The battles on the felt may be over for the World Series of Poker this year, but there is a new off-the-felt fight that could have a huge impact on the poker community.
The WSOP announced on Monday that it will be offering a new WSOP series at the Atlantis Resort in The Bahamas in December. The series will feature $50 million in guarantees, 15 bracelet events, and the support of online poker site GG Poker. The $5,000 buy-in Main Event has a $15 million guaranteed prize pool and there will also be a $1,500 Mystery Bounty event with a $5 million guarantee. The event is being dubbed WSOP Paradise.
The event is set to run from Dec. 3 -14, which is what has sparked plenty of feedback from the poker community. Last December, the World Poker Tour debuted a December series of its own at Wynn Casino in Las Vegas. The WPT moved its Tour Championship event from May to the end of the calendar year with its own $15 million guarantee in 2022. The end result nearly doubled that number, with a $29 million prize pool and nearly 3,000 entries.
The WPT has announced its dates for 2023, which are in direct conflict with the newly announced WSOP Bahamas series. The entire Wynn series is set to run from Nov. 29 – Dec. 23 with the WPT event taking place from Dec. 12 – 20. The tour has yet to announce a guarantee on the event.
The announcement from WSOP comes after WPT ran an event earlier this month on the tail end of the summer WSOP. The event, which was also at Wynn, was a $10,500 buy-in event that overlapped with the tail end of the WSOP Main Event and ran in direct competition with the WSOP postlim events.
For years the WPT used to run its Bellagio Cup event overlapping the Main Event. However, during that era, the WSOP Main Event was the last bracelet event on the calendar. With the increasing number of postlims, the cannibalization across competing WSOP and WPT events is more pronounced. Many on Twitter speculated the new Bahamas event was a retaliatory move from the WSOP for the WPT infringing on its summer schedule.
What will be interesting to monitor is how WSOP Bahamas could impact not only the season championship for the WPT in Vegas but also the European Poker Tour’s Prague event. What WSOP has working for it that the Wynn event does not is the support of a major online poker site to provide satellite qualifiers.
“GGPoker is delighted to launch WSOP Paradise and welcome hundreds of players from all over the world to Atlantis Paradise Island this December,” said Daniel Negreanu, GGPoker Global Ambassador. “It’s going to be an absolutely amazing experience, the best of poker at one of the world’s most luxurious resorts!”
For this year’s record-breaking WSOP Main Event, GGPoker provided 774 satellite winners from around the globe. For the Bahamas event, the site is guaranteeing at least 1,000 satellite players.
“The summer was an unprecedented success, but the vision is equally as ambitious for WSOP Paradise,” said Ty Stewart, SVP & Executive Director of the WSOP. “We have the strongest online partner in the world, and they are set to send a record number of qualifiers to a live tournament. Atlantis also has a great legacy in poker, and we believe this combination of partners can deliver poker’s most powerful new franchise for years to come. Many players say summer in Vegas is the best time of year. We hope that will only be rivaled by winter in paradise.”