A Comprehensive Guide to WSOP Canada

Last updated | February 22, 2020

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 the World Series of Poker (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?

The beauty of the WSOP is this: it’s not only Texas Hold ‘Em found there, but many other types of poker as well. Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments tend to have some of the biggest prizes though, including the Main Event. Players of all types will be able to found a game that they like though, ranging from Omaha through to H.O.R.S.E. and much, much more.

The buy-ins also vary considerably, although most are out of the range of the majority of players. These buy-ins range from $565 all the way through to $111,111. The tournament that costs $111,111 to enter is called the High Roller for One Drop, and is only generally played by the world’s most successful players. The Main Event, the most prestigious tournament of the event, as well as the one with the highest top prize, costs $10,000 to enter. For more affordable options, many players often turn to the circuit events, as these have tournaments with buy-ins of $365.

Does the WSOP Come to Canada?

The World Series of Poker – usually shortened simply to the WSOP – is the world’s biggest festival of poker.

There are no tournaments in Canada that are part of the main WSOP, meaning that Canadian casinos don’t host events that give out bracelets to the winners. The circuit events are sometimes played in the country though. The last time the WSOP circuit visited the country was April 2016, when an event was hosted at Casino de Móntreal. The Main Event of that tournament was won by Brian Altman, a player from the USA.

While there are no scheduled events for Canada in 2020, this doesn’t necessarily mean that there won’t be one. The event in April was only a last minute addition by the WSOP, so that could happen again. We’ll be sure to let you know if the WSOP does decide to return to Canadian soil soon.

Which Famous Canadians Have Won WSOP Events?


Canadians have done extremely well at the WSOP, although there has only ever been one Canadian winner of the Main Event. This honour went to Jonathan Duhamel, who took down the top prize in 2010 and won a staggering $8,944,310, as well as a place in the poker history books. Duhamel has now gone on to be a regular on the high stakes poker scene, and has appeared on a number of TV shows.

Canada also boasts the player with the most WSOP Player of the Year awards – Daniel Negreanu. He has won the title twice, as well as six bracelets. In total, Canadian players have won no less than 54 bracelets at the event, behind only the USA. Johnathan Duhamel has won three, while the other players with multiple bracelet wins are Daniel Idema, Kristen Bicknell, Andre Boyer, Randy Holland, Greg Mueller, and Mark Radoja.

There are some surprising Canadian names missing from the list of bracelet winners though, including two players who have earnings of over $10,000,000 in their career. These two names are Mike “Timex” McDonald and Sorel Mizzi. Surely it won’t be long before they add a bracelet to their impressive resume though, will it?

How to Qualify for the WSOP

The easiest way to gain entry into one of the WSOP competitions is simple: gather together your money and buy a seat. As already mentioned though, this isn’t possible for many people, thanks to the often huge prices these seats cost. There are a couple of ways to enter an event for a lower price though…

The first of these is to find a backer – or several backers – who will bankroll you and therefore subsidize a large amount of your buy-in to a tournament. The problem? Nobody is likely to bankroll a completely unproven player at a competition featuring the world’s very best exponents of the game. This means that this is only an option once you’ve already got some experience of playing poker at the highest level.

The other option is to enter one of the satellite tournaments held online, and these are held at many of the world’s biggest poker sites. These satellite tournaments often have a number of stages. So, if you paid, for example, a C$10 buy-in, you might then have to get past four or five different tournaments to get a ticket. If you entered the process later though, which will cost considerably more, you might only have to qualify from one tournament to get your hands on a seat at the WSOP.

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. The easiest place to do this is directly at the WSOP site, which has live streams of the final tables of many of the 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 of the other tables as well.

If you’d prefer to watch the WSOP on a big screen though, Canadian players 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. Those from other countries will also possibly find that WSOP events are broadcast on television.

Play at the World Series of Poker 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 site and playing online. The WSOP site has everything you’d possibly expect from an online poker site, 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!

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