The World Series of Poker is returning in a big way, albeit with a different schedule than in past years. The cancellation of the live WSOP in Las Vegas year, as well as the WSOP Europe, disappointed poker players around the world, but the pandemic shut down everything from poker to travel. The 2020 year tested everyone’s resolve.

But that pandemic year makes everything that much sweeter when it reopens. The World Series of Poker will be one of those events that feels a bit different but sweeter – and more appreciated – than in many prior years. Players will be able to gather again at the Rio in Las Vegas from 30 September through 23 November for an 88-event live series.

Relatively Safe Dates

As far back as most poker players can remember, the World Series of Poker took place in Las Vegas in late spring or early summer. Since 2005, the convention space at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino has been the home of the WSOP. Players from nearly 200 countries and nations have traveled to the United States and weathered the heat of the Las Vegas summer to play poker and vie for those coveted gold bracelets.

While the Rio and all other Las Vegas casinos have reopened this year, those operators and the Nevada Gaming Commission are still using caution with regard to large gatherings. The WSOP will be one of them. So, World Series executives worked with all partners to agree on a 30 September opening of the annual series. It will run through 23 November, a bit longer than a typical WSOP.

Exact precautions will be announced at a later date. Suffice it to say that they will probably include some new sanitary protocols, ample hand sanitizer, and possibly more distance between poker tables.

The dates, though, are set.

Main Event Details

Before getting to the full 88-page schedule, let’s handle the details of the Main Event. The 2021 WSOP No Limit Hold’em Championship is back to its original glory, with its $10K buy-in, freezeout format, and all-live action at the Rio. This year, it will also be known as Event 67.

In April, when the WSOP first announced the fall festivities, they announced the bookend dates. Now, the full playdown schedule is available and as follows:

  • Thursday, 4 November: Day 1A
  • Friday, 5 November: Day 1B
  • Saturday, 6 November: Day 1C
  • Sunday, 7 November: Day 1D
  • Monday, 8 November: Day 2AB (Days 1A and 1B combined)
  • Tuesday, 9 November, Day 2CD (Days 1C and 1D combined)
  • Wednesday, 10 November: Day 3 (all remaining players combined)
  • Thursday, 11 November: Day 4
  • Friday, 12 November: Day 5
  • Saturday, 13 November: Day 6
  • Sunday, 14 November: Day 7 (to play to final nine)
  • Monday, 15 November: off day
  • Tuesday, 16 November: Day 8 (final table play)
  • Wednesday, 17 November: Day 9 (play to winner)

Every player starts with 60K chips and plays 120-minute levels. They also start play each day at 11am local time.

Full Schedule Highlights

In addition to the Main Event, there will be many highlights of the series. The first charity event and the only tournament with a guaranteed prize pool will take place on opening weekend.

  • Event 3 starts 30 Sept: $1K buy-in Covid-19 Relief NLHE Charity Event to benefit frontline healthcare workers (unlimited reentries)
  • Event 4 starts 1 Oct: $500 buy-in The Reunion NLHE with $5M GTD (3 starting flights)
  • Event 17 starts 8 Oct: $1,500 buy-in Millionaire Maker NLHE with $1M GTD for winner (2 starting flights)
  • Event 20 starts 10 Oct: $1K buy-in Flip and Go NLHE with each player all-in on the first hand, one player advancing to the money from each table then to play regularly (2 starting flights)
  • Event 22 starts 11 Oct: $1K buy-in Ladies NLHE Championship
  • Event 30 starts 15 Oct: $1K buy-in Monster Stack NLHE (2 starting flights)
  • Event 43 starts 22 Oct: $1K buy-in Double Stack NLHE (2 starting flights)
  • Event 52 starts 27 Oct: $1K buy-in Seniors NLHE Championship for players 50 and older (2 starting flights)
  • Event 55 starts 29 Oct: $400 buy-in Colossus NLHE (2 starting flights)
  • Event 58 starts 31 Oct: $1K buy-in Super Seniors NLHE for players 60 and older
  • Event 59 starts 31 Oct: $1K buy-in per 2-person team for Tag Team NLHE
  • Event 63 starts 2 Nov: $500 buy-in Salute to Warriors NLHE Charity Event to benefit American veterans’ groups
  • Event 65 starts 3 Nov: $1K buy-in Mini NLHE Main Event
  • Event 68 starts 8 Nov: $1K buy-in Little One for One Drop NLHE Charity Event (3 starting flights, unlimited reentries)
  • Event 70 starts 11 Nov: $888 buy-in Crazy Eights NLHE with $888,888 GTD for winner (4 starting flights)
  • Event 77 starts 16 Nov: $1,500 buy-in Fifty Stack NLHE
  • Event 79 starts 17 Nov: $1,979 buy-in Poker Hall of Fame NLHE Bounty with members as bounties (2021 inductee to be announced)
  • Event 83 starts 19 Nov: $1,500 buy-in The Closer NLHE (2 starting flights)

High Rollers Take Note

There will be quite a few tournaments for high-stakes poker players. All of these offer buy-ins of more than $10K, and they start on the very first day of the 2021 WSOP.

  • Event 2 starts 30 Sept: $25K buy-in HORSE
  • Event 6 starts 2 Oct: $25K buy-in NLHE 8-Handed High Roller
  • Event 11 starts 5 Oct: $25K buy-in NLHE Heads-Up Championship with 64-player cap
  • Event 37 starts 19 Oct: $50K buy-in NLHE 8-Handed High Roller
  • Event 53 starts 27 Oct: $25K buy-in PLO 8-Handed High Roller
  • Event 60 starts 31 Oct: $50K buy-in Poker Players Championship 6-Handed Mix
  • Event 82 starts 18 Nov: $250K buy-in NLHE Super High Roller
  • Event 84 starts 19 Nov: $50K buy-in PLO High Roller
  • Event 85 starts 20 Nov: $50K buy-in NLHE High Roller
  • Event 87 starts 21 Nov: $100K buy-in NLHE High Roller

Bargain Buy-in Options

There was a time when no WSOP tournament offered a buy-in below $1,500, with the exception of the Ladies and Seniors Championships and the Employees Event. Now, however, there are many events with buy-ins less than $1K.

Several of these events are listed above in the highlighted events. Players will find many others in the lineup, such as:

  • $600 buy-in NLHE Deepstack (Event 8)
  • $600 buy-in PLO Deepstack (Event 24)
  • $800 buy-in NLHE 8-Handed Deepstack (Event 33)
  • $500 buy-in NLHE Freezeout (Event 35)
  • $600 buy-in NLHE/PLO 8-Handed Deepstack (Event 50)
  • $600 buy-in NLHE Deepstack Championship (Event 61)
  • $800 buy-in NLHE Deepstack (Events 46, 81)

There will also be Daily Deepstacks, which are not bracelet events but popular nonetheless. Every day from 30 September to 21 November, there will be a $250 NLHE at 1pm, $200 buy-in at 4p, $400 at 7pm with a faster structure, and $150 buy-in NLHE at 10pm with a fast structure.

Mixed game fans will find a 5pm HORSE tournament daily between 4 October and 15 November with a $250 buy-in.

Seniors (aged 50 and over) will have a 9am event every day from 6 October to 17 November for $250. Women, on the other hand, will only have one ladies-only event at 6pm on October 10 for a $150 buy-in.

Structures and More Information

For the entire schedule in PDF format, the WSOP provided one here. The schedule that should eventually contain structure sheets is here on the WSOP website.

Registration will not open until August. Prior to that, we will provide much more information about said registrations, apps to make things easier, discounts on hotel rooms, and safety precautions for players still concerned about Covid-19. Stay tuned.


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