As announced by World Series of Poker Executive Director, Ty Stewart, “there must be a world champion in 2020”. And in just several hours, that hunt begins. The prestigious 51st WSOP Main Event gets underway on Natural8 – GG Network, and as always, the highly anticipated tournament is a No Limit Hold’em Championship freezeout with a US$ 10,000 buy in.
For players outside of the US, the chance at poker’s most esteemed title starts on Monday, November 30 at 02:00 HKT (which is later tonight). Direct satellites and feeder satellites starting at US$ 0.50 have been running on the site with at least 500 tickets guaranteed. Among the players that have won seats to Day 1A are famed pros and WSOP bracelet / ring winners Aditya Sushant “inonhmeansfu”, Norbert Szecsi “ElCabanero”, Chris Rudolph, Patrik Antonius “Magicpsilo”, Andrey Pateychuk, Timur Margolin “Avocado Love”, Ioannis Konstas, Rui Ferreira, Rainer Kempe, Steven Van Zadelhoff, Vladas Burneikis “apuokas”, Huahuan Feng “F7588”, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Fabrizio Gonzalez “UknowWhoIam”, Paulo Goncalves “Pokerggbras”, Ezequiel Waigel “lafiera8”, and Japanese popstar Gakuto Oshiro “GACKT”.
The international segment will eventually complete three starting days before moving on to Day 2.
International segment schedule on Natural8:
Day 1A: Monday, November 30 @ 02:00 HKT
Day 1B: Sunday, December 6 @ 02:00 HKT
Day 1C: Monday, December 7 @ 02:00 HKT
Day 2: Tuesday, December 8 @ 02:00 HKT
Final Table: Tuesday, December 15 @ King’s Casino (Live)
*Subject to local regulatory approval
To adjust to the current global health crisis, this year’s format has been tweaked. For the first time in history, the Main Event is a hybrid tournament running on two online platforms before transitioning to the live felt. Initial international action is hosted on Natural8 – GGNetwork and initial domestic segment action is on WSOP.com, though it is restricted to players geolocated in US states Nevada and New Jersey.
Domestic segment schedule on WSOP.com:
Day 1: Sunday, December 13
Day 2: Monday, December 14
Final Table: Monday, December 28 @ Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino (Live)
Both segments will run the same structure. Starting stack is 60,000 with 100-200 opening blinds and level intervals running a lengthy 30 minutes. Late registration is open for six hours. Starting days conclude at the end of Level 16. For those that advance to Day 2, it plays down to the Final 9.
Once the final table of both segments have been reached, the live portion begins. The international final 9 players fly to King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic and the domestic final 9 players head to the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas where they battle for their respective segment’s Main Event titles. To complete the event, the champions of each segment face off live for one final duel on December 30 in Las Vegas for the 51st WSOP Main Event Championship title. The ultimate champion will claim the WSOP Main Event champion’s gold bracelet and the added $1,000,000 courtesy of Caesars Entertainment, Inc. and GGPoker.
A glance back at the WSOP Main Event
The highly revered US$ 10,000 No Limit Hold’em Main Event dates back to 1972 with Thomas Preston “Amarillo Slim” as the first ever champion. At the time only 8 players participated. The first back to back champion was Doyle Brunson “Texas Dolly” who won it in 1976 and 1977. He was matched by Stu Ungar “The Kid” with wins in 1980 and 1981, and Johnny Chan “Orient Express” in 1988 and 1989.
By 2003, the tournament had grown in popularity with 839 players slugging it out in Las Vegas. US player Chris Moneymaker became an overnight sensation after it was discovered that he won his seat via a US$ 86 online satellite which he then turned into a life changing US$ 2,500,000. The following year, it was madness. The field ballooned to thousands with 2,576 in attendance. Then in 2006, a massive 8,773 filled the halls of the Rio. US player Jamie Gold emerged victorious to collect a monstrous US$ 12,000,000. To date, that remains the largest Main Event turnout and the largest first prize money awarded.
Second in numbers was last year’s 50th WSOP Main Event with 8,569 players. German pro Hossein Ensan shipped it for his biggest career score of US$ 10,000,000. Ensan is the defending champion, we have yet to see him grace the virtual arena.
Vietnam player “vansy1988” wins Natural8’s WSOP Main Event Freeroll
With excitement brewing, for Natural8 players it was an especially thrilling Saturday night as Asia’s popular online platform hosted an exclusive WSOP Main Event Freeroll wherein one hot US$ 10,000 Main Event ticket was up for grabs. As expected, it attracted an enormous field. At the starting gun, 2,897 players raced off; at the close of registration, 4,259 was the count. The freeroll ran for over seven hours before the final 9 players emerged and another half an hour to reach heads up with Hong Kong’s RICHCHIGGA ahead of Vietnam’s vansy1988. After 15 minutes of heated battle, the duel ended with vansy1988 seizing the coveted ticket. The final hand was two pair over two pair on a board , shoves were on the turn.
Promo: Natural8 US$ 100,000 Team Bling Sponsorship
If you haven’t signed up yet to Natural8, the time to do so is now. Natural8 is offering another exciting Main Event promo, a Team Bling Sponsorship worth up to US$ 100,000. Team Bling was formed during the 51st WSOP. Each Natural8 bracelet winner was inducted into the team and awarded sponsorship packages. To be part of this exclusive band of champions, just sign up to Natural8 and win the international WSOP Main Event Final Table for a US$ 30,000 Team Bling Sponsorship. An added US$ 70,000 sponsorship and Team Bling captainship when you win the Heads Up Championship.
Stick with us at Somuchpoker as we bring you daily recaps of the WSOP 2020 Main Event as it unfolds.