WSOP PLAYER’S GUIDE: Best Tournaments to Play Outside of the Rio


The 2015 World Series of Poker has plenty to offer for players at every level with 68 bracelet events, three Daily Deepstacks running each day and non-stop satellites. But sometimes players just need a break from Rio and the craziness surrounding it and with poker players from around the world in Las Vegas, other casinos are hosting big events of their own. As the BLUFF 2015 WSOP Countdown continues we’ve compiled a list of the best tournaments to play outside of the Rio.

The Aria WPT500

The Aria WPT500 was a massive success in 2014 with 3,600 entrants and a $1.8 million prizepool. Organizers hope to surpass that mark in 2015 with a $2 million guaranteed prizepool for only a $565 buy-in and ten starting flights. Day 1A kicks off on May 31 with the other flights spread out through June. Day 2 is scheduled for July 5 – Day 1a of the WSOP Main Event – and will play through until a there’s a winner.

Full WPT500 Schedule

Planet Hollywood

Planet Hollywood is Caesar’s Entertainment up-and-coming poker room on the Strip. This summer they’re hosting the 58-event Phamous Poker Series – Goliath. The schedule essentially mirrors WSOP events but at a fraction of the price. Most events average a $565 buy-in with Pot Limit Omaha, Dealer’s Choice and various No Limit Hold’em variants (Turbo, Eight-handed, Tag Team, etc.). The Series builds to a $1 million guaranteed main event with a $1,150 buy-in with three starting flights beginning June 25.

Full Phamous Poker Series – Goliath Schedule

M Resort Spa Casino

The Hollywood Poker Open features a $500,000 guarantee for their championship event with a $2,500 buy-in. The event kicks off June 26 with a single Day 1 flight. Simon Deadman won the event in 2014 when it drew 692 entrants and blew by the guarantee with a $1.56 million prizepool.

Full Hollywood Poker Open Schedule

The Bellagio

The Bellagio regularly hosts the biggest cash games throughout the year and the summer months during the WSOP are no different. The room is holding off a tournament series until their $10,400 main event that kicks off Friday, July 10. The event does not have a guarantee attached to it but the Bellagio Cup regularly features seven-figure prizepools. A $1,090 super satellite runs on Thursday before the main and a $2,140 Seniors event runs on Monday, July 13.

Full Bellagio Cup XI Schedule

The Golden Nugget

The Golden Nugget Grand Poker Series features 56 events starting on May 27 with buy-ins ranging from $150 – $560. The downtown Las Vegas landmark holds more than 70 tables and the entire series boasts $1.6 million in total guarantees. The $560 main event kicks off Tuesday, June 30 with three starting flights and promises a $500,000 prizepool.

Full Grand Poker Series Schedule


The historic Binion’s Gambling Hall, home of the Poker Hall of Fame, used to be the home of the WSOP before the Series grew too large for the Freemont Street casino and Caesar’s bought the brand. The Binion’s Poker Classic runs from May 23 through July with most buy-ins at $160 – $220 and all have a $10,000 guarantee. Their main event kicks off Thursday June 18 with a $1,000 buy-in and $50,000 guarantee. Also, a $400 seniors event with two starting flights runs on Thursday, June 18.

Full Binion’s Poker Classic Schedule

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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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