The WSOP Global Casino Championship (GCC) is replacing the World Series of Poker National Championship, though aside from a name change and slight rebranding, the event will closely mimic its predecessor.
Hosted once again by Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in North Carolina August 9-11, the Global Casino Championship is the culmination of 24 domestic and international WSOP Circuit stops leading up to the $1 million showdown.
42 automatic qualifiers have already gained their entries to the championship by winning the Main Event or becoming Casino Champion at the various tournaments on the Circuit tour. Eight additional players will receive their golden tickets at four remaining stops.
The outstanding 50 seats of the 100-player automatic qualifying field will be based off the annual Circuit leaderboard.
As was the case in previous years, players ranked within the top 100 WSOP rankings who haven’t automatically qualified can enter the GCC for $10,000. The buy-in is rake-free and will be piled on top of the $1 million put up by the WSOP.
ESPN will broadcast the final day of play on Thursday, August 11.
For the 100 qualifiers skilled enough to have their $10,000 buy-ins paid, the three-day affair is a trip certainly worth taking. In addition to having their entries covered for a poker purse that will exceed $1 million, the 100 players also receive a $500 travel stipend and three nights lodging.
It’s a quasi-freeroll, but it certainly didn’t come without cost and risk as the players ponied up significant money to compete in Circuit tournament events throughout the 12-month race to Carolina. And those without backers or sponsors have also been on the hook for their travel expenses during the season.
To entice those “freebie” players into opening their wallets or purses at the GCC, WSOP tournament organizers are continuing the tradition of anchoring the yearlong finale with the kickoff of the 2016-2017 WSOP Circuit.
As 100+ players compete for the national championship, 12 gold ring events will be contested April 4-16 including the $1,675 Main Event and $2,200 High Roller.
The WSOP title tournament will look a bit different this summer, and it will likely be without a rather notable celebrity. Last year, Daniel Negreanu, the game’s all-time money leader, qualified for the event and cashed in sixth for a $63,647 win.
Don’t expect to see him in the Great Smokey Mountains come August.
Last November, Negreanu joined PETA in calling on Harrah’s to pressure the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians into closing its Bear Zoo just one mile west of the casino.
“These bears are kept in horrendous conditions in barren concrete pits,” Negreanu wrote in a letter to Harrah’s. “It seems to me that Harrah’s can only benefit from the retirement of these bears, since tourists would no longer be diverted away from the casino.”
Harrah’s nor the Cherokee Indians obliged to the poker champ, and the bears remain in captivity.
While fans and tournament organizers will miss Negreanu’s celebrity, competitors vying for the top share of the $1 million pool will gladly accept his absence should he decide to skip the championship.