Nothing says summer in Las Vegas more than news releases for the upcoming World Series of Poker (WSOP)! The 47th Annual WSOP Begins May 31 and Runs Through July 18 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, right here in beautiful Las Vegas. And this year they are really going High-Tech and social friendly!
According to their recent news release. the WSOP is delving deeper into the digital arena to deliver plenty of new options for players and fans alike to follow, watch and participate in all the action and excitement of poker’s biggest annual event.
Here is an overview of the new or enhanced offerings:
- eQueue Payout Process – As a player who has won some cash, you can be texted when your money is ready. If excessive lines begin to form when a patron attempts to collect their payouts (remember, the WSOP is paying out 15% of fields this year), a new e-Queueing system will be utilized. This will give the patron the option to be added to the payout list if they have the necessary payout information already on file. Once added to the list, the patron leaves the payout area and is alerted by text message when their payout is ready for pickup. The patron then returns at the designated time to complete the process and receive their payout, all completed within minutes in a scheduled and controlled environment.
- Good News for Headphone Wearers – We received approval to allow participants to keep wearing headphones up until the final table. So for all WSOP events, instead of having to remove them when the money was reached, participants can now keep their headphones on until they reach the final table. A kind reminder however, participants aren’t excused from rules or responsibility when wearing their headphones. Verbal commands from dealers, floor staff and other players are part of the game, and headphone wearers are responsible for paying attention to action when in a hand or when events dictate.
- WSOP ChipIn – A new live reporting chip counting tool for players to socialize their chip counts during WSOP Gold Bracelet events. From their table/seat, players can add their chip count to the official WSOP chip count list on WSOP.com, all from their smartphone or tablet. (www.WSOP.com/ChipIn)
- New Twitter Czar – The WSOP has hired Kevin Mathers, aka Kevmath, to run the Twitter accounts @WSOP and @WSOPcom throughout this year’s tournament series, as well as assist with @WSOPTD and @WSOPChipIn as well. (https://twitter.com/wsop & https://twitter.com/wsopcom)
- ‘Live at the WSOP’ Web Streaming – Once again, the WSOP will provide final table streaming at the 2016 WSOP with David Tuchman and Tatjana Pasalic. New this year, will be a more free-flowing format, attempting to bring viewers inside all that is happening at the venue on a particular day, not just at the final table. One final table will be selected to be the stream of the day. (www.WSOP.com/live)
- WSOP.com Online Poker in Nevada – The ability to play real-money online poker in Nevada has been around for a couple years, but the 2016 WSOP marks the first time players truly have an online schedule crafted based on their known poker playing habits while in Las Vegas during the WSOP. More than 500 events, featuring $2 million in guarantees, have been scheduled on WSOP.com between May 25 and July 10 with the most affordable way to win your seats into live WSOP events at the Rio, and the only way to do so online in Nevada.
In addition to the above, the WSOP team will again be handling live reporting in-house of official WSOP gold bracelet events, exclusively on WSOP.com. Those following at home will be able to view the hand update blog, the chip counting leaderboard, plus results and prize pool information all from the same tournament portal page on WSOP.com.
Below is more detail on each of the above initiatives.
eQueue Payout Process
The goal of the new eQueue process is to allow participants who cash in WSOP events to schedule their payout pickup time. The WSOP Payout Office remains open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the WSOP, and if there is no line or a small line, patrons are encouraged to pick up their winnings right then and there. Or of course they can return at any “off-hour” to more swiftly receive their funds. But if they happen to receive a payout slip at a time when the payout office is busier, they can visit the pre-payout clerk, confirm they have the necessary payout information already on file and then provide their mobile phone number. The Payout Office can then text the patron when their payout is ready for pick up. There are two “catches” as part of this system. 1) A patron must already have payout information on file, as that is the only way the Payout Office can handle some of the paperwork in patron’s absence. And 2) Patron must return to Payout Office at designated time to receive priority processing. It is also worth noting that payouts in general can be picked up at any time. As long as the participant has his/her payout slip, they can go to the Payout Office at any time of day or night over the course of the WSOP to collect.
In addition, specifically for Event #2 (Colossus II), the Payout Office will be taking appointments for Flights D, E & F. Visiting the Pre-Payout Desk, a patron who cashes in Flight D, E or F can make an appointment if they don’t want to wait for their payout. Dedicated appointment windows will be staffed from 8am Sunday morning (June 5) until Midnight, and again on Monday, where patrons come at their scheduled time to receive a 15-minute or less completion of payout.
WSOP ChipIn – Update Your Own Chip Count!
Want to find a family member/significant other/friend/horse in the official WSOP.com chip count list?
We’re happy to announce that this year players will be able to update their own stack size on WSOP.com, so you just have to encourage your family member/significant other/friend/horse to start “chipping in” by using the WSOP ChipIn tool! The process to register is simple and straightforward (and encrypted). Participants must provide their name, Total Rewards number and their date of birth to register for a ChipIn account. Only your name is ever displayed publicly (along with your chip count), and those details are sent encrypted to the WSOP.com back-end to verify the user is indeed who they say they are (so for example, you can’t pretend to be Phil Hellmuth. Why would you want to be Phil?)
The ChipIn sign up process: Go to www.WSOP.com/ChipIn and get verified. You can do this now from any phone, tablet or computer. If doing this on a mobile device, you can easily save this link as an app on your Home Screen. For Android devices, tap the menu button and then tap Add to Home Screen. For iOS users, tap the share button (the one that looks like a rectangle with an arrow pointing upward), and then hit the Add to Home Screen button (the one with the + sign). This will save the ChipIn to your phone or device’s home screen, you will have your account all registered, and then you can simply open and close this app to add your chip count to the event at the WSOP you are playing.
Once at the WSOP, update your chip counts as frequently as you like (at least every level!) and from ChipIn, you will be able to see your chip count, as well as the Top 10 in the tournament. And everyone you know will be able to follow along on WSOP.com without texting you a hundred times for updates! Get Chippin’!
‘Live at the WSOP’ Web Streaming
The popular David Tuchman returns as the WSOP Lead Commentator again for 2016, joined by the talented Tatjana Pasalic, whose role will expand to include more on-air time, in addition to her duties lining up players to join Tuchman in the booth during final table play. This year, instead of having multiple final table streams to choose from, the WSOP will focus all efforts and eyes on one final table at once, while bringing viewers inside the WSOP ropes like never before, by peering in on other final tables in action, as well as scan the Amazon Room for activity and interview opportunities. This “Live at the WSOP” approach brings viewers all the action and excitement at the Rio for those that can’t be there in person.
All the video coverage begins on June 2, 2016, and will be housed exclusively on www.WSOP.com/live. An added enhancement being introduced this year will be “condensed games”. The WSOP will take the previous day’s final table, and pare it down for viewers to get the highlights of the event in a quick format. The goal is to start our “Live at the WSOP” coverage each day at 12 noon in Las Vegas, and come on air with a condensed game replay of the previous day, while we await the 30-minute delay required to stream final tables with hole cards.
There will be no video coverage on June 3, June 4, June 5, June 12, June 22, June 30 or July 3 as there are either no final tables taking place that day, or the production staff will be receiving the day off. The final day of “Live at the WSOP” streaming will be on Monday, July 11. The experienced ShareHand production team returns to produce all the video coverage throughout the summer. The production team will review the potential final tables each day, and pick one to feature. Hole cards and graphics will be included anytime Hold’em or Omaha is the featured game, on a 30-minute delay. If the format is any other game variant, the stream will be without hole cards, on a 5-minute delay.
New Twitter Czar
Who is best equipped to serve the poker community on social media on all things poker? We asked ourselves that question as we looked to better communicate with players during our busiest time of the year. We were fortunate that our friends at PocketFives were able to loan us Kevin Mathers for the duration of the summer to manage our Twitter accounts. Kevmath, as his Twitter handle reads, won’t be abandoning his own account. However, if your question or concern is WSOP-related, we encourage you to Tweet directly to @WSOP or @WSOPcom to get assistance. Instead of responding on @Kevmath, Mr. Mathers will have ownership of the WSOP-run Twitter accounts, and serve up information there, to best serve the entire WSOP audience, whether that is for Rio-based WSOP events or those being held online on WSOP.com Nevada. Kevin will also assist Jack Effel, aka @WSOPTD, by trying to provide information asked of Jack, since Kevin will be more available throughout than Jack can be during WSOP events. Lastly, Kevin will also monitor the @WSOPChipIn account, the new way players can add their own chip counts to WSOP.com. We are very excited to have Mr. Mathers out in Las Vegas for the entire WSOP, and you will be able to find him in the WSOP Media Center if you want to say hello or buy him a drink. We should also mention that Kevin won’t be on the accounts 100% of the time. We have to give him some days off and manageable hours, so if you get some smarmy response, rest-assured, Kevin is off duty getting some rest.
WSOP.com Online Poker in Nevada with $2 million in Tournament Guarantees
The truth of the matter is the WSOP’s real-money online poker offering, WSOP.com, did more business during last year’s WSOP, than the entire Nevada online poker market did in the 2014 calendar year combined. There’s no doubt that prize pools swell online too during the WSOP, when Las Vegas becomes the epicenter of the game. While the mobile app version of the online poker platform was the new wrinkle last year, allowing players to both play live at the Rio while they were playing online poker, this year, the online poker team at WSOP has come up with a huge assortment of offerings sure to whet every poker player’s appetite, regardless of your device of choice.
It starts with satellite events into the next day’s live WSOP gold bracelet event, ends with a 25-seat guarantee for WSOP Main Event seats, and when you add up everything in between, means there is more than $2 million in guarantees being offered via WSOP’s online poker platform in Nevada.
In entirety, there are over 500 events to choose from. Nightly Qualifiers are held at 6pm, awarding seats into the next day’s event. Signature Satellites return at 4pm, where a week’s worth of satellites are offered leading up to signature events like the Casino Employees Event, Millionaire Maker, Monster Stack, Seniors Championship, Crazy Eights, Ladies Championship and Little One for One Drop. There will be a month’s worth of satellites for the Colossus starting May 1, nightly at 7pm.
The WSOP.com signature series, the Online Championships, return from June 10 to July 10, with a 93-event schedule (three a day for 31 days), with over $700,000 guaranteed!
Add in the Top Up Turbo single-table satellites, the Online Bracelet event on July 9, and the Nightly $10,000 Guarantee at 6:30pm, and literally there is something for every poker player in Nevada during the WSOP.
Event #66, the WSOP.com Online No-Limit Hold’em gold bracelet event will now feature a live final table in the Amazon Room. The tournament will be paused once six players remain, and the final table will be contested on Monday, July 11 at 11am on the Main Stage, as the final live web stream of the summer.
The entire online poker schedule via WSOP.com can be found here: www.wsop.com/promotions/online-qualifiers/
To learn more about the 2016 WSOP, please visit www.WSOP.com/2016
To view this year’s live tournament schedule, visit www.WSOP.com/tournaments
The WSOP’s first gold bracelet event starts five weeks today! We hope to see you soon.