The World Series of Poker Championship Main Event kicked off in New Jersey and Nevada on Sunday with a whopping 705 players competing during the Day 1 freezeout. With a buy-in of $10,000, this generated a total prize pool of just over $6.7 million. The event was so popular among players, the turnout was larger than the GGPoker version.
The GGPoker version attracted less than 700 players, which is surprising given that the brand is open to international players. Apparently, Americans were ready to get in on the action and wasted no time dropping the big bucks to compete.
WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart said that the result has been great so far. He feels that the total number of players competing is a strong field size, especially considering that this is an important milestone for regulated online poker.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the WSOP 2020 Main Event has a unique format. GGPoker hosted one online Main Event while WSOP.com hosted another. For GGPoker, international players competed down to the final table and the remaining nine will travel to King’s Casino in the Czech Republic to name a winner.
For WSOP.com, the event took place in Nevada and New Jersey, also playing down to the final nine. The final table then heads to the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino to play down to the winner. Then, the US based winner and the international winner will go head to head to see who will claim the title as the 2020 Main Event champion.
An additional $1 million has been added by the organizers and will go to the overall winner, along with bragging rights of course!
The WSOP version played down to the final table on Monday December 14. The Final Table of the GGPoker version began at King’s Casino on December 15. On December 28, the Rio will host the live final table of the WSOP.com version.
Finally on December 30, the Heads Up round will take place and a new winner will be named before the end of the year! What a way for the WSOP to end this crazy year by naming a new Main Event champion.
Many thought the WSOP Main Event would not take place since the standard series had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Usually taking place from May to July, this was prime time for the virus as it was raging through the United States.
Organizers were able to take some time and figure out how to host a WSOP Online series which gave out over 80 gold bracelets, all of which were won by online players. WSOP.com hosted over 30 events in the US while GGPoker was able to offer just over 50 events for international players.
While the online series was something familiar to players in New Jersey and Nevada, it was not for international players. This was the first time that players were able to compete in gold bracelet events online from outside the US.
Over the next few weeks, we will stay tuned as the action continues to see what will happen as players vie to be the number one finisher in the WSOP Main Event!