They’re advertising the series as starting on May 31, although in truth the first bracelet event doesn’t kick off until June 1. The Main Event will again play down to a final table and then come back to finish in the fall, with the last day of that scheduled for July 18. The “November Nine” will actually start in October on the 30th and last three days, finishing November 1. Here’s a .pdf with details of the Main Event schedule.
There appear to be a lot of changes from previous years both in terms of the events being offered, the schedule (11 a.m. starts), payouts (15% getting paid for most events), starting stacks (50,000 in the Main; 5x stacks in other events) and accompanying structure changes, and so on.
There’s a new “top-up turbo” event with 20-minute levels with bonus chips for satellite players, a “triple draw lowball” mixed event featuring ace-to-five TD, deuce-to-seven TD, and Badugi, another mixed event featuring three Omaha variants, a “tag team” event in which groups of 2-4 players enter as a team, among other new stuff.
Kind of interesting trying to absorb such a mass of information all at once. Seeing lots of quick responses already by folks, with most seeming favorable and a few less so regarding specific items. It’ll take a week or three for more substantive evaluations to emerge, I imagine, then once we get to late May and into June we’ll probably hear more intensely delivered opinions once players realize exactly how specific events have been planned.
The WSOP will continue to enjoy its central spot on the poker tournament calendar. It also will probably always remain unique in the way it continues to attract players from around the globe, in particular non-professionals. But with the year so jammed with tournaments already, both in the U.S. and everywhere else, it’s hardly as distinct as it once was, even just a decade ago during the early “boom” years.