2015 marks a major milestone in the link between online poker and the World Series of Poker. That’s because this will be the first year where the WSOP will be hosting a bracelet event that takes place almost entirely online.
The World Series of Poker has long been an annual pilgrimage of sorts for professional and recreational poker players young and old. Every summer, thousands upon thousands of players from all over the world descend on the Rio Convention Center in Las Vegas for a month of some of the best tournaments and cash games on Earth.
Ever since the appropriately named Chris Moneymaker – a recreational poker player and accountant from Tennessee – won the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event for a prize of $2.5 million as a result of a $39 online tournament he played, online poker and the World Series of Poker have been inexorably linked. Online poker sites large and small have offered tickets to the World Series of Poker through satellites for years. In fact, online satellites are responsible for literally tens of millions of dollars worth of buy-ins over the past decade.
Event #64 will be a $1,000 buy-in event that takes place almost entirely on the WSOP.com online poker platform on July 2. However, once the tournament gets down to just two players, the tournament will pause until the next day (July 3), when the final two players will duke it out for first place and a historic WSOP bracelet at a live poker table in the Rio Convention Center.
This tournament is a big deal because unlike in Canada, online poker has been under attack in the United States by the U.S. Department of Justice for several years, and this tournament could very well represent a turning point in the industry. As players who played with other Americans online during the post-Moneymaker years (2003 to 2008) will remember, Americans fill the online tables with a lot of money and, most importantly, a lot of gambles.