World Series of Poker Schedule Out Including Vegas Main Event
The World Series of Poker has announced its 2022 schedule along with some new logistics.
Poker’s grandest event tries to return to what had been normal operations in Las Vegas, before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the WSOP to undergo format and timing changes in 2020 and 2021.
The 2022 WSOP returns to what had become a familiar timeframe, albeit a scorcher in Las Vegas — starting in late May and running through mid-July.
What’s New for 2022 WSOP
The location is new, with the tournament moving to the Bally’s-Paris Las Vegas complex at Center Strip. It had been at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino further west on Flamingo Road. Parent company Caesars Entertainment has announced Bally’s is being renamed as a Horseshoe property, which should resonate with poker traditionalists since the World Series of Poker was founded at Binion’s Horseshoe Casino in downtown Vegas in 1970 before it moved to the Rio.
Of late, the WSOP has been growing every year and the 53rd edition continues that trajectory featuring 88 events, some of which would confound the early-day cardsharps who pioneered the WSOP.
The most important event, though, remains the same since the second year in 1971 — the Main Event, which had been formally known as the $10,000 No-limit Texas Hold’em World Championship. In 1970, the inaugural winner, Johnny Moss, was elected champion by his peers. The following year, the current “freeze out” format was adopted when Moss won again in a field of six players, earning $30,000. Last year, the Main Event champion, German Koray Aldemir, was first in a field of 6,650 players and won $8 million.
The 2022 WSOP begins May 31 with Event No. 1, the “casino employees” tournament, and continues through the Tournament of Champions on July 18.
The Main Event begins July 3, will have four first-day flights, and continues through the final table July 15-16.
In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, the WSOP ran a series of online tournaments earlier in the year. That then led to a Main Event played online in the United States and the ROW (The Rest of the World) in roughly parallel tournaments, leading to final in-person play at the Rio. (Online poker is legal in Nevada but there are no real money online casino options.)
In 2021, the WSOP took a step toward normalcy by playing the tournament series in-person at the Rio, but it was late in the year as players were asked to adhere to COVID-19 protocols.
"This year is particularly historic for the WSOP with its move to the heart of the Las Vegas Strip and debut in the best facilities we’ve ever had," WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart said. “We’re ready to welcome players from all over the world to our housewarming party at Bally’s, soon-to-be Horseshoe, and Paris. The schedule is jam-packed with first-class events and we expect this to be the biggest and most anticipated WSOP yet.”
Organizers said the new WSOP venue will utilize all the convention space at Bally’s and Paris and have a combined 600 poker tables.
A Dizzying Variety of Events
With 88 events, you’d expect an extraordinary amount of variation. But some tournaments would have surely surprised — maybe even revolted — the likes of Poker Hall of Famers Moss, Nick “The Greek” Dandolos and Puggy Pearson.
As an example, consider the $1,000 Buy-In Flip and Go on June 12. This tournament is described in a WSOP press release: “The popular online format is galvanized into a live event. Each player will be all-in preflop on the first hand, dealt three cards and selecting two. One player will win the table and immediately fast forward into the money, where the tournament will then play out under a traditional structure.”
Fortunately, most other events rely more on skill than luck.
For instance, each Friday and Saturday (June 11-July 16), there will be multi-million-dollar prize pool events that have become familiar at the WSOP: The Millionaire Maker, Monster Stack, Colossus and The Closer.
A $25,000 Heads Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship on June 2 is intended to attract top-flight players with a cap of 64 runners.
More for the everyman poker player is the $1,000 Buy-In Seniors Championship (June 22-23). It’s a Seniors No-Limit Hold'em Championship with players allowed one optional re-entry per flight.
The Ladies’ Event (June 29) is a $1,000 no-limit hold’em tournament with one re-entry.
Bounty tournaments appear popular. The $1,000 Million Dollar Bounty (July 2-4) features a “mystery bounty” for up to $1 million. The big prize is a drawing. Players who make it to Day 2 claim the bounty of players they knock out.
Just about every variation of poker is somewhere on the schedule: 7-card stud, deuce-7 lowball draw, 7-card Stud Hi-Lo 8, Omaha Hi-Lo 8, Razz, Pot-limit Omaha and the mixed game H.O.R.S.E.
At the end of the tournament calendar, the WSOP will play the Tournament of Champions (July 18-20) which will be a $1 million freeroll tournament open to any of the 88 bracelet winners during the WSOP and the gold ring winners from the 2021-22 WSOP Circuit season.
The WSOP will offer a $5 million guaranteed prize pool tournament as the opening weekend approaches called “The Housewarming”, with a $500 buy-in (June 2). The event has one re-entry per flight. The low price point has generated some huge field sizes in the history of the WSOP. Last year, a similar event called “Reunion” attracted nearly 13,000 entrants.
The tournament is teaming up with CBS Sports for a second season with daily streaming on PokerGO. The WSOP said 18 different bracelet events are to be televised with a minimum of 15 hours of coverage expected for the 2022 Main Event.
Nuts & Bolts For 2022 WSOP
- COVID-19/Vaccination: The WSOP will follow local, state and CDC guidelines relating to COVID-19 that are in effect during the event. Unlike last year, there will be no vaccination requirement to play in the tournament. Players will be accountable to follow CDC guidelines appropriate to them as individuals.
- Online Registration: WSOP encourages players to use online/mobile sign-up so they can register and pay for the online poker option. WSOP uses www.BravoPokerLive.com to manage online/mobile registrations. Players who register online will need to visit the Champagne Ballroom located in the Le Centre Des Conventions at Paris Las Vegas and have their identification validated. Once verified, players can pick event(s) online via Bravo via self-service kiosks throughout the Paris and Bally’s convention centers. Registration will open in May. WSOP will announce to the public when it is live.
- In-Person Registration: The main registration area will in the Champagne Ballroom with more stations added to both the main registration and VIP cages. This starts May 31 at 9 a.m. and will remain open 24 hours a day through July 17. Guests must present valid photo ID and a Caesars Rewards card.
- Accommodations: If they book early, WSOP bracelet event entrants can get reduced hotel room rates at Bally’s and Paris, plus all Caesars Entertainment resorts in Las Vegas, with the booking code "WSOP22". See Caesars.com for rates.
If you need a refresher, check out our guide to poker strategy and tips.
A longtime reporter and editor who began writing on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened, Bill covered the world Series of Poker and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for a decade.