For poker players all over the planet, one of the most anticipated days of the year occurs when the World Series of Poker (WSOP) releases its schedule for the summer’s festivities in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Per a press release issued recently by WSOP.com Editor-in-Chief Seth Palansky, that day won’t come until February, but WSOP officials did unveil several features of the official schedule for the 48th annual edition.
The 2017 WSOP will commence on Tuesday, May 30 and run through Monday, July 17 at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino, located just off the Strip.
Over the course of 49 consecutive days, the WSOP will play host to several dozen official gold bracelet events. In addition to the primary slate of bracelet events, the WSOP is home to satellite tournaments, smaller Daily Deepstack events, and cash games of all variety – which run around the clock in a converted convention hall that transforms into Sin City’s largest poker room every summer.
The grand finale of every WSOP – the prestigious $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Main Event that has been played as poker’s World Championship since 1970 – will begin on Saturday, July 8 with the first of three starting flights. Players can take a single shot at poker immortality in any of the three “Day 1” flights, with Day 1B taking place on Sunday, July 9, and Day 1C on Monday, July 10.
From there, the Main Event field is consolidated and the tournament plays out over the next seven days, before halting when the nine-handed final table lineup is set on Monday, July 17.
But while the Main Event is surely on every player’s poker bucket list, that $10,000 price tag does tend to make it a pipe dream for most, which is why the WSOP is placing greater prominence on its so-called “Flagship Events” this time around.
By ensuring that each of the five Flagship Events – all offering more affordable buy-ins between $565 and $1,500 – take place over a weekend, WSOP organizers hope to create a more convenient schedule for recreational players.
Palansky made mention of this operational shift in the press release:
“With just six weekends available to start new events this year, the WSOP has strategically built the 2017 schedule to place signature events on the weekend, with juicy prize pools and popular tournaments planned to ensure poker enthusiasts with a great time and an opportunity to win big.”
The first Flagship Event is the third running of the $565 buy-in Colossus, which allows for one reentry in each of the six starting flights to create massive fields and prize pools. Last year the Colossus II event drew 21,613 entries, falling just short of the record-setting total from 2015’s original Colossus.
The Colossus III boasts a $1 million guaranteed payout to the winner, with six starting flights running through the weekend of June 2-4.
The second Flagship Event is the $1,500 Millionaire Maker, offering another $1 million guaranteed first-prize payout, and two starting flights take place over June 10 and 11.
Next up is “Seniors Weekend,” as the $1,000 Seniors (50+) and Super Seniors (65+) events are timed to coincide with Las Vegas’ popular EDC music festival. The Seniors Championship begins on Friday, June 16, while the Super Seniors kicks off on Sunday, June 18.
The $1,500 Monster Stack event begins with a pair of starting flights on June 24 and 25, and the $888 Crazy Eights tournament returns with four Day 1s occurring twice daily over July 1 and 2.