The 2020 WSOP will feature a large number of online bracelet events due to COVID-19. Organizers have announced that 85 online bracelets will be given away.
This year’s World Series of Poker has 101 events on the schedule. The other 16 tournaments are tentatively set to run in the fall at Las Vegas’ Rio.
Of the online tourneys, 31 will run on WSOP.com throughout July. The remaining 54 events will take place on the international-facing GGPoker.com.
Not Everybody Is a Fan of 85 Online Gold Bracelets
Online tournaments have become more and more popular in recent years. However, the WSOP has never run anywhere close to 85 internet-based events.
Melissa Burr, a high-stakes poker player, sarcastically commented on how many bracelets are being given away online.
“I guess the bright side of these online bracelets being handed out like Halloween candy is that ill get to ladder up ‘good players without a bracelet’ list,” Burr writes.
Brandon Shack-Harris, who lays claim to two bracelets, worries that the WSOP is cheapening the entire event.
“I worry I am/will find myself more apathetic to attending events if our most revered brand isn’t concerned about their own image and value,” he rants.
Some Defend the WSOP
Ryan Fee, who co-owns Upswing Poker and plays online poker professionally, doesn’t see an issue with the online-heavy format.
“Online poker is every bit as legitimate discipline as live, if the series were invented today it could conceivably all be online, they should update to keep with the times (generally) and the times (specifically).”
A poker pro going by the handle ‘Gags30,’ agrees with Fee’s point of view. He specifically points to the small tournament fields from decades ago.
“Everyone complaining about wsop diluting bracelet value and that online bracelets shouldn’t count… yet somehow still in agreement to definitely count the bracelet from when John “Aces Up” Smith beat 8 people to win a 5 card stud tourney in 1981.”
Like it or hate it, the WSOP will be going ahead with their online plan. They don’t have much choice with the coronavirus still floating about.