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.

(Visit site | Read full review)
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

Event Date Time Tournament Buy-In
Tuesday, May 26, 2009 Satellites and live action begins
1 Wednesday, May 27, 2009 12 Noon Casino Employees No
Limit Hold’em
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


Date Location
Buy-in Winner
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
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Josh H
Josh H
Owner and Editor-in-chief at Beat The Fish
A lifelong poker player who moved online in 2004, Josh founded Beat The Fish in 2005 to help online poker players make more-informed decisions on where to play and how to win once they got there. He hopes to cut through the rampant dishonesty in online gaming media with objective reviews and relevant features. Tech nostalgic. Cryptocurrency missionary. Still fondly remembers the soup avatar at Doyle's Room. You can reach Josh directly at
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