The excitement is building up for the 2022 World Series of Poker (WSOP) which is set to take place in less than four months. After a successful fall series in 2021, the WSOP returns to its traditional summer schedule this year, running from May 31 to July 19, 2022.
A New Chapter
This year, the WSOP moves to Bally’s on the Las Vegas Strip following a successful 17-year run at the Rio All-Suite & Casino. Recently, it’s been announced that Bally’s will undergo major renovations as it rebrands to Horseshoe.
The renovations will begin this summer just in time for the 2022 WSOP. The rebranding means that the series is returning to its roots, with the first WSOP event held at the iconic Binion’s Horseshoe back in 1970.
As the WSOP embarks on a new journey this year, we might see some changes to the schedule, with the events expected to attract bigger fields considering that players are now more comfortable to go out and get back into live action as things return to normal.
Popular WSOP tournaments which do not usually take place on an annual basis might make a comeback. As the festival rekindles its relationship with the Horseshoe brand, it will be exciting to see the return of some old-school tournaments associated with the iconic brand, plus a new format could be thrown into the mix!
Here are just some of the changes we might see in the upcoming festival.
Big Opening Event to Kick Off the Series
With players itching to return to the live felts, expect the 2022 WSOP opening event to pull in huge crowds. Last year, the first event on the schedule was dubbed The Reunion. While it remains to be seen whether that particular event will return this year, organizers will certainly look at hosting a similar tournament which will get the festival off to a strong start.
$1M Big One for One Drop Returns
The $1,000,000 buy-in Big One for One Drop is among the most popular tournaments at the WSOP, though it isn’t always included in the annual schedule. The last Big One for One Drop tournament was held in 2018 and was won by Justin Bonomo for an astonishing $10,000,000. This year, the WSOP might bring back the biggest buy-in event in its history as it moves to a new location.
More Freezeouts to Honor Horseshoe
Fans of the old-school freezeout should be on the lookout for this year’s schedule as it might just feature multiple events adopting the format, including the Hall of Fame Bounty which debuted last year and was won by Ole Schemion, earning him his maiden gold bracelet.
More Day 1s for the Main Event
Last year, the Main Event initially featured four starting flights which were later expanded to six after the US lifted its international travel restrictions. Now, with the new venue holding a much bigger space, organizers might consider adding more Day 1s for the main highlight of the series apart from the usual four.
As we mentioned above, Bally’s offers a bigger space for action. In 2019, the WSOP set a new record when it hosted the biggest event in poker history in terms of attendance – the Big 50 – which was taken down by Femi Fashakin for more than $1.1 million. With a bigger venue, the WSOP will be able to accommodate more players, so it won’t be surprising if the WSOP will break its own attendance record this year.
The Return of Guarantees
The WSOP live festival in Vegas doesn’t usually feature event guarantees. It had one in 2021 when The Reunion promised $5 million in guaranteed prize pool which it ultimately crushed. The 2019 edition also had one, with the $600 Deepstack Championship carrying a $500K guarantee.
The last time that a WSOP Main Event featured a first-prize guarantee was back in 2014. Martin Jacobson shipped the tournament and the $10 million guaranteed top prize. Will the guarantees return this year? Still possible!