A Comprehensive Guide to the WSOP

If you’re a fan of poker, you’ve probably already heard of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), the world’s most glamourous set of poker tournaments. On this page, you’ll be able to find out everything you need to know about the World Series of Poker from a Canadian perspective, including important information on how to qualify for a WSOP event!

Once you’ve finished reading this comprehensive page, you should have all the information you need about the WSOP in Canada. You never know, you might then be able to go ahead and win a coveted WSOP bracelet of your own, along with the millions of dollars that often accompany one of them!

What is WSOP?

The World Series of Poker – usually shortened simply to the WSOP – is the world’s biggest festival of poker, and it has been running since 1970. It isn’t just one single competition though, but comprises of many different tournaments. The tournament that everyone wants to win though is the Main Event, which offers not only huge amounts of recognition, but a prize for the winning player that often stretches to over C$10m! All players winning an event at the WSOP will also get a bracelet which is worn with pride by anyone good enough to win one.

The WSOP is played every year in Las Vegas, with the Main Event usually concluding in November of each year. As well as bracelets, there is also a prize awarded to the best player throughout the event – a prize that has been won twice by Canadian genius Daniel Negreanu, the most recognisable player throughout the world. Negreanu is yet to win the Main Event though, however he is the proud owner of six WSOP bracelets.

Since 2007, the World Series of Poker hasn’t only been confined to Las Vegas though, as in 2007, the World Series of Poker Europe was created. While not quite as prestigious as the main WSOP, winners still receive a bracelet, as well as a hefty cash prize. There are now also World Series of Poker events in both Africa and Asia-Pacific. The winners at the World Series of Poker Africa do not receive a bracelet though, as it is considered a circuit event, which is something that is explained below…

Aside from the main WSOP events, there are also many circuit events. These are tournaments held before the main WSOP, and they are held in many different locations, although the majority of these locations are in the USA. Winners of WSOP circuit events are not awarded a bracelet, but instead win a ring. The world’s biggest players aren’t found at these circuit events too often, although many up-and-coming stars play them. This doesn’t mean that the quality is low though – it still takes a lot of skill, as well as some luck, to win a WSOP circuit event.

What Types of Poker Are Played at the WSOP?

As shown on the official World Series of Poker site, the following variations of the game are played:

  • Texas Hold ‘Em
  • Omaha
  • Seven Card Stud
  • Draw Games
  • 5-Card Draw
  • Lowball Draw
  • Badugi
  • HORSE

How to Enter World Series of Poker

There are a few ways to gain entry into one of the WSOP competitions, including the below:

  1. It can be as simple as using your own money to buy a seat and signing up via www.wsop.com. However, this method will not be possible for most, thanks to the often huge prices these seats cost.
  2. You can find a backer – or several backers – who will help bankroll your buy-in to a tournament. The problem? Nobody is likely to bankroll a completely unproven player for such a prestigious event. So, this is only really an option once you’ve already got some experience of playing poker at the highest level.
  3. There is also the option to enter one of the satellite tournaments held online, hosted by many of the world’s biggest poker sites. These events often have a number of stages. So, for example, if you paid a C$10 buy-in, you might then have to get past four or five different tournaments to win a ticket. If you entered the process later, though, you may only have to qualify from one tournament, but it will cost you considerably more.

Who has the most WSOP bracelets?

Below is a top 10 winners list of the prestigious WSOP bracelet prize. From a Canadian interest, look out for our very own Daniel Negreanu in at #9.

Rank
Name
Bracelets
Earnings
1
Phil Hellmuth
15
C$15,032,052
2
Phil Ivey
10
C$7,140,151
3
Johnny Chan
10
C$4,681,324
4
Doyle Brunson
10
C$3,038,079
5
Johnny Moss
9
C$834,422
6
Erik Seidel
8
C$5,728,569
7
Men Nguyen
7
C$4,155,467
8
Billy Baxter
7
C$1,219,686
9
Daniel Negreanu
6
C$19,355,619
10
Chris Ferguson
6
C$6,701,147

World Series of Poker bracelets are awarded to players who win an event each year. It is possible for one person to claim multiple bracelets at the same WSOP in different categories.

How to Watch the WSOP in Canada

If you can’t play in the WSOP, the next best thing to do is watch it, and marvel at the skill of the pros on the tables. You can do so in the following ways:

  1. The easiest place to watch is directly at the WSOP site, which has live streams of the final tables for many events. Most people choose to only watch the Main Event, thanks to the huge prize on offer, but high-quality play can also be seen on all the other tables.
  2. If you’d prefer to watch the WSOP on a big screen, though, Canadians can also find it being broadcast on TV. ESPN broadcast their coverage of the event on TSN, and it encompasses the WSOP National Championship, as well as the WSOP Main Event.

How to get Free Chips on WSOP

The WSOP site offers you the chance to play poker for free. These are social poker games, which means that no real money is involved, so instead you play with free chips without any risk.

Free poker chips can be claimed in the following ways:

  • After creating an account, you will receive 250,000 chips straight away
  • If you connect via your Facebook page, you get an additional 15,000 chips
  • Free chips are also handed out every 4 hours. Simply click ‘Collect Free Chips’ in the lobby
  • The 4-hourly chips will increase in number the higher your level is
  • By inviting friends to join the WSOP social poker app, you will earn another 50,000 chips
  • Look out for promotional codes on the WSOP Facebook page
  • Other methods to claim free chips include the in-app mega bonus wheel, prize draws and status rewards

Play at the Official WSOP Site Today

If you can’t afford to play one of the live events, or haven’t been lucky enough to win a seat via a satellite, you can still associate yourself with the WSOP pretty easily, by heading to their official site and playing online.

The WSOP site has everything you’d possibly expect from an online poker casino, including big bonuses, a large number of players and a variety of different games. It might not be the same as playing in Las Vegas, but it still means that you can enjoy yourself playing your favourite game online!

WSOP FAQs

Can anyone enter the WSOP?

Yes, so long as you are over the age of 21 and pay the buy-in fee. This can be done with your own money, or via a financial backer.

Alternatively, you can win a WSOP entry ticket by qualifying through a number of the smaller online satellite tournaments at poker sites. This is at the cost of a much lower price.

What is the buy-in for the WSOP?

It varies depending on the event. For example, the buy-in is C$10,000 for Main Event, and has been since 1972.

As of 2020, the Super High Roller No-Limit Hold'em event has the highest buy-in at C$250,000. While, the lowest is a more affordable C$250.

Can I play with real money on the WSOP app?

Yes. You can download the WSOP.com mobile poker app for your iPhone, iPad or Android device. From there, you can join online poker games and tournaments and win real money.

How much is a WSOP bracelet worth?

The approximate basic value of a WSOP bracelet is C$500,000. The bracelet itself is made from white and yellow gold, and features black and white diamonds, as well as rubies.

How many days is the WSOP Main Event?

The entire World Series of Poker each year typically takes place from late May until early July. Each event (over 100) is usually completed in one day or across successive days.

For more up-to-date info, click here.

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