Table Talk: 2013 WSOP – Bracelets, Charity and Discounts

90 percent discount

90 percent discountLet’s talk. I’ve got a steady flow of Bacardi and Coca-Cola. Feel free to join me or grab a beer. The World Series Of Poker schedule came out, and it’s the talk of the town.

Sure, other news happened over the past week. EPT Deauville wrapped up with Vojtech Ruzicka in the winner’s circle, as did the WPT Lucky Hearts with Matt Giannetti taking that title. Full Tilt launched a .EU site, PokerStars made Lee Jones the Head of Poker Communications, and Daniel Negreanu and Xuan Liu raised money for St. Jude’s Children’s ResearchHospital. All great stuff, which you can read about by going in Do it.

As a Valentine’s Day gift, the World Series of Poker finally released its summer 2013 tournament schedule. Oooh-weee, did Twitter go a little bonkers. Everyone had been waiting to make their summer living arrangements, flight plans, and bankroll tweaks. And tonight, visions of gold WSOP bracelets will be dancing in their heads.

Let’s get to the highlights.

First, players on a budget will find quite a few tournaments for relatively low buy-ins. The first of them is a $1k NLHE that begins on May 30, and players who bust are allowed one chance to re-enter. For those wanting some fast action, Event 34 that begins on June 19 is a $1k buy-in NLHE Turbo with a structure set up for a two-day tournament. Each weekend will offer a $1,500 and a $1k NLHE event, and the Seniors Event and Ladies Event each boast of $1k buy-ins.

Second, Event 6 is one of the first on the schedule and kicks off on June 1. Nicknamed the “Millionaire Maker,” it is a $1,500 NLHE with single re-entries allowed. This stands out from the aforementioned re-entry as it has a $1 million guarantee for the winner alone. No matter the number of entries or resulting prize pool, it will be adjusted to give the winner at least $1 million.

Third, the Big One for ONE DROP is dropped from the schedule but replaced by two lower buy-in events. (All mega-millionaires, you can donate your money to the willing recipients in Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio.) For the high rolling crowd, there is a “ONE DROP High Roller tournament, which is Event 47. It will require a $111,111 buy-in, out of which the three percent house fees will be donated to ONE DROP by the Rio. Players are also encouraged to add a percentage of their winnings for the charity. Event 58 is for everyone else, as the “Little One for ONE DROP” has a $1,111 buy-in. This allowed unlimited re-entries through the first four levels, and $111 of each buy- in will go directly to ONE DROP.

Other interesting facts:

There are 62 bracelet events, one more than last year.

There will be an Open Face Chinese tournament, but it will not award a bracelet. It is also a $5,000 buy-in and takes place on July 13.

There will be a $560 Bracelet Bounty NLHE event on June 29, but there will be no bracelet awarded. (Misleading tournament name, don’t ya think?) Bounties will be placed on random players in the field.

The Seniors-Only NLHE Championship is the only event to begin at 10:00am.

The Ladies-Only NLHE Championship raised its buy-in to $10k. But wait! Ladies will enjoy a special discounted buy-in of only $1k.

The jokes began immediately. “Women do love a sale!” “Women will come from miles around for a sale like that!” Ha ha. Very funny.

I get what the WSOP is trying to do. The point is to discourage the inevitable men from playing the event. If they truly want to take a stand on the ladies-only event and make a point, it’ll cost them $10k to do it. And no, there is no legal precedent or law that makes the action illegal. The WSOP is dead-set on preserving the Ladies Championship and keeping it as a bracelet event, and arguments to the contrary have been unequivocally shot down. So, if that’s how the WSOP wants to handle it, and women who play the event regularly are happy with the decision, then let it be.

Notwithstanding my personal views on the issue of segregated bracelet events, the decision will be popular with most of the event’s players. They love the tournament. I’ve thrown my argument to the side in recent years because of that simple fact. I don’t play the event – or any events, for that matter. Let the WSOP and the ladies have it, I say.

And to the men who insist on playing, the women should welcome the additional money to the prize pool. But to the men who have to make jokes about women loving a sale, STOP IT. Your sexist inferences are proving that antiquated views of women are alive and well (and rampant) in the poker community, which is more infuriating than any ladies-only event could be on its own.

With that out of the way, it’s fun to see everyone so excited about the biggest tournament series of the year. And now that I live in Las Vegas, I hope I get to see enough of the action and friends at final tables to enjoy it more this year than ever before.

I wish everyone the best of luck in their WSOP planning. Here’s the PDF link to the schedule for those who (somehow) haven’t seen it yet.

Cheers to the 2013 WSOP and all of the players trekking to Vegas! See you at the bar.