The 2009 World Series of Poker Schedule
One has to marvel at the incredible numbers that the World Series of Poker (WSOP) continues to provide in spite of evidence that would project an overall decline in poker’s popularity. After all, poker doesn’t seem to have the trendy staying power that it once did, making an appearance every half hour on television and defining oversaturation with everything from poker t-shirts and video games to keychains. Come to think of it, is it really such a bad thing that the “fad” has died down a bit?
The 2009 WSOP schedule will have a tough act to follow with last year’s Series setting substantial new records. Despite a wretched global economy, an online poker market that has yet to fully recover from the US government’s obsession with blocking its citizens from playing $5 Sit and Gos in their pajamas, and an overall drop in poker’s sponsored overhyping, 2008 saw records in both overall entrants and total prize money.
Nearly 58,000 players battled for their share of over $180,000,000 in total prizes over the course of 55 events. It’s truly refreshing to see so many poker players still flock to the WSOP and stimulate the poker economy, proving that there are still millions dedicated to the game. Peter Eastgate, a Denmark native, ended up winning the Main Event and over $9 million.
With the professionals dominating the $50,000 Chip Reese HORSE event (Scotty Nguyen ended up taking the bracelet last year) and further cementing its stature as the new true Main Event, I expect the 2009 WSOP schedule to continue to be built around this event. It’s simply more interesting to watch players we know and have an opinion on one way or the other. I believe this is the main reason why a poker show like High Stakes Poker can succeed while the WPT can’t even secure a network at this point.
On a personal note, one idea that I don’t care for in the 2009 WSOP schedule is the return of the delayed Main Event final table. While I understand Harrah’s reasons for testing this out (more hype and more money) it just feels more like a calculated spectacle than a time-honored annual poker tradition.
I don’t even think that Harrah’s achieved their goal with the “November 9” gimmick last year. Instead of the final table players becoming household names and building hype for the final table, I feel that casual fans just forgot about the whole thing and, understandably, most of us just became disinterested. The lack of professionals in the final mix didn’t help. Unfortunately, the delay must have helped Harrah’s bottom line enough to bring it back this year.
The 2009 WSOP schedule looks almost identical to last year’s version: numerous $10,000 championship events, lots of mixed events, and a slight increase with 57 total events. I was happy to see Harrah’s stick with the championship events, which creates the feel of several mini Main Events throughout the WSOP. While most still agree that No Limit Hold’em is the ultimate tournament game of choice, it’s also refreshing to see so many mixed events worked into the schedule. Besides several Pot-Limit and Limit events, HORSE, Stud, and Omaha also make healthy appearances. Even Lowball will have 3 events and Razz will have 1.
With so much money being invested in everything from sports events to movies to video games to poker tournaments, sequels with minor tinkering are far easier to pull off and have become the norm rather than truly creating something creative and new. Despite high fees, questionable playing conditions, and inordinate marketing that ultimately lessens the player experience, Harrah’s has done a solid job since they took over the tournament. Perhaps sticking with what has worked in the past isn’t such a bad thing.
Both single-table and multi-table satellites for the 2009 WSOP begin on May 26 and run through July 14. Every night will also feature $340 tournaments at 7 PM and $200 tournaments at 11 PM. The weekly satellite schedule is as follows:
• $330 Multi-Table Satellites: Sun-Thurs at 3 PM
• $550 Multi-Table Satellites: Sun-Thurs at 8 PM
• $550 Multi-Table Satellites: Fri-Sun at 3 PM
• $1,060 Multi-Table Satellites: Fri-Sat at 8 PM
Top Choices for Qualifying Online
Now the juggernaut of the online poker world, PokerStars always has an enormous presence at every WSOP. They usually send at least 25% of the Main Event field every year and it’s easy to see why with their round-the-clock satellite schedule that is the most robust in the industry. Of course, if you have the funds you can simply buy into their Sunday $650 direct qualifier that is the largest weekly WSOP satellite online.
Most players will go through the sub-satellites, which offer events throughout the day from $3 rebuys to $80 standard events with a ticket to the $650 qualifier at stake. Stars also supports enough traffic to fill up Sit and Go satellites, most of which are low buy-in double or triple shootouts. With enormous qualifiers that offer plenty of seats per tournament, tons of players waiting to start Sit and Go shootouts, and a step Sit and Go system starting at $7.50 It’s easy to recommend PokerStars as the top destination for WSOP satellites.
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Not far behind, Full Tilt Poker offers both one of the best satellite schedules and the largest potential reward for qualifying through them. One of the biggest satellite attractions here is the 150 Seat Main Event Guarantee, which will take place June 21 and offer at least 150 $12,000 WSOP packages. That equates to almost $2 million in prize packages awarded in one tournament. The direct buy-in is $550 with numerous daily satellites for less. This site also hosts weekly direct-entry satellites on 5 separate days with buy-ins ranging from $200-1,000.
While it may seem like a long shot, the ultimate goal of every player in the WSOP is to win the Main Event. Full Tilt Poker offers, by far, the greatest potential payoff in $10 million extra if you win The Big One after qualifying through their site. The advertising exposure that they’ll receive in return for branding you on ESPN and in countless media opportunities makes up for the expense. Finally, their $200 81-player shootouts offer a unique way to qualify Basically, win 2 consecutive Sit and Gos and the $12K package is yours.
Although Sportsbook Poker is certainly not in the league of the two powerhouses above it’s my top pick for WSOP qualifiers from a smaller site. Firstly, they eliminate the hassles of the ever-changing deposit options. Players can actually deposit and get on with the games in a few minutes because of their near-100% credit card approval rate. In terms of the actual satellites, there are two main paths to the $13K Main Event package.
Firstly, Sportsbook offers a 3-step system to qualify for the direct entry satellite. The step system has 3 escalating buy-ins of $7, $28, and $105. The top two finishers in each tournament win an entry into a higher step with the next two places earning an entry into the same step level. Eventually, that leads to the Sunday $425 direct qualifier, which takes place every week. They also host a $70 semi-final 3 hours prior to win a seat into the main qualifier. This is a high-converting event as about 1 of 6 will earn an entry.
World Series of Poker – 2009 Tournament Schedule
|Tuesday, May 26, 2009||Satellites and live action begins|
|1||Wednesday, May 27, 2009||12 Noon||Casino Employees No
|2||Thursday, May 28, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit Hold’em||$40,000|
|3||Friday, May 29, 2009||12 Noon||Omaha Hi-Low 8/b||$1,500|
|4||Saturday, May 30, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit Hold’em||$1,000|
|5||Monday, June 1, 2009||12 Noon||Pot Limit Omaha||$1,500|
|6||Monday, June 1, 2009||5 PM||World Championship Seven Card Stud||$10,000|
|7||Tuesday, June 2, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit Hold’em||$1,500|
|8||Tuesday, June 2, 2009||5 PM||2-7 Draw Lowball||$2,500|
|9||Wednesday, June 3, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit Hold’em (6-handed)||$1,500|
|10||Wednesday, June 3, 2009||5 PM||Pot Limit Hold’em / Omaha||$2,500|
|11||Thursday, June 4, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit Hold’em||$2,000|
|12||Thursday, June 4, 2009||5 PM||World Championship Mixed Event||$10,000|
|13||Friday, June 5, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit Hold’em||$2,500|
|14||Friday, June 5, 2009||5 PM||Limit Hold’em (6-handed)||$2,500|
|15||Saturday, June 6, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit Hold’em||$5,000|
|16||Saturday, June 6, 2009||5 PM||Seven Card Stud||$1,500|
|17||Sunday, June 7, 2009||12 Noon||World Championship Ladies No Limit Hold’em||$1,000|
|18||Sunday, June 7, 2009||5 PM||World Championship Omaha Hi-Low 8/b||$10,000|
|19||Monday, June 8, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit Hold’em (6-handed)||$2,500|
|20||Tuesday, June 9, 2009||12 Noon||Pot Limit Hold’em||$1,500|
|21||Tuesday, June 9, 2009||5 PM||H.O.R.S.E.||$3,000|
|22||Wednesday, June 10, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit Hold’em Shootout||$1,500|
|23||Wednesday, June 10, 2009||5 PM||World Championship 2-7 Draw Lowball||$10,000|
|24||Thursday, June 11, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit Hold’em||$1,500|
|25||Thursday, June 11, 2009||5 PM||Omaha / Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8/b||$2,500|
|26||Friday, June 12, 2009||12 Noon||Limit Hold’em||$1,500|
|27||Friday, June 12, 2009||5 PM||Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Low 8/b||$5,000|
|28||Saturday, June 13, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit Hold’em||$1,500|
|29||Saturday, June 13, 2009||5 PM||World Championship Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em||$10,000|
|30||Sunday, June 14, 2009||12 Noon||Pot Limit Omaha||$2,500|
|31||Sunday, June 14, 2009||5 PM||H.O.R.S.E.||$1,500|
|32||Monday, June 15, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit Hold’em||$2,000|
|33||Monday, June 15, 2009||5 PM||World Championship Limit Hold’em||$10,000|
|34||Tuesday, June 16, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit Hold’em||$1,500|
|35||Wednesday, June 17, 2009||12 Noon||Pot Limit Omaha||$5,000|
|36||Thursday, June 18, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit Hold’em||$2,000|
|37||Thursday, June 18, 2009||5 PM||World Championship Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8/b||$10,000|
|38||Friday, June 19, 2009||12 Noon||Limit Hold’em||$2,000|
|39||Saturday, June 20, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit Hold’em||$1,500|
|40||Saturday, June 20, 2009||5 PM||World Championship Pot Limit Omaha||$10,000|
|41||Sunday, June 21, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit Hold’em Shootout||$5,000|
|42||Sunday, June 21, 2009||5 PM||Mixed Event||$2,500|
|43||Monday, June 22, 2009||12 Noon||World Championship Seniors No Limit Hold’em||$1,000|
|44||Monday, June 22, 2009||5 PM||Razz||$2,500|
|45||Tuesday, June 23, 2009||12 Noon||World Championship Pot Limit Hold’em||$10,000|
|46||Tuesday, June 23, 2009||5 PM||Omaha Hi-Low 8/b||$2,500|
|47||Wednesday, June 24, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit / Limit Hold’em||$2,500|
|48||Thursday, June 25, 2009||12 Noon||Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Low 8/b||$1,500|
|49||Friday, June 26, 2009||12 Noon||World Championship H.O.R.S.E.||$50,000|
|50||Friday, June 26, 2009||5 PM||Limit Hold’em Shootout||$1,500|
|51||Saturday, June 27, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit Hold’em||$1,500|
|52||Sunday, June 28, 2009||12 Noon||Triple Chance No Limit Hold’em||$3,000|
|53||Sunday, June 28, 2009||5 PM||Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8/b||$1,500|
|54||Monday, June 29, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit Hold’em||$1,500|
|55||Monday, June 29, 2009||5 PM||2-7 Triple Draw Lowball||$2,500|
|56||Tuesday, June 30, 2009||12 Noon||No Limit Hold’em (6-handed)||$5,000|
|Thursday, July 2, 2009||2 PM||Ante Up for Africa Charity Event||$5,000|
|57A||Friday, July 3, 2009||12 Noon||World Championship No-Limit Hold’em Day 1A||$10,000|
|57B||Saturday, July 4, 2009||12 Noon||Day 1B|
|57C||Sunday, July 5, 2009||12 Noon||Day 1C|
|57D||Monday, July 6, 2009||12 Noon||Day 1D|
|Tuesday, July 7, 2009||12 Noon||Day 2A|
|Wednesday, July 8, 2009||12 Noon||Day 2B|
|Thursday, July 9, 2009||12 Noon||Media Event|
|Friday, July 10, 2009||12 Noon||Day 3|
|Saturday, July 11, 2009||12 Noon||Day 4|
|Sunday, July 12, 2009||12 Noon||Day 5|
|Monday, July 13, 2009||12 Noon||Day 6|
|Tuesday, July 14, 2009||12 Noon||Day 7|
|Wednesday, July 15, 2009||All Day||Play Suspended|
|Saturday, November 7, 2009||TBD||Final Table|
World Series of Poker Circuit – 2008/2009 Tournament Schedule
|1||10/2/08 – 10/14/08||Horseshoe Southern Indiana||No-Limit Hold’em||$5,150||Samuel Oberlin|
|2||10/24/08 – 11/2/08||Horseshoe Hammond||No-Limit Hold’em||$5,150||Steve Billirakis|
|3||11/6/08 – 11/16/08||Harvey’s Lake Tahoe||No-Limit Hold’em||$5,150||Michael Binger|
|4||12/5/08 – 12/18/08||Harrah’s Atlantic City||No-Limit Hold’em||$5,150||Brent Roberts|
|5||1/20/09 – 2/4/09||Harrah’s Tunica||No-Limit Hold’em||$5,150||TBD|
|6||2/12/09 – 2/25/09||Horseshoe Council Bluffs||No-Limit Hold’em||$5,150||TBD|
|7||3/4/09 – 3/14/09||Caesars Atlantic City||No-Limit Hold’em||$5,150||TBD|
|8||3/19/09 – 3/29/09||Harrah’s Rincon San Diego||No-Limit Hold’em||$5,150||TBD|
|9||4/11/09 – 4/29/09||Caesars Palace||No-Limit Hold’em||$5,150||TBD|
|10||5/8/09 – 5/20/09||Harrah’s New Orleans||No-Limit Hold’em||$5,150||TBD|