The 2014 World Series of Poker Schedule
It’s a new year. That means the poker community is gearing up for another World Series of Poker. This will be the 44th year the series has been held, and the 10th year that it’s been held at the Rio. Like I have every year since 2007, this page will serve as a recap of the Series from the previous year and give you an idea of what to expect in this year’s WSOP.
Changes, Events, and Winners
We saw a couple of changes in the 2013 WSOP. One change was The Big One For One Drop, the 2012 event that had a $1 million buy-in, and a cap of 18 players. This past year this was turned into two events. The first was a $111,111 high roller event in which 3% of each buy-in was donated to One Drop, which was founded by Cirque de Soleil’s Guy Laliberte and aims to provide underprivileged areas in the world access to clean water.
The second was a smaller event – the Little One for One Drop. This had a $1,111 buy-in and unlimited rebuys. $111 from each entry was donated to One Drop.
Another change was the addition of the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific series. Similar to the WSOP Europe (WSOPE) this series started off small, hosting only 5 tournaments. Courtesy of the Harrah’s marketing department both the Asia-Pacific and Europe events count as “bracelet” events, which somewhat cheapens their rarity and prestige in my opinion.
In the 2013 Asian Series we saw 2 of the game’s top pros win events, which is one benefit for spectators with pros comprising a bigger percentage of the field. The first was Phil Ivey. He picked up a bracelet and small 5-figure sum for winning the 3rd event, a $2,200 mixed game tourney that had only 81 players.
The other was Daniel Negreanu, who cemented his 5th bracelet win by taking down the last tournament, the $10,000 Main Event. This event had 405 players sign up. Not having won a bracelet since 2008, and after close calls, like being the runner up at the WSOPE Main Event, Negreanu admitted to being more emotional than usual. “I had so much fun. It was such a blast. And now it’s just relief. It was such a relief to have it over because it’s been awhile since I’ve had one of these on my wrist.”
In October 2013 Daniel won his 6th bracelet at the WSOPE High Roller event.
2013 WSOP Main Event
Last year’s WSOP Main Event saw an impressive turnout. 6,352 players signed up, compared to 6,598 the year before, and 6,865 the year before that.
One of the interesting statistics recorded in each Main Event is how previous winners performed. This year only 3 previous winners cashed:
• Greg Merson (2012) – He finished 167th.
• Carlos Mortensen (2001) – He finished 10th.
• Doyle Brunson (1976, 1977) – He finished 409th.
It was rumored prior to the event that Doyle Brunson planned on skipping the Series due to how long the tournament hours can be each day. Fortunately for the poker world the living legend found enough motivation to play from side bets that he made. When Brunson busted out of the Main Event he received a standing ovation from the remaining players and staff in the room.
With Brunson out of the tournament the focus shifted to the remaining players. The world wanted to know who would be returning as apart of the now-annual November Nine gimmick, a media-driver artificial delay that stopped play until November 4th.
Most of the players were relatively unknown. The one player that was everyone’s favorite to win was poker professional JC Tran. He was a clear favorite to win thanks to his 2 WSOP bracelets, WPT title, and more than $8 million in career tournament earnings. It didn’t hurt that he had 20% of the chips in play, the largest at the table. Surprisingly, Tran finished in 5th for more than $2 million. When interviewed, Tran mentioned that he was card dead for most of the day and wasn’t ready for it. Still not a bad way to end his summer (and year), though.
The winner of the Main Event was Ryan Reiss. After playing 90 hands of heads-up poker he beat Jay Farber and collected $8,361,570 and the coveted bracelet. Overall, 2013 was an eventful year for the WSOP.
World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2014: What to Expect
This year’s Series will be similar in structure to the past several years, which is largely a good thing given how tournament director Jack Effel and Harrah’s have sustained success in a questionable market. It will start on May 27th and will be held at the Rio in Las Vegas. The Series is expected to last 49 days, 10 of which for the Main Event.
More than 60 events are planned, and while the detailed schedule has yet to be released a couple of events have already been finalized. For example, this year we will see the return of the Millionaire Maker. This was held in 2013 with a $1,500 buy-in. It attracted 6,343 players and guaranteed a minimum of $1 million to the first place winner. Benny Chen won it last year.
We will also see the return of The Big One for One Drop. This will mirror the 2012 event, with a $1 million buy-in. However, there has been talk of increasing the cap from 18 to 20 players. That means we’ll see more than $18 million going to the eventual winner. Maybe Antonio Esfandari, who won the event in 2012, will make an appearance to try to win it again.
Registration and Satellites
As always, players can begin preregistering in March or April, although I’m not quite sure what the need is of that anymore. The days are gone of record Main Event crowds and the Rio being unprepared enough to have to turn players away.
Aside from plunking down $10,000 at the Rio cashier there are two main paths to getting into the WSOP Main Event: winning a satellite hosted by a physical cardroom (including the Rio itself) or winning a satellite online.
The Rio runs single and multi-table satellites with buy-ins from a few hundred dollars up to $1,000 for single table winner-take-all events. Interestingly, there should also be cheap satellites to the smaller 2014 WSOP events with smaller buy-ins. The Rio satellites take place around the clock leading up to, and during, the Series.
Just about every other physical cardroom also likes to run some sort of WSOP promotion or satellite system so, assuming you have a local casino or cardroom, wherever you live you should be able to find a live satellite.
Attempting to win your way into the Big One via a low-cost multi-table satellite is one of the most popular uses of online poker. Who can forget when the floodgates opened in 2003 following amateur Chris Moneymaker’s online-fueled Main Event win? Because they’re so popular every online poker room offers some sort of WSOP promotion. What varies highly between each room is the actual structure, number of events offered, and typical competition you’ll be facing. Here is a quick rundown of what I feel are the best offerings:
Bovada – This is easily the best choice for US players looking to qualify for the 2014 WSOP thanks to the attention they give the qualifiers every year. They’re the only US option to organize the events so well, with step options ranging from $1 to $5 to $38 and eventually the direct satellite for $500. Despite their medium-level traffic they run a lot of satellites and they do the prize package right with $5,000 extra spending money and their usual party/suite exclusive to players. Few others seem to get the WSOP experience as well as Bovada.
PokerStars – The classic Series powerhouse, there isn’t enough space here to detail all of their satellite plans. There are countless ways to qualify here, from step tournaments to Sit and Go satellites to the standard direct buy-in. Their world-leading traffic allows them to run packed events leading up to the summer every day. Simply put there is no one else that offers more WSOP-related bang for your buck than Stars. Interestingly, their Passport allows players to choose where they’ll accept their seat, whether it be the WSOP, the PCA, the EPT, or other major events. There is a reason that PokerStars has led the WSOP in entrants for about a decade now.
888 Poker – The structure of their satellites – steps from $1 to $25 to $115 to $525 – is set up a lot like Stars and that is a good thing. Despite not having enormous traffic to match this is still a sizable poker room full of promotions and features that make the games feel a bit more casual, a bit more friendly. That carries into both the cash games and tournaments, with a player base that easily features the weakest competition online.
The difference in skill level from competing sites is significant when one place can be the difference between nothing and a Main Event seat. 888 is quite generous with spending money and private parties to make the whole trip feel like more of an experience rather than strictly a poker tournament. Qualifiers run around the clock for months and are quite busy. One aspect I have always valued here is the slight graduation in steps, awarding close to 20% of the field with prizes.
More Action at the 2014 Series
The action at the Rio that accompanies the actual WSOP events may be a more enjoyable (and profitable) experience for those who have busted out, can’t afford the main tournament buy-ins, or just want to capitalize on the incredible spike of loose play.
For the 6 weeks of Series play the Rio runs after-events every night with buy-ins ranging from about $70-500. While you should probably be focused on profits rather than experience, getting to play in the same massive Amazon Room as the big WSOP Events can make these little ho-hum tourneys feel like big spectacles.
Most cash games are also spread in the Amazon Room, which makes the games feel fresher, more casual, and by its proximity to the main tourneys can easily snag Series players on tilt. The smallest games such as $1-3 may still be relegated to the small standard cardroom but $2-5 and above will be in the Amazon Room.
Quality of play in these games is generally quite loose as the clientele is largely a mixture of tourists, busted tournament players often in poor physical or mental condition, and spectators in over their heads. If played right the side action can be just as much of an experience and more profitable than the actual WSOP.
A couple of notes for first-timers at the cash games: educate yourself on straddles and beware of inexperienced dealers. Straddles, including the Mississippi type that allows any player to make a blind pre-deal raise, are legal and common in Nevada. Usually straddles aren’t a profitable practice but if you hold a significant skill advantage over the table may be wise to use. Additionally, don’t get distracted or frustrated by temporary dealers Harrah’s has to employ to serve every table come summer every year.
World Series of Poker – 2014 Tournament Schedule
|1||Tuesday, May 27, 2014||12 Noon||Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em||$500|
|2||Tuesday, May 27, 2014||4 PM||No-Limit Hold’em (9, 6, 4, then 2-handed)||$25,000|
|3||Wednesday, May 28, 2014||12 Noon||Pot-Limit Omaha||$1,000|
|4||Thursday, May 29, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em||$1,000|
|5||Thursday, May 29, 2014||4 PM||Limit Triple Draw Lowball 2-7||$10,000|
|6||Friday, May 30, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em (Shootout)||$1,500|
|7||Friday, May 30, 2014||4 PM||Razz||$1,500|
|8A||Saturday, May 31, 2014||11 AM||Millionaire Maker (No-Limit Hold’em with rebuy to 8B)||$1,500|
|8B||Saturday, May 31, 2014||5 PM||Millionaire Maker (No-Limit Hold’em)||$1,500|
|9||Sunday, June 1, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em||$1,000|
|10||Sunday, June 1, 2014||4 PM||Limit Omaha Hi-Low 8/b||$10,000|
|11||Monday, June 2, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em (6-handed)||$1,500|
|12||Tuesday, June 3, 2014||12 Noon||Pot-Limit Hold’em||$1,500|
|13||Tuesday, June 3, 2014||4 PM||No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball||$10,000|
|14||Wednesday, June 4, 2014||12 Noon||Limit Omaha Hi-Low 8/b||$1,500|
|15||Thursday, June 5, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em (6-handed)||$3,000|
|16||Thursday, June 5, 2014||4 PM||Limit Triple Draw Lowball 2-7||$1,500|
|17||Friday, June 6, 2014||10 AM||Seniors (50+) No-Limit Hold’em||$1,000|
|18||Friday, June 6, 2014||4 PM||Razz||$10,000|
|19||Saturday, June 7, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em||$1,500|
|20||Saturday, June 7, 2014||4 PM||No-Limit Hold’em (Shootout)||$3,000|
|21||Sunday, June 8, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em||$1,000|
|22||Sunday, June 8, 2014||4 PM||H.O.R.S.E.||$10,000|
|23||Monday, June 9, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em (Turbo)||$1,000|
|24||Tuesday, June 10, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em (6-handed)||$5,000|
|25||Tuesday, June 10, 2014||4 PM||Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8/b||$2,500|
|26||Wednesday, June 11, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em||$1,500|
|27||Thursday, June 12, 2014||12 Noon||H.O.R.S.E.||$1,500|
|28||Thursday, June 12, 2014||4 PM||Pot-Limit Hold’em||$10,000|
|29||Friday, June 13, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em||$2,500|
|30||Friday, June 13, 2014||4 PM||Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8/b||$1,500|
|31||Saturday, June 14, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em||$1,500|
|32||Saturday, June 14, 2014||4 PM||No-Limit Hold’em (6-handed)||$10,000|
|33||Sunday, June 15, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em||$1,000|
|34||Sunday, June 15, 2014||4 PM||Seven Card Stud||$1,500|
|35||Monday, June 16, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em (8-handed)||$5,000|
|36||Monday, June 16, 2014||4 PM||No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball||$1,500|
|37||Tuesday, June 17, 2014||12 Noon||Pot-Limit Omaha||$1,500|
|38||Tuesday, June 17, 2014||4 PM||Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8/b||$10,000|
|39||Wednesday, June 18, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em||$3,000|
|40||Thursday, June 19, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em (Heads-up)||$10,000|
|41||Thursday, June 19, 2014||4 PM||Dealer’s Choice (6-handed)||$1,500|
|42||Friday, June 20, 2014||12 Noon||Pot-Limit Omaha (6-handed)||$5,000|
|43||Friday, June 20, 2014||4 PM||Limit Hold’em||$1,500|
|44||Saturday, June 21, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em||$1,500|
|45||Saturday, June 21, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em||$1,000|
|46||Sunday, June 22, 2014||4 PM||Poker Players Championship||$50,000|
|47||Monday, June 23, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em (Ante only)||$1,500|
|48||Tuesday, June 24, 2014||12 Noon||Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low 8/b||$1,500|
|49||Wednesday, June 25, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em||$5,000|
|50||Wednesday, June 25, 2014||4 PM||Eight- Game Mix (Hold’em, Omaha, Stud, Lowball)||$1,500|
|51||Thursday, June 26, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em (Deep Stack)||$1,500|
|52||Thursday, June 26, 2014||4 PM||Limit Hold’em||$10,000|
|53||Friday, June 27, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em (Ladies $1,000 buy-in)||$10,000|
|54||Friday, June 27, 2014||4 PM||Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low 8/b||$3,000|
|55||Saturday, June 28, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em||$1,500|
|56||Sunday, June 29, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em||$1,000|
|57||Sunday, June 29, 2014||1 PM||The Big One for One Drop||$1,000,000|
|58||Monday, June 30, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em (9, 6, 4, then 2-handed)||$1,500|
|59||Monday, June 30, 2014||4 PM||Omaha Hi-Low 8/b||$3,000|
|60||Tuesday, July 1, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em||$1,500|
|61||Tuesday, July 1, 2014||4 PM||Seven Card Stud||$10,000|
|62A||Wednesday, July 2, 2014||12 Noon||The Little One for One Drop (rebuys)||$1,111|
|62B||Thursday, July 3, 2014||12 Noon||The Little One for One Drop (rebuys)||$1,111|
|63||Wednesday, July 2, 2014||4 PM||Ten-Game Mix (6-handed)||$1,500|
|64||Thursday, July 3, 2014||4 PM||Pot-Limit Omaha||$10,000|
|65||Saturday, July 5, 2014||12 Noon||No-Limit Hold’em Championship Day 1A||$10,000|
|Sunday, July 6, 2014||12 Noon||Day 1B|
|Monday, July 7, 2014||12 Noon||Day 1C|
|November 2014||TBD||Final Table|