 Pot-Limit Omaha
- Event 23 (June 15) $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em
- Event 40 (June 23) $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball
- Event 45 (June 26) $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha
- Event 53 (June 30) $1,500 Mixed Pot-Limit Omaha
- Event 54 (July 1) $888 8-handed No-Limit Hold’em
- Event 61 (July 7) $1,000 Team No-Limit Hold’em
It would take $410,805 to buy in to every WSOP bracelet event once.
Cheap Hold’em still reigns supreme
While the Hold’em craze of last decade (the Aughts? The 2000’s?) has waned a bit, giving rise to Omaha and mixed bracelet events, low buy-in Hold’em still makes up the majority of the WSOP schedule.
WSOP News and More
For complete background information on the annual mecca of poker tournaments view our dedicated World Series of Poker hub, which traces the history of the WSOP, current news, every winner, and probably a lot more than you wanted to know.
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|Tue, May 31||24h||Cash games open at Rio|
|1||Wed, June 1||11a||Casino Employees No-Limit Hold'em||$565|
|2A||Thu, June 2||10a||Colossus II No-Limit Hold'em (re-entry)||$565|
|2B||Thu, June 2||4p|
|2C||Fri, June 3||10a|
|2D||Fri, June 3||4p|
|2E||Sat, June 4||10a|
|2F||Sat, June 4||4p|
|3||Sat, June 4||3p||Seven-Card Stud Championship||$10,000|
|4||Sun, June 5||11a||Top-Up Turbo No-Limit Hold'em||$1,000|
|5||Sun, June 5||3p||Dealer's Choice (6-handed)||$1,500|
|6||Mon, June 6||11a||No-Limit Hold'em||$1,500|
|7||Mon, June 6||3p||No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball (one re-entry)||$1,500|
|8||Tue, June 7||11a||H.O.R.S.E.||$1,500|
|9||Tue, June 7||3p||No-Limit Hold'em Heads-up Championship||$10,000|
|10||Wed, June 8||11a||No-Limit Hold'em (6-handed)||$1,500|
|11||Wed, June 8||3p||Dealer's Choice 6-handed Championship||$10,000|
|12||Thu, June 9||11a||Pot-Limit Omaha (re-entry)||$565|
|13||Thu, June 9||3p||Razz||$1,500|
|14A||Fri, June 10||10a||Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold'em||$1,500|
|14B||Sat, June 11||10a|
|15||Fri, June 10||3p||8-Game Mix (6-handed)||$1,500|
|16||Sat, June 11||3p||No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship (one re-entry)||$10,000|
|17||Sun, June 12||11a||No-Limit Hold'em||$1,000|
|18||Sun, June 12||3p||H.O.R.S.E.||$3,000|
|19||Mon, June 13||11a||Pot-Limit Omaha||$1,000|
|20||Mon, June 13||3p||Razz Championship||$10,000|
|21||Tue, June 14||11a||No-Limit Hold'em (6-handed)||$3,000|
|22||Tue, June 14||3p||Limit Hold'em||$1,500|
|23||Wed, June 15||11a||No-Limit Hold'em||$2,000|
|24||Wed, June 15||3p||H.O.R.S.E. Championship||$10,000|
|25||Thu, June 16||11a||No-Limit Hold'em||$2,500|
|26||Thu, June 16||3p||Omaha Hi-Low 8/b||$1,500|
|27||Fri, June 17||10a||Seniors No-Limit Hold'em (ages 50+)||$1,000|
|28||Fri, June 17||3p||Limit Hold'em Championship||$10,000|
|29||Sat, June 18||11a||No-Limit Hold'em||$1,500|
|30||Sat, June 18||3p||Pot-Limit Omaha (6-handed)||$3,000|
|31||Sun, June 19||11a||Super Seniors No-Limit Hold'em (ages 65+)||$1,000|
|32||Sun, June 19||3p||Omaha Hi-Low 8/b Championship||$10,000|
|33||Mon, June 20||11a||No-Limit Hold'em (90-minute levels)||$1,500|
|34||Mon, June 20||3p||Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball||$1,500|
|35||Tue, June 21||11a||No-Limit Hold'em (6-handed)||$5,000|
|36||Tue, June 21||3p||Mixed Omaha and Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low 8/b||$2,500|
|37||Wed, June 22||11a||Pot-Limit Omaha||$1,500|
|38||Wed, June 22||3p||Limit Hold'em (6-handed)||$3,000|
|39||Thu, June 23||11a||No-Limit Hold'em (6-handed ) Championship||$10,000|
|40||Thu, June 23||3p||Limit Triple Draw Lowball||$2,500|
|41A||Fri, June 24||10a||Monster Stack No-Limit Hold'em (no re-entry)||$1,500|
|41B||Sat, June 25||10a|
|42||Fri, June 24||3p||No-Limit Hold'em (Shootout)||$3,000|
|43||Sat, June 25||3p||Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low 8/b Championship||$10,000|
|44||Sun, June 26||11a||No-Limit Hold'em||$1,000|
|45||Sun, June 26||3p||Mixed No-Limit Hold'em and Pot-Limit Omaha||$1,500|
|46||Mon, June 27||11a||No-Limit Hold'em (Bounty)||$1,500|
|47||Mon, June 27||3p||Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball Championship||$10,000|
|48||Tue, June 28||11a||No-Limit Hold'em (30-minute levels)||$5,000|
|49||Tue, June 28||3p||Seven-Card Stud||$1,500|
|50||Wed, June 29||11a||No-Limit Hold'em (Shootout)||$1,500|
|51||Wed, June 29||3p||8-handed Pot-Limit Omaha Championship||$10,000|
|52||Thu, June 30||11a||No-Limit Hold'em||$3,000|
|53||Thu, June 30||3p||Mixed Pot-Limit Omaha 8/b and Big O||1,500|
|54A||Fri, July 1||10a||Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold'em (8-handed, re-entry)||$888|
|54B||Fri, July 1||4p|
|54C||Sat, July 2||10a|
|54D||Sat, July 2||4p|
|55||Sat, July 2||3p||Poker Players Championship (6-handed)||$50,000|
|56||Sun, July 3||11a||No-Limit Hold'em||$1,500|
|57||Sun, July 3||3p||Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low 8/b||$1,500|
|58||Mon, July 4||11a||No-Limit Hold'em (30-minute levels)||$1,000|
|59||Tue, July 5||11a||No-Limit Hold'em||$5,000|
|60||Tue, July 5||3p||Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low 8/b||$1,500|
|61||Wed, July 6||11a||Team No-Limit Hold'em (2-4 players)||$1,000|
|62||Wed, July 6||3p||High Roller Pot-Limit Omaha (8-handed)||$25,000|
|63||Thu, July 7||11a||No-Limit Hold'em||$1,000|
|64||Thu, July 7||3p||Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low 8/b||$3,000|
|65||Fri, July 8||11a||Ladies No-Limit Hold'em Championship||$1,000|
|66||Fri, July 8||1p||Online No-Limit Hold'em (re-entry)||$1,000|
|67||Fri, July 8||1p||High Roller for One Drop No-Limit Hold'em (one re-entry)||$111,111|
|68A||Sat, July 9||11a||No-Limit Hold'em Championship Main Event||$10,000|
|68B||Sun, July 10||11a|
|68C||Mon, July 11||11a|
|68||Mon, July 18||TBA||Main Event suspends play after 9 players remain|
|Sun, Oct 30||Main Event final table resumes|
|Tue, Nov 1||Main Event winner crowned|
|69A||Tue, July 12||3p||Little One for One Drop||$1,111|
|69B||Wed, July 13||3p|
|69C||Thu, July 14||3p|
Top 5 original ideas for WSOP 2016
- Mixed online/offline event. I’m not sure anyone saw this one coming, but it’s a perfect marketing ploy for the WSOP’s own Nevada-only online poker site. Event 4 will actually allow players to top-up their starting chips by playing a special online event first.
- Taking sponsorship to a whole new level. Going the route of college football bowl games the WSOP is actually allowing 888 poker to essentially name event 54 – Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’em for an $888 buy-in. Welcome to the world of domestic beer and libido medication, 888!
- Tag-team poker. The WSOP is reviving an idea from the mid-’80s and allowing team play for event 61 on Wednesday, July 6.
- Payouts as flat as Phil Hellmuth singing the national anthem.
- Ungodly starting times. Almost every WSOP 2016 event will start at either 11 a.m. or 3 p.m., an hour earlier than in previous years. Red Bull may not like it, but I believe this will improve quality of play by shifting things more into the spectrum of the non-sleep-disorder population. But, oh, the horror of those hours! Curse the poker media! Right, Joe McKeehen?
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[btf_block title=”Highlights of the 2016 WSOP Schedule” symbol=”2″ bgcolor=”618685″ textcolor=”fff”]
- Record 69 events
- About 15% of the field will cash, up 10% in previous years
- Earlier starting times of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. for most events
- The Main Event and other $10,000 events will now receive 50,000 starting chips
- Blind levels will be streamlined to try to get events to end on time
- 8 new low-buy-in events added
Spotlight: WSOP Colossus 2016
- Event #2
- Starting heats: 6 total. Saturday, June 2, 3, and 4 at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day
- Buy-in: $565
- Re-entry: allowed for another entry day if player doesn’t reach the money
- Game: No-Limit Hold’em
Details: Last year saw the introduction of Colossus, the lowest buy-in of the Series, which proved to be an extremely popular experiment. It only set records for the largest live poker tournament in history and drew over 20,000 players.
The allure of taking part in a real WSOP bracelet event for under $600 simply proved to be too strong for seemingly every recreational poker player able to make it to the Rio. Colossus I also received its share of negative press for the ultimate anticlimax of setting attendance records yet not even guaranteeing $1 million to the winner.
In an event designed to make as many players happy as possible and give a taste of the WSOP experience to everyone the prize structure was spread out so widely and thin that there simply wasn’t enough butter to spread all the way across the toast.
Caesars seems to have learned from that PR faux pas. The WSOP Colossus 2016 will both guarantee a total prize pool of $7 million and a first prize of $1 million. The only complaining pros will likely be able to do at this year’s Colossus will be the throngs of all-in rec donks putting bad beats on them.
Colossus II 2016 will likely break last year’s attendance records as Caesars has been hyping it as a new WSOP centerpiece.
Last year’s Colossus was the largest live poker tournament in history
Spotlight: WSOP main event 2016
- Event #68
- Starting heats: 3 total. Saturday, July 9, 10, and 11. 11 a.m. each day.
- Buy-in: $10,000
- Game: No-Limit Hold’em
Details: This is it. The Big One. The crown jewel of poker tournaments. The WSOP Main Event.
One of the most expensive buy-ins of the year, thousands of players, millions of dollars for the winner, poker immortality, unreal media coverage, and probably the only poker tournament of the year that even non-poker players will care about and watch.
For as modern of a spectacle as it may seem the Main Event hasn’t really changed at all since its inception over 40 years ago. It’s always been No-Limit Hold’em. It’s always been $10,000. It’s always been in Las Vegas.
The WSOP Main Event in 2016 will be full of compelling stories and only one diamond-bracelet-clad winner who will feel truly satisfied. Every honest poker player will tell you they’ve dreamed of it being them. A few dozen times.
Thoughts on the final 2016 WSOP schedule
The finalized and complete 2016 WSOP schedule is finally here. We can all take a deep breath, pore over event numbers, and daydream about how many bracelets we’re all going to win.
Jack Effel and crew took their time and incited plenty of caterwauling, but now you can book your flights, rooms, and time off work. The clock is ticking.
Players finishing in the money increased
Starting with the 2016 WSOP the payout structure will get flatter, payout out more players smaller prizes. The standard will be that 15% of the field now cashes.
I have mixed feelings on this one. On one hand, more happy players is always a thing and, as Caesars points out, this means that events will reach the money/payout phase sooner. This has been the trend online for years.
On the other hand, the ones who really suffer in this structure are the top WSOP 2016 finishers. I still like to see that massive payout to the final table and especially the bracelet winner.
Earlier event starting times for WSOP 2016
I feel like they got it half-right here. The 2016 WSOP schedule will finally bump up the starting times for most events by an hour to 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. That will certainly help tournaments end for the day sooner. Great.
However, the WSOP still doesn’t stop play for the “day” until 2 a.m. I feel like something should be done about that at some point. How about midnight? I understand that would lead to events taking more days to complete, but the upside would be in overall quality of play, which, in turn, just makes the World Series of Poker better.
Outside of the growing vampire population no one is playing at their best after midnight. Doesn’t it seem sort of crazy that players would be playing for millions of dollars at 1 and 2 in the morning? This puts seniors at a marked disadvantage.
Streamlined blind structures
This was a good common-sense change that will help trim levels and thus overall time of each tournament. In previous years there may have been a separate level that simply added in an ante and left the blind levels the same (e.g. 1,000/2,000 blinds followed by a 1,000/2,000/250 ante level).
They will now be streamlined into one level for the 2016 WSOP. I’m all for ending the days sooner and taking fewer overall to complete each event.
WSOP 2016 Team Event
One big surprise that no one saw coming is that there will a WSOP “team” event, where multiple players will take turns in the same seat managing a single chip stack. Team players can switch at any time as long as they aren’t active in a hand. Caesars knows how to surprise and generate a reaction if nothing else, delving into obscure WSOP history for this one.
The team event will be on the 2016 schedule at #61, beginning on Wednesday, July 6th. Predictably, the game will be No-Limit Texas Hold’em. The buy-in will be $1,000, teams can be up to 4 players, and each member of the winning team gets a WSOP bracelet.
While it may seem like a modern invention by the “poker as a sport” segment 2-player team events actually existed on the WSOP schedule for 4 years from 1980-1983. They mostly served as a fun side event with low Seven-Card Stud buy-ins of under $1,000.
Innovating the 2016 World Series of Poker
With the 2016 WSOP schedule right around the corner it struck me how much fresher the annual poker spectacle has felt in recent years.
There was a time in the mid-2000s, after the poker explosion brought thousands of new players and moved to the Rio, that I felt like the WSOP got a bit stale.
Don’t get me wrong. Every Series is incredible and filled with great stories and epic events, but there wasn’t much innovation beyond increasing the number of events and offering more small buy-ins.
However, I’ve been impressed with the response by Caesars and WSOP 2016 tournament director Jack Effel over the past 5 years or so to make things feel fresh again. The 2016 WSOP schedule won’t be an exception.
The main objectives seem to be to throw ideas borrowed from online poker against the wall to see what sticks and to make the WSOP experience affordable to every player who makes the poker world’s pilgrimage to Vegas. Those plans work for me.
The schedule so far
Caesars has released some early details about the 2016 WSOP to whet our appetites before the full schedule is released in the coming weeks. As expected, they are making the Colossus a focal point after setting records and igniting controversy with it last year.
[btf_block title=”Early details on the 2016 WSOP” symbol=”2″ bgcolor=”618685″ textcolor=”fff”]
- The $565 Colossus II will lead off all open events on June 2, 2016 with 2 more entry days following it
- Players can re-enter on another entry day if they don’t reach the money. Each entry day plays to the money
- The guaranteed prize pool is increasing to $7 million with first place guaranteed at least $1 million
- The Main Event will run from July 9 to July 18, 2016
- The $1,000 Seniors Event for players ages 50+ will be held on June 17, 2016
- As expected, the Millionaire Maker, Little One for One Drop, and the Monster Stack events will be returning
- There will be some form of a “team event” where multiple players will take turns playing a single chip stack
WSOP Satellites 2016
As it has for the past 15 years (wow, is the mainstream popularity of online poker really that old? Am I really that old?) WSOP satellites for 2016 will mainly take place online.
That certainly doesn’t mean that live WSOP satellites are an endangered species. The Rio will host them around the clock starting May 31 and many of your local brick-and-mortar cardrooms will even host 1 or 2 big tourneys to get you a seat.
WSOP satellites are a staple of online poker rooms and, for some, the main reason to even play online. Poker sites are happy to oblige, offering a slew of tournament steps starting at $1 and direct-entry events going up to a buy-in of $1,000. Here are the best options for 2016.
WSOP Satellites at PokerStars
Poker Stars is online poker at this point for everyone outside of the US. Estimates used to have them at sending half of the entire Main Event field.
PokerStars still the best poker room for non-US players with an absurd number of satellites for the 2016 WSOP schedule running around the clock and no shortage of competitors to fill up on-demand tournaments.
888 Poker is now the second-largest funnel for WSOP entrants and second-largest in the world in terms of online players.
They have plenty of satellites and the best promotions online in their $88 no-deposit offer for our players. The poker branch of 888 may not earn the outrageous Fish Rating it used to, but the level of competition is infinitely lower than PokerStars.
Satellites for US Players
WSOP officials don’t allow US-facing poker rooms to to directly buy players in so usually player accounts are just credited with the funds. One of the big US players for next year is likely to be Ignition Poker.
BetOnline is probably the best bet for US players wanting to win their way into the 2016 WSOP. They have strong traffic, excellent credit card success, and a decent amount of WSOP qualifiers. Their first step satellites start at a ridiculous 11-cent buy-in.
The Rio hosts numerous satellites and super-satellites every day leading up to and during of the 2016 WSOP. The buy-ins for Main Event satellites usually range from about $200 for multi-table tournaments to $1,000 for just a single table. Of course, for those lower buy-ins you’re trading the higher chance of prevailing thanks to only 2-5% of the field getting a prize.
How do WSOP satellites work?
At its simplest WSOP satellites work by awarding a WSOP Main Event seat to the winner(s) of special tournaments with low buy-ins.
As an example, a satellite tournament with a $50 buy in that draws 200 players would award one $10,000 Main Event seat to the winner. 50×200 is $10,000 so that’s the total prize pool.
Another might have a $500 buy-in so 1 out of 20 (5% of the field) would get a prize. Any leftover buy-in money that wasn’t enough to add up to another $10,000 seat was just given as cash to the other top finishers. In the early 2000s this was largely the only way WSOP satellites worked.
In the years since online poker sites have crafted countless other creative ways to get smaller players involved in Main Event satellites, usually with minuscule buy-ins or even freerolls that award the very few winners a step up to the next buy-in level.
Typically, it takes 4 or 5 steps to finally make it into the direct-entry satellites that guarantee WSOP seats. Players have to win multiple wild crowded tournaments, but it’s possible to win a Main Event seat for a few dollars or less.
When do WSOP satellites start?
WSOP satellites start in the spring for online poker sites like PokerStars and then at the start of the Series for live satellites at the Rio. You may also be able to find a local cardroom with a one-off tournament awarding a World Series seat all the way through June.
Are there any live WSOP satellites?
Yes. Don’t like to play online, live somewhere where you can’t, or simply prefer to play at a real table? Live WSOP satellites certainly do still exist, mainly at the Rio Pavilion Room running concurrent with the WSOP schedule. Starting May 31, single table satellites and $185 mega satellites will run daily at 9:00 a.m. For every 10 entries, a $1,500 WSOP entry and $100 cash will be awarded.
Aside from the daily mega satellites the Pavilion Room will also host on-demand WSOP satellites. The structure is flexible, with various buy-ins available depending on the demand. Once a table fills up with 10 players the satellite starts, making it akin to a single table Sit and Go with a single winner.
Live WSOP satellite prizes are actually awarded in special $500 chips that are valid for any 2016 WSOP event. Note that they expire after the conclusion of this year’s WSOP so you cannot save them for future years.
Prospective players can enter their chosen 2016 WSOP scheduled event by plunking down the cash directly at the Rio cage usually starting in May.
What will work for the 2016 WSOP schedule
The 2016 WSOP will likely follow the same successful formula of recent years: keep the favorites, refine the experimental from last year, and try a new twist or two to keep things interesting.
[btf_block title=”Sure things for the 2016 WSOP schedule ” symbol=”2″ bgcolor=”618685″ textcolor=”fff”]
- Final schedule will be released in early 2016.
- A record 68 events last year. That number will probably be even higher for 2016.
- Numerous “online” styles: turbo, deep stack, bounty, 50/50, heads-up.
- An online-only event. Last year’s was popular enough to earn another appearance.
- The “Colossus” $565 event. It’s the lowest buy-in ever for the WSOP and set records last year.
- Flatter controversial payout structure: more cashes, lower top prizes for more events.
One thing that I appreciate about the Caesars team running the WSOP is that they don’t change much simply for change’s sake. They take experiments with varying degrees of success, yes, but they’ve never really stripped anything that players really love.
The favorites will be back on the 2016 WSOP schedule culminating, as always, with the Big One, the Main Event that has carried the prestige of the poker world for 46 years.
Guarantees for 2016
- The $10,000 Main Event. This is the World Series of Poker. As long as the WSOP exists this crown jewel of the poker world will close the ceremonies.
- Old favorites. You’ll always find some Stud, Omaha, and some form of lowball.
- New favorites. The $50,000 players championship, the Big one for One Drop, and now the Colossus, which drew over 20,000 players for its inaugural $500 event. These are recent additions that have become staples.
Refining newer features
As discussed above, last year’s WSOP schedule brought some interesting additions to varying degrees of success. It’s a learning experience to try something new so logistics don’t usually go perfectly when thousands of players are involved. Some fresh ideas deserve a refined return in for WSOP 2016.
Bring these back in 2016 and make them better
- The online event. This did well enough to warrant a repeat appearance and serves as advertisement for the WSOP online site.
- The $565 colossus. It had payout controversy with very little weight given to the top prizes, but how can they not bring back the largest live poker event in history?
Jack Effel and the rest of the Caesars WSOP 2016 team are always good for a surprise or two, which helps keep the schedule relevant and adds some extra interest. Last year it was the “Colossus” $500 event, a new bounty event, and a 50/50 tournament that paid out half the field.
To be honest, I’m having a tough time actually thinking of realistic ideas that haven’t been tried at the WSOP yet. I’ll take a stab at it and return once the final schedule is out to laugh at myself.
My 2016 WSOP surprise predictions
- A rebuy/add-on event. For some reason players seem to love these online. Why not cage them in for their own WSOP tournament?
- Lottery tournaments. Another popular recent online invention that offers a small randomized chance at an increased prize pool. I’m not sure how this would work for a live tournament.
- Pros vote on the winner. I had to have one off the wall prediction. Hearken back to the inaugural 1970 World Series and invite a handful of pros to play an extended cash game, then have them vote on the second-best player. How do they prevent something like this from becoming a popularity contest, though?
[btf_block title=”Top WSOP moments from last year” symbol=”2″ bgcolor=”618685″ textcolor=”fff”]
- Phil Hellmuth extends his record by winning his 14th WSOP bracelet
- Daniel Negreanu just misses the final table of the Main Event, finishing in 11th
- The first online WSOP event draws 905 players
- The colossus $565 event was the largest in live poker history, drawing over 22,000 players