WSOP Revamps WSOP-Circuit schedule

Televised $10k regional championships, $1mm freeroll National Championship bracelet

by , Jul 12, 2010 | 11:05 am

The WSOP Circuit has had its share of ups and downs (mostly downs) in recent years as its relevance has waned a bit in the past few years with small fields in their $5,000 main events at various Harrah’s properties across the US.

The announcement of the 2010-11 WSOP Circuit schedule today brings about several major changes done to push the tournament series back into relevance. Changes include a drop in the buy-ins of the Circuit Main Events to $1,500, four $10,000 buy-in “regional championships” that will air on national television (ESPN?), and a $1,000,000 freeroll tournament at Caesars’ Palace in May 2011.

More information found in their press release on below:

Participants to Compete For Shot at WSOP National Championship Including $1 Million Las Vegas Tournament and WSOP Gold Bracelet

Television Coverage, Standardized Structures, Cumulative Points System & Super-Regionals All Part of New WSOP Circuit Model; Buy-Ins for Main Event Altered

The WSOP Circuit tour, now entering its seventh season, is about to become bigger and better than ever.

The 2010 schedule will include at least 12 tour stops, with a handful of others expected to be announced in the months ahead.

This year’s format includes several notable improvements, including:

* A cumulative rankings system throughout the season, awarding points for each official WSOP Circuit “Ring” open event, with four different ways to automatically qualify. (Explained in separate document attached).

* A season-ending National Championship tournament for 100 players who automatically qualify via cumulative rankings or performance-based criteria. (The televised National Championship tournament will be played at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas prior to the commencement of the WSOP and feature a $1,000,000 prize pool and award a WSOP Gold Bracelet). (Explained in separate document attached).

* Four Regional WSOP Circuit Championships with a $10,000 buy-in event plus two-hours of national television coverage per stop.

* Standardized structures and pay-outs at all events; with the Main Event lowered to $1500 outside Regional Championships to encourage larger fields and more players attending multiple stops on the tour.

“We recognized the WSOP Circuit Events needed a shot in the arm, and we believe we’ve responded with steroids,” said WSOP Vice President Ty Stewart. “The new model is exactly what the WSOP is all about, giving poker players of all bankrolls the chance for compete for the kind of fame, fortune and respect that comes only with a WSOP bracelet and a national television audience.“

The 2010-2011 WSOP Circuit tour begins on August 19, 2010 at Horseshoe Council Bluffs in Iowa and continues through May 22, 2011 at Harrah’s New Orleans.

All the details can be found here.

The entire schedule is as follows:

August 19 – August 31, 2010 Horseshoe Council Bluffs (Iowa)
October 2 – October 12, 2010 Horseshoe Southern Indiana
October 15 – October 27, 2010 Horseshoe Hammond (Chicago area)
October 26 – October 31, 2010 *Emerald Casino (South Africa)
October 28 – November 10, 2010 IP Casino Resort & Spa (Biloxi, MS)
November 11 – November 23, 2010 Harveys Lake Tahoe
December 4 – December 22, 2010 Harrah’s Atlantic City
January 27 – February 15, 2011 Harrah’s Tunica
March 2 – March 13, 2011 Caesars Atlantic City
March 11 – March 30, 2011 Harrah’s Rincon (San Diego area)
March 31 – April 13, 2011 Harrah’s St. Louis
April 14 – April 30, 2011 Caesars Palace
May 9 – May 22, 2011 Harrah’s New Orleans

*Circuit Event in South Africa does not count towards point system tabulation or cumulative event award.

Bold indicates Super Regional, with an added event, the $10K nationally televised No Limit Hold’em tournament.

Circuit schedules are subject to change. For more information on individual circuit events, including event schedules and structure sheets, can be found at each property website or by visiting

4 Comments to “WSOP Revamps WSOP-Circuit schedule ”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    A point not noted in the PR, the “freeroll” prize pool comes from the 1% taken out of every $300+ tournament player’s buyin at the WSOP-C locations.

  2. Ty Stewart

    Kevin, there’s no linear 1% connection, as that is even illegal in some states. You might see registration fees be slightly higher in some of the prelims to where they are for similar casino tournaments, but doubt poker players will mind. They’re getting entirely new value prop, and benefitting from significantly more corporate support – to fund marketing, television production/distribution…and the overlay.

    You are all math guys. Bet it won’t take you long to look at the circuit numbers to figure out 1% wouldn’t even come close to equaling $1MM…even if the tournaments grow as we hope they will.

  3. DanM

    I gotta say, Ty, nice overall redesign with the circuit. Would this be WSOP-C version 3.0 lol?

    I’ll be interested in watching the regional championships … not only should they draw more “big names”, but also should be interesting to see some of the “minor league” bad asses asserting their presence in poker. (And might we actually get Kevmath to a WSOP big regional in the Northeast? Gotta think his only hesitation would be trusting me in the “Way Outside” role.)

    Also like the Circuit national championship concept. The best of the best of these players deserve a little extra love, imho, and since they are such an important part to the overall WSOP, it only seems fitting that not all of any extra money Harrah’s splashes around go to top-tier name pros.

    Regardless of where the prize pool comes from, I agree with Ty that players will go for it. We learned in my rinky-dink 1/2 game that players, though they initially complained, didn’t mind that we were dropping an extra $1 per pot when realizing this money went toward $50 splash pots.

    I certainly wouldn’t balk at having to give up a piece of some prize pool I were competing for to contribute to some sort of bigger, more exciting prize that I may or may not get a chance to play for.

  4. Kevin Mathers

    You did a fine job this morning with it Dan 🙂

    Thanks for the clarification on the 1% taken out, that’s what I get for typing before thinking.