The WSOP 2017 tournament is underway, and the official numbers are now out, almost one month earlier than the WSOP 2016 event came out. Since the beginning of the new millennium, the event has been witnessing an astronomical number of players and prizes. It has also grown to become the largest poker tournament in the world, with the main event and the $10,000 buy-in being the most popular in all poker tournaments.
In addition to adding five extra WSOP bracelet events to the event, the WSOP 2017 features eight new events on tap for 2017. This means that there are going to be a total of 74 events which will run from May 3, 2017, to July 17, 2017, which is the official date when the remaining nine players will battle it out for the top prize.
Given the popularity of the event, we’ve decided to break down a few important facts that you need to know about the 48th annual WSOP event so that you can stay in the loop as the events unfold.
Location – The Penn & Teller Theatre, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada
Found on the western side of the Las Vegas Strip, the Penn & Teller Theatre, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino has been hosting the World Series of Poker tournament since 2005, one year after Harrah's Entertainment acquired the rights to the World Series of Poker brand.
The Rio Casino before the WSOP
Before the change of location, the WSOP was being hosted in downtown Las Vegas at the Binion’s Horseshoe Casino. The last WSOP event to be hosted at the casino was arranged by Harrah's Entertainment, in which 27 players participated in it.
The WSOP 2017 main event will feature three different starting days
The WSOP 2017 main event will officially start on Saturday, July 8 and interested players have the option of playing in any of the three starting days. Each day starts at 11 a.m, but the event will not be a re-buy tournament, which many other events are.
After the first day, there will be second and third flights which will run on Sunday and Monday respectively. Players who will go through Day 1A and Day 1B – Saturday and Sunday, will play on Tuesday, July 11, while those who qualify from Day 1C – on Monday, will play on Wednesday, July 12.
After this, all the players will sit together for the first time on Thursday, July 13.
The World Series of Poker 2017 event will go down as the third largest tourney!
After combining players from the three different days, the event went down as the third largest in WSOP history according to the official website WSOP.com. The tally for the total number of poker players was 7,221, which remains to be the largest attendance since 2010.
Now only was the event the third largest, but it also went down in history as the event that fielded the most number of players on a single day, with more than 4,262 players buying into Day 1C. This number broke the 4,240 record that was held by the WSOP 2016.
Introduction of new ‘The Giant’ feature
Beginning 2017, the World Series of Poker is going to offer a new bracelet that will be referred to as ‘The Giant’, which has a flight that will be held on five successive nights, beginning June 9. The Giant is set to set a record for the smallest live buy in at the WSOP bracelet event, which is set at $365. Players will also be able to get 20,000 in starting chips and unlimited re-entries to each flight.
No more November Nines
And then, there are those of us who loathed having to wait for months on end before we could actually watch the final showdown, this is not going to be the case, starting with the WSOP 2017. As Pocket Fives reported, Poker Central acquired the ownership of the digital media and global rights for all the WSOP events.
The company also partnered with ESPN, who are the official broadcasters for the event, to air the event, which was pushed from the old November Nine to July 20 – July 22 of 2017. You can always check our page for updates on how the event took place.
There were online events
In the United States, where the WSOP event will be held, online gambling is illegal, including online poker. The ban was passed after the Black Friday poker scandal on April 15, 2011.
It’s illegal to play poker online in most of the US states
However, there are three states that have passed laws that favour online poker and gambling in general including Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada.
To ensure that players have something to look forward to besides the live WSOP event, WSOP.com has introduced three bracelet events, which will exclusively be played online at WSOP.com. The online poker event will start on July 1 all the way to July 7, when the final will be held.
A grand prize of $8,150,000 + the WSOP bracelet
While it’s every player's dream to reach the final table, the player who emerges victorious will walk away with a colossal first place prize of $8,150,000. This figure is the 10th largest main event payday in World Series of Poker history, surpassing Qui Nguyen’s 2016 prize by a slight margin of $45,000.
The biggest winner in the WSOP history was Jamie Gold, who won $12,000,000 at the WSOP 2006 edition, while Martin Jacobson secured the second place with the $10,000,000 that he won at the WSOP 2014 event.
Notable Players at the WSOP 2017 Final Event
Unlike the past few WSOP final events, where large guns were not represented, the WSOP 2017 had a good representation of a number of players. Those in attendance include the following.
• Qui Nguyen – The reigning champion
• Johnny Chan – A two-time champion, winning the 1987 and 1988 tournaments
• Doyle Brunson – Also a two-time champion, who won the 1976 and 1977 tournaments
• Stu Unger – A three-time champion, who won the 1980, 1981 and 1997 tournament
• Johnny Moss – A three-time champion, who won the 1970, 1971 and 1974 tournaments
And it was Scott Blumstein who won the tournament
After hours of nerve racking, hungry and tense moments, it was Scott Blumstein who carried the day to become the 48th winner of the WSOP event. Scott Blumstein is a 25 years old poker profession who resides in Brigantine, New Jersey. He outplayed all the other 7,000+ players to take home the top prize and his first bracelet.
Scott, who went into the finals table as the chip leader, beat Benjamin Pollak and Dan Ott en route to the title. In the process, he played 110 hands, which lasted up to six hours to complete the mission he started 3 days earlier.
Scott Blumstein (Center) with his folks after winning the WSOP 2017 event
Does online poker seem to influence the WSOP winners?
During the post tournament interview, when asked how he felt about the victory, he had the following remarks to put across.
‘Money doesn’t really motivate me, it doesn’t drive me. I didn’t want to win this thing for the $8 million, but with that being said it’s nice to have some freedom now. The goal was to get to a point where I can do whatever I want to do. And I think I’m going to have that opportunity now whether it’s poker, business, going back to school. I have the freedom to do that now. That’s the American dream in my eyes and finding happiness is part of that. What a good way to get there.’