WSOP to Host First National Online Tournament in Regulated US Market
Just 10 days after connecting players in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware on a shared platform, WSOP.com is set to host the first regulated multistate online poker tournament series in American history.
The “Coast to Coast Classic” series kicks off on Friday, May 11 and runs through May 20, with WSOP.com offering more than $1 million in guaranteed prize pools.
Entry fees range from $11 to $1,000 for the 32 events on the schedule, beginning with a $30 buy-in No Limit Texas Hold’em (NLHE) tournament with a $30,000 guarantee.
The Coast to Coast Classic Main Event – a $500 buy-in NLHE tournament with $200,001 guaranteed – takes place on Sunday, May 20. And with the additional dollar added in, this Main Event will become the highest paying regulated online poker tournament played in the U.S. since legal play began in 2013.
In its fifth year of operation, American online poker finally initiated interstate player pool liquidity sharing on May 1 of this year. The player sharing compact links the WSOP.com platforms in Nevada and New Jersey – both of which utilize 888 Poker software – with the three 888-powered sites operated by the state of Delaware.
In a statement issued one week before the tri-state merger became official, Bill Rini – who serves as head of online poker for WSOP.com – predicted that player sharing would produce immediate benefits for the site:
“We can’t wait for our existing players and hopefully a host of first-time players to experience the new WSOP.com.
With the advent of tri-state shared liquidity, we have completely revamped our tournament schedules, our cash games offerings, our loyalty program and our promotional calendar to deliver the best online poker experience in this new world order.”
When the May 1 launch date finally arrived, Rini positioned player sharing as a historic development for America’s nascent regulated online poker industry:
“It’s a monumental day for online poker in the United States.
This is truly a game-changer for players and we hope is the model blueprint for additional states to join the fray.”
The Coast to Coast Classic schedule was released on the same day that player sharing went live. Of the 32 events to be played, all but one – Event #27: $50 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) with a $10,000 guarantee – will consist of NLHE.
With players set to compete against one another from two different time zones, WSOP.com has sought to standardize the series’ tournament start times at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, or 10:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).
Thus, players located in Nevada will see their tournaments begin at 3:00, 4:00, 5:00, 6:00, or 7:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST).
By entering in three or more Coast to Coast Classic events, participants will earn a free entry to a special 20-seat satellite tournament that sends players straight to the 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP).
This year, the WSOP proper will award four gold bracelets via online events hosted by WSOP.com:
Event #10: $365 No-Limit Hold’em (unlimited re-entry; 1 day) on Sunday, June 3
Event #47: $565 6-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha (unlimited re-entry; 1 day) on Friday, June 22
Event #61: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em (unlimited re-entry; 1 day) on Friday, June 29
Event #63: $3,200 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em (unlimited re-entry; 1 day) on Saturday, June 30
The Coast to Coast Classic satellite awards seats to Event #10. For the first time ever, players located in either Nevada or New Jersey can compete for a gold bracelet at the WSOP, which begins on May 30.