Poker players in Nevada and New Jersey who don’t have the time, money, energy, or desire to travel to Las Vegas for the 2020 World Series of Poker have more opportunities than ever this year to win a WSOP bracelet. The WSOP recently published the schedule for the 2020 online bracelet events, unveiling its most expansive list ever. This year, the number of online bracelet events is up to 14, compared to nine in 2019.
Online doesn’t necessarily mean cheap
The first online event will take place on May 31st. It is your basic No-Limit Hold’em tournament with a buy-in of $400. One re-entry is permitted.
Just three of the 14 online bracelet events are freezeouts. As much as the World Series of Poker seems to be touting the prevalence of freezeout tournaments in each schedule press release, those types of tournaments sure seem to be in the minority this summer. Ten of the events permit a single re-entry, while one, the $777 Pot-Limit Omaha event on June 7th, allows three re-entries.
The online Championship costs $1,000 and will be on June 28th. There is also a High Roller for $3,200 and a Super High Roller for $10,000. The Super High Roller is the only one of the three that is a freezeout.
The highlight of the online bracelet schedule is the string of eight consecutive days from June 28th through July 5th in which an event will run. The World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event begins July 1st, so organizers anticipate an influx of poker players and family members into Las Vegas around that time. Hence packing all those tournaments into the space of a week.
All of the online bracelet events will be contested on WSOP.com. Players in both Nevada and New Jersey are eligible to play, as the two states share liquidity on the site. Delaware also shares player pools across state borders, but WSOP.com does not operate there.
Brief history of the online bracelet events
Players in New Jersey came close to not being able to play in the online bracelet events last year. Early in 2019, the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, in a controversial and politically-motivated move, issued an opinion that the Wire Act makes all online gambling illegal. The OLC had previously said the Wire Act only applied to sports betting in December 2011, but that was under the Obama administration.
After some legal wrangling, the deadline for compliance was moved to June 15th, 2019. With one online bracelet event already in the books, the World Series of Poker decided that only one more online event – the one remaining before the deadline – would include players in New Jersey. Fortunately, everything worked out, as the New Hampshire Lottery won a lawsuit against the DoJ and enforcement was delayed, allowing New Jersey players to compete in every WSOP.com event.
2018 was the first year that people in New Jersey could vie for online gold bracelets.
The first online bracelet event was in 2015. There was just one such event in both 2015 and 2016. In those years, as well, the final table was live at the Rio. That idea went by the wayside in 2017, when the number of online events was upped to three. The number increased again to four in 2018. Last year, the schedule exploded to nine online bracelet events.