Who wants a bracelet? There will be 69 of them up for grabs at this year's World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. The official schedule for 2016 has just been released, and once again, the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino will be hosting the most prestigious tournament series in the poker universe. Eight new events have been added, and with the new changes in structure, more players will be making money than ever before.
There is one big change that everyone will be talking about: In most events, the number of entrants who'll get paid is going up from 10% to 15%. The flatter payout structure should encourage more recreational players to sign up. Same goes for the new start times; in general, tournaments will get underway an hour earlier than last year. And for the top pros, there will be deeper stacks at all the $10,000 buy-in tournaments, where players will start with 50,000 chips instead of 30,000. That includes the Main Event itself.
Not surprisingly, the low buy-in events that have brought so much recent success to the WSOP will be back for 2016. You might be among the players this year at the $565 Colossus, the $1,500 Millionaire Maker and/or the $1,500 Monster Stack. If you've got the chops to play Omaha, one of the new events is a $565 Pot-Limit Omaha tournament. The WSOP is also bringing back team poker with the $1,000 Tag Team event, which was last held in 1983.
But what about the highest buy-in tournament of them all? The $1-million Big One For One Drop is not on the list this year – although organizers say the event will be held somewhere else on the WSOP circuit, perhaps in Europe, or maybe the Pacific Rim. However, there will be both a $1,111 Little One and a $111,111 High Roller for One Drop at the Rio, with proceeds going to the One Drop Foundation.
As always, the focus will be on the Main Event. The November Nine format will make its return, although the final table will actually be kicking off October 30, with the winner decided November 1. ESPN will be on back to provide the television coverage. At least 1,000 people will make the money; if the event draws more than 6,666 entrants (which it last did in 2014), then 15% of the field will get paid.
The 2016 WSOP officially begins Tuesday, May 31 at the Rio; the traditional first event, the $565 No-Limit Hold'em Casino Employees tournament, starts June 1, followed by “Colossus II” on June 2. The Main Event gets underway July 9 with the first of three starting flights.