Among the most popular games you will find being played at nearly every online casino there is, poker has many fans around the world. There are plenty of people who consider it to be something of a spectator sport as well as a good way to try your hand at gambling. In fact, an annual series of poker tournaments is now established and it attracts some of the top players from all over the globe. Held every year in Las Vegas, the World Series of Poker will enter its sixth decade in 2019. This year’s event will take place between May 30th and July 15th in the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino. Begun in 1969 as the Texas Gambling Reunion which was staged in Reno, the event was bought by Harrah’s Entertainment in 2004. Since then, it has grown in reputation, now attracting a sizeable global television audience for some of its events.
The format of the World Series of Poker has expanded somewhat from the mid-1980s when around 50 or so players took part. These days, several thousand may participate in the different poker-based events. There is a no-limit hold ’em game which is staged for some of the best players that is often billed as the ‘Main Event’. Each participant has $10,000 to play with but can scoop a multi-million prize for winning. Regardless of the particular event, all winners at the World Series of Poker receive a bracelet to commemorate their victory. Some players have won several events playing World Series of Poker and there have even been some celebrity winners, too, including the American actor, Jennifer Tilly.
The 2019 World Series of Poker is set to be one of the most exciting yet. The schedule has already been announced for it. Interestingly, this year’s tournament will see no less than 20 different events which have buy-ins that are set at $10,000 or above. For the casual player, this means that there is a lot to learn from some of poker’s higher rollers. If you want to improve your game, even if you just play for fun, then observing some of the world’s best in action certainly helps. Of course, with the prizes on offer at the World Series of Poker, it is easy to see why so many of the top players are in attendance! In addition to many of the most popular, big money events, the organisers of World Series of Poker have introduced some new ones which help to keep the tournament feeling fresh and relevant. What are the 2019 innovations?
The Big 50
With a buy-in at just $500, the Big 50 is the sort of game many regular players could imagine themselves taking part in. It is so-called because the buy-in affords you a 50,000 chip stack and the levels are 50 minutes long. The winner is guaranteed a $1m prize with a huge total prize fund of $5m.
Mini Main Event
The mini main event is an event that will take place on July 1st. The organisers have allowed for 30 minute levels with 60,000 chips being made available to gamble with for a $1,000 buy-in. It is a no limit hold ’em game which is a prelude to the prestigious main event.
This is a variant form of Texas hold ’em and a game that has been popular at other leading poker tournaments around the world in recent years. The buy-in for the short deck event at the World Series of Poker will be set at $10,000. It is played with a deck of just 32 cards.
$50,000 High Roller
This new event for 2019 will include no fewer than 300,000 starting stacks and hour-long levels. This is a good event for learner players to follow if they want to get an idea of how to strategise a long game. It is expected to run over four consecutive days during the tournament.
Bracelet Winners Only
A no-limit Texas hold ’em event, as the name suggests this one is for expert players only because you have to have won a bracelet in the past to be able to enter. There is a $1,500 buy-in for any past champion who wants to take part.
Low Buy-In Deepstack Events
There are a number of options if you want to follow games with a low buy-in. The 2019 buy-in price points at the lower end of the scale are set at $400, $500, $600, $800 and £888. These will have 2019 stacks of 40,000, 50,000, 30,000, 40,000 and 40,000 respectively.
Salute to Warriors
This is a special event which has been added to the tournament programme specifically to raise funds for former servicemen and women. The event starts with a 25,000 chip stack and buy-ins are set at $500. Proceeds will go to veterans’ associations in the US with the final day of play in the event coinciding with Independence Day in the country, on the July 4th.
Do any of the new events at the 2019 World Series of Poker whet your appetite for the game? If so, then you can try some warm up games online to get you in the mood and help you to perfect your bluffing and betting strategies. Games like Aces and Eights, Deuces Wild Poker and Jacks or Better are all waiting for you to try your hand at and – who knows? – you could be one of the bracelet winners at next year’s tournament, after all.