The 2015 World Series of Poker schedule was unveiled on Monday and without doubt, the 2015 WSOP has more changes in store, and more meaningful changes, than any WSOP in recent memory.
Among the numerous changes players will notice in 2015 are: 10 new tournaments and structures; major changes to the starting chip stacks in a number of events; a completely revamped payout structure for the Main Event; a sponsored bracelet tournament (Event #55, sponsored by DraftKings); and two tournaments with historically low price points.
Still, one of the biggest changes at the 2015 WSOP is the addition of an online event to the 68-tournament WSOP schedule. For the first time in WSOP history a WSOP bracelet will be awarded to the winner of an online tournament that will be played at WSOP.com in Nevada.
The tournament is one of the final events of the 2015 WSOP, Event #64, and it will be a two-day, $1,000 buy-in, NLHE tournament.
Mobile app should drive traffic
Players can participate in Event #64 from anywhere in Nevada, including playing at the Rio on a mobile device.
Last year, for the first time, the World Series of Poker encouraged players to play at WSOP.com while participating in WSOP events at the Rio. There was a minor hang up though, as at the time WSOP.com didn’t have a mobile app, so players would have to use their laptops, which proved to be too much of a burden for many players.
Despite the lack of a mobile app, traffic at WSOP.com spiked during the 2014 WSOP, including a 25-seat guarantee WSOP Main Event satellite that drew 1,235 entrants. The turnout was a surprise to many who felt WSOP.com would take a bath on the tournament, but it fell short of its guarantee (equivalent to $250,000) by a mere $3,000, an amount that was more than covered by the $18,525 in tournament fees the site collected.
It’s likely Event #64 will draw an even larger crowd, considering the novelty of the event, the fact that it’s a bracelet tournament, and most importantly WSOP.com now has a mobile app, which means players will be able to play in a WSOP event at the Rio and participate in the bracelet event taking place at WSOP.com.
Where this is going
Because of the yet to be enacted interstate agreement between Delaware and Nevada we may even see players in Delaware capable of playing in this tournament by this summer, and players in nearby states would likely cross the Delaware border to play as well.
If New Jersey joins the equation in future years we could possibly see an online WSOP tournament pull in 10,000 players, as participating in the World Series of Poker would no longer necessitate a trip to Las Vegas in the middle of the summer.
The pomp and pageantry of the WSOP will never be usurped by online tournaments, but imagine a scenario where we have widespread online poker in the United States and in addition to the 60-70 tournaments at the Rio, WSOP.com is offering 10 or more online bracelet events to players not just in Nevada, but across the entire nation, and perhaps the world.
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