Following the successful integration of online events within its live series schedule, the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOP-C) will host an online-only event throughout September.
The inaugural WSOP Online Circuit series begins on September 18, with 13 tournaments held once a day until September 30. The 13-event schedule – available to WSOP.com players in both Nevada and New Jersey – offers $700,000 in combined guaranteed prize pools, and tournament winners will receive the traditional gold ring awarded to WSOP-C champions.
Bill Rini – the head of online poker for WSOP.com – spoke with poker industry outlet PocketFives to discuss the Online Circuit’s inception:
“We’ve always believed that it’s our mission to bring the excitement of poker and specifically the prestige of the WSOP to as many people as possible and the WSOP Online Circuit Event is simply the next step on that path.
We’ve held several highly successful online bracelet events and now with Nevada and New Jersey shared player pools, the demand and feedback we’ve seen, we’ve determined that an online circuit schedule makes sense of the market.”
In his interview with PocketFives, Rini revealed that the Online Circuit events would replicate their live counterparts by awarding gold rings to the winner.
Rini also confirmed that champions would receive points towards qualifying for an automatic entry into the season-ending WSOP-C Global Casino Championship:
“Winners will receive official WSOP Circuit rings along with qualifying for the Global Casino Championship just like all WSOP Circuit event.”
Online Circuit players can qualify for the Global Casino Championship by winning the $525 buy-in Main Event, or by accumulating the most points across the 13-event schedule.
Rini also commented on the Online Series’ wide range of buy-ins, which run from $200 to $1,000:
“There’s definitely an appetite for higher buy-in online tournaments.
We have seen that in our higher buy-in events like the $3,200 online bracelet event this summer with 480 entries and nearly $1.5 million in the prize pool.”
The WSOP proper in Las Vegas included four online bracelet events this summer, while the WSOP-C began adding online ring events to select stops this year.
The first Online Circuit series will cover Nevada and New Jersey, but Rini told PocketFives that online poker legalization in other states could eventually see the concept expand:
“At this point, a year ago the Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware compact hadn’t even been announced and Pennsylvania hadn’t passed a bill legalizing online gaming.
A lot can happen in just a year, so I don’t really want to talk about how many events we might or might not do because we simply don’t know what the landscape will be like in six or 12 months.”