Every year, players around the world await the schedule for the most prestigious tournament series of the year so they get planning — and dreaming. This year, Caesars Interactive Entertainment is bringing Christmas early with a sneak peak of the 2019 World Series of Poker schedule that is expected to produce prize pools totaling more than $200 million.
The 50th running of the WSOP will commence on Tuesday, May 28 and wrap up on July 16, 2019. The seven-week series will take place at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for the 15th consecutive year, with dozens of poker events on the slate. As the schedule is still being finalized, the WSOP has released details on seven noteworthy events that players can get on their radar.
Happy 50th Anniversary, WSOP
One of the most notable events on the 2019 schedule comes in the spirit of the WSOP’s 50th anniversary. Get ready for the Big 50 No-Limit Hold’em with four starting flights running May 30 – June 2. The $500 buy-in “golden event” will be rake-free for all initial entries and features a starting stack of 50,000, levels of 50 minutes and a prize pool guarantee of $5 million.
While it’s not the Millionaire Maker, the winner is guaranteed a $1 million payday, and players can re-enter once per flight, with normal rake charged on reentries.
“We’re excited to commence our golden event,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “We expect our opening weekend Big 50 event to be one of the largest in our history, and certainly one of the best value tournaments ever offered. This is part of our concerted plans to make the 2019 WSOP a better value all-around.”
You can also expect additional 50th anniversary themed celebrations, including a celebratory gala and awards evening to take place on Saturday, June 29.
Familiar Schedule Highlights
Among the finalized events are some fan favorites, including the $1,500 Millionaire Makerthat guarantees $1 million prize to the winner, which will kick off June 7 with a second starting flight June 8. One reentry per flight will be allowed and players start with 25,000 chips and play to blind levels of 60 minutes.
The 50-plus Seniors No-Limit Hold’em will kick off on June 13 with one reentry allowed. For the $1,000 buy-in, the seniors will get 20,000 in chips to work with and play 60-minute levels.
Other event favorites are also set, like the Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em that has starting flights June 14 and 15 with single reentry, the Monster Stack with opening flights on June 21 and 22, and the $888 buy-in Crazy Eights event, which has starting flights on June 28, 29 and 30, allows unlimited reentries, guaranteeing $888,888 for the victor.
The most-anticipated event of the entire poker calendar, the WSOP Main Event World Championship, will kick off with the first of three flights on July 3. That one will once again come with a $10,000 price tag, no reentry and two-hour blind levels. Players next year will be starting with even more chips though, with a starting stack of 60,000 – up from 50,000 in 2018.
Sneak Peak at Seven Notable Events on the 2019 WSOP Schedule
|May 30||Big 50 No-Limit Hold’em 1a||$500||50,000||50 minutes||1/flight||$5M; $1M for 1st||11 a.m.|
|May 31||Big 50 No-Limit Hold’em 1b||$500||50,000||50 minutes||1/flight||$5M; $1M for 1st||11 a.m.|
|June 1||Big 50 No-Limit Hold’em 1c||$500||50,000||50 minutes||1/flight||$5M; $1M for 1st||10 a.m.|
|June 2||Big 50 No-Limit Hold’em 1d||$500||50,000||50 minutes||1/flight||$5M; $1M for 1st||10 a.m.|
|June 7||Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold’em 1a||$1,500||25,000||60 minutes||1/flight||$1M for 1st||10 a.m.|
|June 8||Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold’em 1b||$1,500||25,000||60 minutes||1/flight||$1M for 1st||10 a.m.|
|June 13||Seniors No-Limit Hold’em (50+)||$1,000||20,000||60 minutes||1||10 a.m.|
|June 14||Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em 1a||$1,000||40,000||60 minutes||1/flight||10 a.m.|
|June 15||Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em 1b||$1,000||40,000||60 minutes||1/flight||10 a.m.|
|June 21||Monster Stack No-Limit Hold’em 1a||$1,500||50,000||60 minutes||None||10 a.m.|
|June 22||Monster Stack No-Limit Hold’em 1b||$1,500||50,000||60 minutes||None||10 a.m.|
|June 28||Crazy Eight’s No-Limit Hold’em 1a||$888||40,000||30 min Day 1; 60 min Day 2||Unlimited||$888,888 for 1st||10 a.m.; 5 p.m.|
|June 29||Crazy Eight’s No-Limit Hold’em 1b||$888||40,000||30 min Day 1; 60 min Day 2||Unlimited||$888,888 for 1st||10 a.m.|
|June 30||Crazy Eight’s No-Limit Hold’em 1c||$888||40,000||30 min Day 1; 60 min Day 2||Unlimited||$888,888 for 1st||10 a.m.|
|July 3||Main Event World Championship 1a||$10,000||60,000||120 minutes||None||12 p.m.|
|July 4||Main Event World Championship 1b||$10,000||60,000||120 minutes||None||12 p.m.|
|July 5||Main Event World Championship 1c||$10,000||60,000||120 minutes||None||12 p.m.|
Changes to Expect for 2019 WSOP
The World Series of Poker is an ever-evolving entity, and 2019 will be no different. We asked Seth Palansky, vice president of corporate communications, about the changes that players can expect for next year’s edition.
“There are a lot of exciting changes in store,” Palansky told PokerNews. “We’re still working through a lot of it actually, and plan to continually announce updates as things get solidified. But with this being our 50th WSOP, we have some fun things in store.”
“WE HEAR THE CRIES FOR MORE VALUE AND WE ARE HARD AT WORK TO DELIVER THAT MORE EFFECTIVELY THIS YEAR.”
He continued: “All that said, the WSOP will stay true to the WSOP: All variants of poker on the schedule, all buy-in levels and big prize pools. We are excited to celebrate poker and our 50th in 2019.”
Poker players are not shy about providing feedback about changes they’d like to see, so we asked Palansky what player feedback has been taken into account for the 2019 schedule.
“If there is one main one, it is value. We hear the cries for more value and we are hard at work to deliver that more effectively this year.
“Another one is reentries/unlimited reentries. Trying to make sure more events are freezeouts and to use single reentry more often than unlimited.”
“WE PLAN TO HAVE FUN AND CONTINUE TO DO WHAT WE DO, AWARD LIFE-CHANGING MONEY AND SPREAD ALL THE GAMES FOR 50 STRAIGHT DAYS.”
Regarding the increased Main Event starting stack, Palansky let us in on a secret: “More chips will be a theme this year for our events.”
After a successful 2018 WSOP that saw a record 123,865 entries and the biggest ever prize pool total of $266,889,193, what are the expectations for 2019?
“We truly expect big things,” said Palansky. “It’s our 50th after all. If you think through the history of poker, surviving in this game for 50 years is no small feat (ask Doyle). So we plan to have fun and continue to do what we do, award life-changing money and spread all the games for 50 straight days.”
Additional Activities & Information
Apart from the many exciting bracelet events going on daily in the Rio Convention Center, players can also count on the usual array of Rio Deepstacks tournaments starting at a $70 buy-in, a variety of single table satellites, and live cash games from low- to high-stakes running 24 hours a day throughout the series.
Players in New Jersey and Nevada can play real-money games on WSOP.com and participate in countless satellites into WSOP events, including the $10,000 Main Event. As long as you are within the borders of either of those states, you are also eligible to play in the WSOP online bracelet events that will surely appear on that complete 2019 WSOP schedule.
Rooms at Caesars Las Vegas properties are now available for booking with rates starting at $33 for Caesars Rewards members. Online pre-registration for individual WSOP events will open in March or April, once the schedule has been locked in.
So start marking the calendar and perusing flights to Sin City. The above dates, times and events are still subject to change, but you can expect the full schedule of events in the first quarter of 2019.
By Valerie Cross