The first World Series of Poker took place in 1970. There was no internet, no online registration, no prize pool guarantees. There was a single poker competition comprised of several cash games that year. The next year, there were five events.

Ten years later, there were one dozen events. By 1990, there were 15 events, and there were 25 events in the year 2000. The poker boom then changed things:

  • 2006: 45 bracelets
  • 2007: 58 (including 3 in Europe)
  • 2008: 59 (including 4 in Europe)
  • 2009: 61 (including 4 in Europe)
  • 2010: 62 (including 5 in Europe)
  • 2011: 65 (including 7 in Europe)
  • 2012: 68 (including 7 in Europe)
  • 2013: 75 (including 8 in Europe and 5 in Asia/Pacific)
  • 2014: 75 (including 10 in Asia/Pacific)
  • 2015: 78 (including 10 in Europe)
  • 2016: 69
  • 2017: 84 (including 11 in Europe)
  • 2018: 88 (including 10 in Europe)
  • 2019: 105 (81 in Las Vegas, 15 in Europe, and 9 online)
  • 2020: 86 (1 live and 85 online)
  • 2021: 188 (88 in Las Vegas, 15 in Europe, and 85 online)

Slight increases suddenly became much more significant in 2019 and then in 2021. This year, they’re topping themselves and exceeding 200 bracelets.

  • 2022: 211 gold bracelets (including 89 in Las Vegas, 15 in Europe, and 107 online)

The 89 in Las Vegas consisted of 88 scheduled bracelet events plus the Tournament of Champions, and the 15 in Europe will take place in October and November. As for the online events, there were 13 over the summer for New Jersey/Nevada players, eight for Michigan, and eight for Pennsylvania. The rest are forthcoming.

Parts of the Global Market = 33 Bracelets

GGPoker became the official global online poker partner for the World Series of Poker in 2020. When the pandemic shut down all hopes of hosting a live WSOP in Las Vegas that year, GGPoker offered online bracelet tournaments.

When the WSOP resumed live tournaments in late 2021, there were still some travel restrictions and other health concerns keeping some players from traveling to the United States for poker tournaments. That presented another opportunity to offer more online events on GGPoker and its skins.

This year, they’re doing it again, despite the resumption of live WSOP events in Europe and America.

Players can probably travel to countries that allow GGPoker to operate, though there are no clear-cut instructions regarding which countries would make that list. PokerScout and a few other online poker review sites offer lists of countries that prohibit GGPoker and its skins, but it is unclear as to how up-to-date and accurate those lists may be. We only know that prohibited countries seem to include the likes of Australia, Israel, United Arab Emirates, a number of African countries like Rwanda and Ethiopia, and island nations like Curacao, Cuba, and Philippines. European countries that are cut off from the global player pool include France, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Denmark.

United States players often travel to Mexico or Canada to play on GGPoker.

There will be 33 tournaments that will award WSOP gold bracelets from August 14 through September 26 on GGPoker. The list of events is as follows:

  • Aug 14 (Event 1): $500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Housewarming ($2,022,000 GTD)
  • Aug 14 (Event 2): $1,111 NLHE Every 1 for War Relief (playing for the National Bank of Ukraine)
  • Aug 16 (Event 3): $2,500 Limit Hold’em Championship
  • Aug 18 (Event 4): $1,050 NLHE Bounty Deepstack
  • Aug 20 (Event 5): $315 NLHE Bounty 6-Handed
  • Aug 21 (Event 6): $800 NLHE Monster Stack
  • Aug 21 (Event 7): $210 NLHE Million Dollar Mystery Bounty ($10M GTD)
  • Aug 23 (Event 8): $5K NLHE 6-Handed Championship
  • Aug 25 (Event 9): $525 PLO Bounty
  • Aug 27 (Event 10): $10K NLHE Heads-Up Championship
  • Aug 28 (Event 11): $400 NLHE Bounty Double Stack
  • Aug 28 (Event 12): $10K NLHE Super MILLION$ High Roller ($5M GTD)
  • Aug 28 (Event 13): $1,500 NLHE Millionaire Maker ($5M GTD)
  • Aug 30 (Event 14): $2,500 NLHE Deepstack Championship
  • Sept 1 (Event 15): $777 NLHE Bounty Lucky 7s 7-Handed
  • Sept 3 (Event 16): $1,500 NLHE Ultra Deepstack
  • Sept 4 (Event 17): $500 NLHE Big 500
  • Sept 4 (Event 18): $100 NLHE Flip & Go ($1M GTD)
  • Sept 6 (Event 19): $5K PLO Championship
  • Sept 8 (Event 20): $888 NLHE Bounty Crazy 8s 8-Handed
  • Sept 10 (Event 21): $500 NLHE Ladies Championship
  • Sept 11 (Event 22): $1,050 NLHE GGMasters High Roller Freezeout ($2M GTD)
  • Sept 11 (Event 23): $400 PLOSSUS ($1M GTD)
  • Sept 13 (Event 24): $2,100 NLHE Bounty Championship
  • Sept 15 (Event 25): $315 NLHE Superstack Turbo Bounty
  • Sept 17 (Event 26): $1K NLHE Double Chance
  • Sept 18 (Event 27): $1,500 NLHE Bounty Fifty Stack
  • Sept 18 (Event 28): $400 NLHE Colossus ($3M GTD)
  • Sept 20 (Event 29): $5K Short Deck Championship
  • Sept 22 (Event 30): $400 NLHE Bounty 6-Handed
  • Sept 24 (Event 31): $1,050 NLHE Beat the Pros
  • Sept 25 (Event 32): $500 NLHE Closer
  • Sept 25-26 (Event 33): $5K NLHE Online Main Event ($20M GTD)

Some of the dates above are Day 2 or the final day of their respective tournaments. GGPoker does not list the flights on its schedule, nor how many reentries are allowed in each event.

(Who needs that kind of information, anyway? Am I right?)

Parts of the US Market = 45 Bracelets

In 2015, the World Series of Poker offered its very first online bracelet events as a part of the WSOP series in Las Vegas. Players in Nevada could complete from within the state’s borders. And it became an annual part of the WSOP lineup.

In 2018, the WSOP linked its sites from Nevada and New Jersey together so the players could share tables and prize pools. However, the WSOP didn’t offer bracelet events via that combination until 2019. Players could suddenly win bracelet events without even being in Nevada.

Since then, no other states have allowed operators to link their sites across state lines. Michigan agreed to it on paper, but the process of joining the sites is not complete.

That means that the WSOP now offers online bracelet events for Nevada/New Jersey players combined, and then separate ones for players in Michigan and yet others for people in Pennsylvania. Such is the way of the American online poker market.

The WSOP will award online gold bracelets again this year. But there are separate schedules. The biggest one is the NV/NJ, so it will award 33 bracelets between September 11 and October 16. Michigan and Pennsylvania will each offer six bracelet events during that same time period.

First up, the Nevada/New Jersey schedule is as follows:

  • Sept 10 (Event 1): $400 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Series Kick-Off
  • Sept 11 (Event 2): $500 NLHE Monster Stack
  • Sept 11 (Event 3): $3,200 NLHE High Roller
  • Sept 13 (Event 4): $1K PLO 6-Max
  • Sept 15 (Event 5): $500 NLHE Turbo Deepstack
  • Sept 17 (Event 6): $800 NLHE Ultra Deepstack
  • Sept 18 (Event 7): $365 NLHE
  • Sept 18 (Event 8): $1K NLHE 6-Max
  • Sept 20 (Event 9): $600 NLHE Deepstack Championship
  • Sept 22 (Event 10): $2,500 NLHE
  • Sept 24 (Event 11): $400 PLO 6-Max
  • Sept 25 (Event 12): $400 NLHE Ultra Deepstack
  • Sept 25 (Event 13): $1K NLHE
  • Sept 27 (Event 14): $500 NLHE 6-Max
  • Sept 29 (Event 15): $365 NLHE Turbo Deepstack
  • Oct 1 (Event 16): $500 NLHE Deepstack
  • Oct 2 (Event 17): $777 NLHE Lucky 7s
  • Oct 2 (Event 18): $1K NLHE Turbo Deepstack
  • Oct 4 (Event 19): $1,500 NLHE
  • Oct 6 (Event 20): $500 NLHE Turbo
  • Oct 8 (Event 21): $600 NLHE 6-Max
  • Oct 9 (Event 22): $500 NLHE Big 500
  • Oct 9 (Event 23): $1,500 NLHE
  • Oct 11 (Event 24): $7,777 NLHE Lucky 7s High Roller
  • Oct 12 (Event 25): $2K NLHE 8-Max
  • Oct 13 (Event 26): $3,200 NLHE High Roller 6-Max
  • Oct 14 (Event 27): $500 NLHE Super Turbo
  • Oct 15 (Event 28): $365 NLHE Monster Stack
  • Oct 16 (Event 29): $1K NLHE Championship
  • Oct 16 (Event 30): $5,300 NLHE High Roller
  • Oct 17 (Event 31): $600 NLHE Deep Freeze
  • Oct 18 (Event 32): $10K NLHE Super High Roller 8-Max
  • Oct 18 (Event 33): $500 NLHE Fall Finale

As with the GGPoker series, the WSOP did not provide any information about reentries or multiple starting flights.

Pennsylvania and Michigan will play separately but each will use the same exact schedule. The six events will be as follows:

  • Sept 11 (Event 1): $500 NLHE Monster Stack
  • Sept 18 (Event 2): $365 NLHE
  • Sept 25 (Event 3): $400 NLHE PKO Ultra Deepstack
  • Oct 2 (Event 4): $777 NLHE Lucky 7s
  • Oct 9 (Event 5): $1,500 NLHE
  • Oct 16 (Event 6): $1K NLHE Championship

Long-Running Debate

Poker players have argued for years as to whether or not too many WSOP bracelets diminish their meaning and worth or lessen the status of a bracelet winner.

The question is subjective. A WSOP bracelet means whatever each player wants it to mean.

And poker players keep flocking to the World Series of Poker in America and in Europe, as well as to the events online, to try to win those bracelets. The numbers are there. More opportunities bring in more players. The overall attendance and prize money awarded increases by leaps and bounds. The WSOP can tout record-breaking series and years. The circle of tournament life continues.

Something just seems a bit less prestigious, though.

Perhaps it is because the sheer volume of tournaments makes it nearly impossible for writers to report on every event in depth, especially the online ones. And when it sometimes takes days for the site operators to release the actual names of the players who final tabled and won the events, it prevents any real story-telling or fanfare.

All of this makes It is tougher for most poker fans to care. The 88 events at the live WSOP in Las Vegas is one thing, as are the 15 events set for WSOP Europe. But the dozens of online events? Ask a poker fan if they can name one person who won an online bracelet.

It doesn’t help that the WSOP doesn’t advertise or promote the winners of online events. There is no fanfare around the action or the winners. PokerNews only covers the online bracelet events that happen in Nevada during the summer WSOP. Pennsylvania and Michigan winners win without much public reporting whatsoever.

If a poker player wins a bracelet but no one reports on it, does it really happen?

The WSOP has the capacity to fix it. They can lower the number of bracelets offered online and live. They can also put more attention on the events that do run. They can take a moment to proofread the schedules, ensuring continuity among the tournament names and scheduled play days. They can add more detail to the tournament listings and do more to promote the idea of winning that gold bracelet.

On the positive tip, more events create more opportunities to for players to win WSOP gold. The more, the merrier.