The 2016 World Series of Poker (WSOP) schedule is out, and this year, there are some good and some not-so-good tweaks to the overall format.
Boasting a total of 69 events, the 2016 WSOP will be bigger and better than ever, but not all the changes are likely to please all players.
As ever, the festival will take place inside the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas between May 31 and July 18 and, according to the organizers, the schedule has been tweaked in response to player feedback.
One of the main changes this year will be the introduction of eight new events. Ranging in price from $565 to $2,500, the tournaments will encompass a range of poker variants, including the highly anticipated $1,000 tag-team event, which will run from July 7.
Players will also be pleased to know that start times for the majority of events will be pushed back by one hour, which means play will start at 11 pm and 3 pm each day, Pacific Time, of course.
To ensure more people get into the money in less time, the majority of events will pay 15 percent of the field and, thanks to some structural tweaks (i.e. removing the 100/200 in favor of 100/200-25), it’s expected that the bubble will burst before the close of play on Day 1 in most tournaments.
As well as paying more players, the Series will be giving more cash away in its lower stakes, higher value events, such as the Millionaire Maker. Owing to the immense popularity of this tournament since it launched in 2013, the organizers have decided to juice up the payouts this year and give away $1 million prizes guaranteed to the top two finishers.
In 2015, the $1,500 re-entry event attracted 7,275 entrants for a total prizepool worth $7,142,850. On that occasion, American electrical engineer Adrian Buckley won the bracelet and $1,277,193, while Spain’s Javier Zarco took home $791,690 for his second place finish.
While many of the innovations are largely positive, there could be a potential sticking point for the WSOP with regards to the timing of the Ladies event.
Having previously tackled the issue of men entering by charging them $10,000 (compared to $1,000 for women), the WSOP appears to have caused another issue by moving the date of the tournament to overlap with some of the start dates of the Main Event.
In 2015, the Ladies tournament ran between June 26 and June 28. This year, it will kick off on July 8 and run for three days. This rescheduling means that any women who make it through to Days 2 and 3 of the Ladies event will have to miss the opportunity to enter two starting flights for the Main Event.
While the issue may not affect the majority of female players, it will certainly restrict the options for a number of women.
If this was an open event, it wouldn’t be much of a problem. But with this being the only chance for women to compete in a female-only tournament, it seems the WSOP may have dropped the ball on this one.
That issue aside, the WSOP appears to have listened to many of the complaints from last year and has worked hard to make the start times, payouts, and overall structures a lot more player-friendly in 2016.
To check out the complete 2016 World Series of Poker schedule in Las Vegas, click here.