For poker players all over the planet, the end of May means the beginning of World Series of Poker (WSOP) season. With the 2016 WSOP set to open its doors on May 31 for the 47th annual edition of poker’s premier festival, the race to secure yourself a seat via online qualification has begun.
While the glory days of the poker boom have long since faded, every poker player remembers the pivotal role played by online satellite tournaments – in which players can parlay a small sum into the $1,000, $1,500, or even $10,000 needed to enter their favorite bracelet event.
After all, without the benefit of an $86 feeder tournament to a larger $650 mega-qualifier on PokerStars, the aptly named Chris Moneymaker would never have taken his seat at the 2003 WSOP Main Event. The mild-mannered accountant’s improbable victory thrust an amateur to poker’s pinnacle, and millions of viewers around the world watching ESPN’s broadcasts soon learned that online satellites could be viewed as viable investments.
Governmental intervention eventually disrupted the online poker industry throughout the United States, but five years removed from “Black Friday,” the concept of qualifying for the WSOP by playing online has managed to endure.
For players living in Nevada, New Jersey, or Delaware, the recent legalization and regulation of the online poker industry in these jurisdictions makes things easy enough. In Delaware, for example, the online poker rooms operated by Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway are all powered by 888Poker software.
As the official sponsor of the 2016 WSOP, 888Poker is in prime position to offer the most comprehensive schedule of online qualifiers. To that end, the site has created the Seven-Step Satellite structure, offering players the opportunity to begin with Step One ($0.01 buy-in) and win their way to Step Two ($0.10 buy-in), or to simply buy into their preferred step level. The price points climb to $1, $5, $30, $160, and $1,050. If you can win your way into Step Seven, the potential reward is a WSOP Main Event seat and prize package valued at $12,500.
For those in Nevada or New Jersey, the situation is even more preferable, as 888Poker powers the software behind the WSOP.com online poker rooms in both states. This means you’ll have access to a full schedule of online qualifiers, with dozens running every day to provide access to several bracelet events. For just $10 you might win your way into Event #2: Colossus II, with its massive $7 million guaranteed prize pool up for grabs. Other bracelet events accessible via online qualifier on WSOP.com include Event #14: Millionaire Maker, Event #41: Monster Stack, and of course, the Main Event.
And even if you don’t live in any of those three states, online poker platforms like America’s Cardroom (ACR), BetOnline, and Bovada offer their own WSOP satellite schedules. These sites have served U.S. customers faithfully for a number of years, sending hundreds of players through to the WSOP gauntlet over that time.