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WSOP announces 2018-2019 US Circuit schedule

24 May 2018

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Coming off a record 133,892 entries awarding a record $66,585,658 in prize money this past season, the 2018-19 season will see more benefits for players, including more starting chips and new price points for the refreshed WSOP U.S. Circuit’s 15th season.

While the venues may be familiar, the WSOP is expected to offer a record 28 stops during the 2018-19 WSOP U.S. Circuit tour, all linked by a points system tied to the WSOP gold-bracelet awarding, $1,000,000+ prize pool, season-culminating Global Casino Championship.

The 2018-19 WSOP Circuit officially gets underway 2 August at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in western North Carolina, and continues virtually non-stop until the season-culminating stop at Harrah’s New Orleans Casino that begins 9 May 2019.

Bally’s - Las Vegas returns as a stop in late March, 2019 and Horseshoe Casino - Hammond and Horseshoe Casino & Hotel - Tunica have both added a second stop on the schedule. Horseshoe - Baltimore is off this year’s schedule, while Seminole Casino Coconut Creek will be the home to both Florida stops this season.

Instead of running with the status quo after a record-setting year, the WSOP has introduced several new updates and offerings to the Circuit. They include:
  • More Starting Chips – Each official WSOP Circuit ring event now gives players many more starting chips than previously. The most popular price points, the $365 (now $400) and the Main Event (now $1,700) will increase starting stacks 50% each. So the $400 buy-in will start with 15,000 chips and the Main Event begins with a 30,000 starting stack.
  • Price Point Polishing – Both to ease customer and cashier process time and to help beef up the prize pools, the WSOP Circuit will introduce some new price points in 2018-19. Buy-ins will now feature $250, $400, $600, $1,125, $1,700, $2,200, $3,250 and $5,300 ranges. The new primary price points will be $250, $400 & $600, while higher buy-ins remaining the same at $1,125, $2,200, $3,250 and $5,300.
  • Introduction of Big Blind Ante – Some ring events offered in 2018-19 will feature the Big Blind Ante format. The popular new innovation that replaces players anteing every hand, to anteing once an orbit when in the Big Blind, was tested at points during the last circuit season and has been introduced in some play at the 2018 WSOP. Gaining widespread approval and adoption, Big Blind Ante takes away the frustrations faced when players are slow or forget to ante, as well as eases dealer chip collection, thus making for a more fun and positive experience.

“For our 15th season, the time was right to take a hard look at our offering and refreshing it to give players a better experience all around,” said WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel. “Everyone loves more starting chips, and we think things like the Big Blind Ante and larger prize pools will be big hits for all players.”

In addition to the WSOP U.S. Circuit tour, the International WSOP Circuit will return, with a future announcement planned to detail the stops planned during the 2018-19 season. Confirmed already, is a new International stop in Montreal, Canada at Playground Poker Club from 23 August to 4 September 2018.

All stops will release their series’ event schedules as they get closer and they have been approved by their local regulatory body. Two things are known for sure about every stop. First, every stop will offer at least a dozen official gold ring events starting at the $250 buy-in level and second, every stop will include a $1,700 Main Event.

Most stops begin on a Thursday, and the four-day Main Event starts on the second Friday, thereby encompassing a 12 day time-frame including two weekends and offering players non-stop poker action at the regional level. Each stop is encouraged to add Seniors and Ladies events, which will also award a ring but will not count in the Global Casino Championship standings.

As has become tradition, the Circuit season will culminate with the Global Casino Championship, a special invitation-only event which has a minimum prize-pool of $1,000,000. Players can qualify for the 2018-19 Global Casino Championship several ways (a.) win a Circuit Main Event at any U.S. or international stop (b.) win a “Casino Championship,” which is defined as the player at each stop who accumulates the most points throughout the open event gold ring schedule at any U.S. or international stop (c.) be one of the top 50 cumulative point earners over the entire season who hasn’t otherwise qualified (U.S. tour only).

Each of these projected players will receive a “free roll” seat. Another way to enter the 2018-19 Global Casino Championship during the Circuit Season is to win any official “ring event”. Any ring winner who doesn’t otherwise qualify for entry due to an automatic invite or cumulative standings will be eligible to buy-in to the WSOP Global Casino Championship for $10,000. Likewise, the top 100 ranked players from the previous year’s WSOP Player of the Year, may also buy in for $10,000 (thus the 2018 WSOP POY Standings in this case). These buy-ins are rake-free, and every penny of all additional $10,000 buy-ins will be added to the $1 million the WSOP is putting into the prize pool.

WSOP U.S. Circuit Event stops feature standardized tournament structures and payouts, so players going from stop to stop will be treated in a consistent manner at each of the stops – (barring any regulatory or local law differences).

Below is the current version of the U.S. circuit schedule as confirmed as of the date of this announcement. Stops may be added, subtracted or adjusted, both in time and duration. Please review online for the latest news and information related to these events. Until actual event-by-event schedules are posted on the WSOP website, these events are not official. Each stop requires its own regulatory approval in its own jurisdiction, and the timing of all approvals is uncertain. The WSOP reserves the right at any time to make changes to any and all events related to the WSOP Circuit.

Circuit schedules are subject to change. For more information on individual circuit events, including event schedules and structure sheets, can be found at each property website or by visiting online.

  • The WSOP Circuit Events and culminating championship are subject to tournament rules and restrictions to be released at a later date. The timing, number and location of events are subject to change and all applicable gaming regulations.

The 2018-19 WSOP Circuit U.S. schedule follows:

1. 2-13 August 2018 - Harrah’s Cherokee (North Carolina)
2. 16-27 August 2018 - Foxwoods Resort Casino (Connecticut)
3. 6-17 September 2018 - Thunder Valley Casino Resort (Sacramento area, California)
4. 13-24 September 2018 - Seminole Casino Coconut Creek (Coconut Creek, Florida)
5. 27 September 27 to 8 October 2018 - Horseshoe Casino - Southern Indiana (Louisville)
6. 11-22 October 2018 - Horseshoe Hammond (Chicago)
7. 25 October 25 to 5 November 2018 - Harvey's Lake Tahoe (Reno/Tahoe Nevada)
8. 31 October to 12 November 2018 - Choctaw Casino Resort (Dallas/Oklahoma)
9. 16-27 November 2018 - Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino (Las Vegas Strip)
10. 22 November to 3 December 2018 - Harrah’s Cherokee (North Carolina)
11. 1-12 December 2018 - The Bicycle Hotel & Casino (Los Angeles)
12. 6-17 December 2018 - IP Casino Resort and Spa (Biloxi, Mississippi)
13. 2-14 January 2019 - Choctaw Durant (Dallas/Oklahoma)
14. 10-21 January 2019 - Thunder Valley Casino Resort (Sacramento area, California)
15. 17-28 January 2019 - Horseshoe Tunica (Mississippi)
16. 31 January to 11 February 2019 - Potawatomi Hotel & Casino (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
17. 7-18 February 2019 - Seminole Casino Coconut Creek (Coconut Creek, Florida)
18. 15-26 February 2019 - Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino (Las Vegas)
19. 21 February to 4 March 2019 - Horseshoe Hammond (Chicago)
20. 28 February to 11 March 2019 - TBA
21. 3-14 March 2019 - The Bicycle Casino (Los Angeles)
22. 7-18 March 2019 - Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City (New Jersey)
23. 14-25 March 2019 - Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Tulsa (Oklahoma)
24. 21 March 21 to 1 April 2019 - Bally’s (Las Vegas Strip)
25. 28 March to 8 April 2019 - Horseshoe Casino - Council Bluffs (Omaha/Iowa)
26. 10-22 April 2019 - Harrah’s Cherokee (North Carolina)
27. 25 April to 5 May 2019 - Horseshoe Tunica (Mississippi)
28. 9-20 May 2019 - Harrah’s New Orleans (Louisiana)
TBD - $1 million+ Global Casino Championship

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