Key changes in store for 2017 World Series of Poker

17 May 2017

The 48th annual World Series of Poker begins in Las Vegas at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in less than two weeks, and when it does, a number of major changes will be implemented.

Of course, the most dramatic and newsworthy alteration was announced earlier this week when the WSOP decided to scrap the November Nine concept for the Main Event final table, and instead will crown the winner of poker's most prestigious tournament in July.

The WSOP decided to eliminate the November Nine concept for its annual Main Event.

The WSOP decided to eliminate the November Nine concept for its annual Main Event.

In addition, Poker Central has acquired the global television and digital media rights to the WSOP, and the network has reached an agreement with ESPN to expand programming from the tournament, including live event coverage and original episodes throughout the year.

On the heels of this news, the WSOP also revealed numerous other changes, including:

  • Clock rule change: Designed to increase the hands per hour, improve the experience for the majority and prevent habitual stalling, the reasonable time to act has been redefined. Rather than implementing a firm “shot clock,” we have opted to encourage players and Tournament Directors to more actively monitor pace of play and have staff prompt a countdown when appropriate. Please review Rule #80 of the 2017 WSOP Tournament Rules to learn more.

  • ESPN set moves to Brasilia Ballroom: The WSOP television and live streaming set will be housed in the Brasilia Ballroom this year and feature a similar three-feature table set up with seating around a main stage. As such, Brasilia will now house the TV set and an additional 30 poker tables. This makes the Brasilia Ballroom the new final table and Day 3 restart location.

  • Live coverage of WSOP Main Event: With a new television agreement with Poker Central/ESPN comes significant expansion to Main Event coverage. Every playing day of this year’s WSOP Main Event will be broadcast live on ESPN/ESPN2, with additional digital coverage outside the broadcast windows provided by PokerCentral. Additionally, the final table will not be paused until November. After a two-day hiatus, the final table will reconvene for a three-day live finale on ESPN on 20, 21 and 22 July. With ESPN’s new summer live commitment for the Main Event, start times, dinner breaks, other breaks, etc., will be adjusted in order to fit scheduled television windows to ensure ESPN is showing live poker.

  • Amazon Room the new Day One locale: The Amazon Ballroom becomes the main tournament room for Day 1 play. With an expanded capacity of 180 poker tables, both the 10 a.m./11 a.m. starting events and the 3 p.m. events can fit together on most days, with the Amazon Room serving as the primary play area for bracelet events. Overflow for large-scale events remains in the Pavilion Ballroom in most instances.

  • Kings Cash Game Lounge: The Pavilion Room will feature a “room within a room” for high stakes live action. While the Pavilion Room features up to 91 live game tables, 15 of those tables will be inside a specially designed upscale lounge featuring the latest amenities and comforts, which will play host to some of the largest cash games of the summer. Our WSOP Europe host, King's Casino, has come aboard as a sponsor and to provide a glimpse of the Rozvadov high roller experience inside the Rio’s biggest ballroom. King’s Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik will be present for much of the summer to play and greet potential WSOP Europe participants.

  • Player of the Year presented by King’s Casino: King's Casino Rozvadov is the new sponsor, awarding the 2017 WSOP POY a seat into the 2018 WSOP Main Event. In addition, the player that has accumulated the most points in Las Vegas over the first 71 open events will receive a seat to the 2017 WSOP Europe Main Event at King’s in Rozvadov. With WSOP Europe on the calendar in 2017, there are a total of 82 WSOP gold bracelets in play to contest for the WSOP POY crown in 2017, 71 open events in Las Vegas and 11 in the Czech Republic at WSOP Europe. The POY points will no longer use the GPI formula for calculations, but instead use a proprietary formula. The winner will be celebrated with their own banner as well.

  • Miranda Ballroom adds tables: The Miranda Ballroom becomes a bigger poker tournament room than previous years, with capacity expected to reach 45 poker tables. While the room will mainly be used for Daily Deepstacks, it will see some use for gold bracelet events on large event days and some restarts.

  • Pavilion stage: The stage area in Pavilion Room will be set up with tables and chairs for participants to use to eat food and drink and get a respite from the poker tables.

  • Poker Kitchen becomes the “Grab ‘n’ Go” Poker Kitchenette: Food options in the Rio Convention Center have been recalibrated in 2017, with more food stations throughout the blueprint featuring strictly “Grab ‘n’ Go” options. As such, the Miranda Ballroom will still be the primary location for hot food, but no longer provide any seated dining options. Seating options will be added in the hallways, with the main sit-down location the Pavilion Stage area. All-American Dave returns in 2017 and will offer his tableside or pick-up service. In addition, hot dog carts will also roam throughout the tournament rooms, to service players looking for a quick tableside bite.

  • Flip-Flopped Daily Deepstack: The 7 p.m. No-Limit Hold’em Daily Deepstack this year will feature a $365 buy-in and use an accelerated format, to align with the new $365 Giant, an official gold bracelet event running each Friday night at 7 p.m. during the summer. With this move, the $135 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack moves to the 9 p.m. timeslot. These moves are expected to aid these events finishing at a more reasonable hour than previously.

  • Online registration: For those using the online registration system from Bravo Poker Live and then the FasTrac kiosks on-site at the Rio, credit card limits have been raised to $10,000 per transaction (subject to your credit line, available funds, etc.). Note: Credit cards will NOT be accepted at the WSOP cage.

  • Total Rewards app: Caesars Entertainment is running a special promotion from 1-30 June for those who download the Caesars Total Rewards app. All new downloaders will be entered into a drawing to win a free $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat.

  • New Events: Eight new events have been added to the schedule:

    1. 31 May – $10,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em – 2-4 person teams. 3-day event. (Event #2) – Last year’s $1,000 version of the event was a hit and remains on the schedule. But the stakes have been raised, with a high roller version to open the official bracelet slate. This event plays each day without breaks.

    2. 3 June – $333 No-Limit Hold’em – $333,333 Guarantee. Unlimited Re-Entry. 1-day online event.

    3. 9, 16, 23, 30 June, 7 July – $365 “The Giant” No-Limit Hold’em – Unique event with weekly Friday Night flights at 7 p.m. beginning 9 June. Each opening flight plays into the money and any remaining players are paid out an amount equivalent to the last paid place of the night, with their chips bagged and remaining prize pool carried over to Day 2 cumulative re-start on 8 July. Unlimited re-entry during each Day 1 flight.

    4. 12 June – $2,620 “The Marathon” – 11 a.m. No-Limit Hold’em. 26,200 starting chips, extended 100-minute levels. 5-day event. Event #23.

    5. 20 June – $1,000 Super Turbo Bounty – 20-minute levels. No-Limit Hold’em. $300 bounty per player. 1-day event.

    6. 26 June – $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Split 8 or Better – 3 p.m. 3-day event. (Event #51).

    7. 30 June – $2,500 Mixed Big Bet Event – NLHE, PLO, 2-7NL, NL 5 Card Draw, Big O, PLO Hi-Lo, 2-7 Pot-Limit Triple Draw. Event #59.

    8. July 1 – $3,333 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em - 3:33 p.m. 1-day event. Online. Unlimited re-entry.