High rollers have one more reason to travel to the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas this summer. A new $50K bracelet event has just been added to the 2019 schedule and will take place between July 8-10. The announcement came as a surprise to poker players as very rarely do you see a tournament as big as the WSOP add a new event in the middle of the tournament.
Seth Palansky, VP of Corporate Communications stated that tournament organizers decided to add the 90th gold bracelet event as a result of player feedback.  Many players had missed the first $50K high roller which took place on May 31 – June 3, leading to calls for an extra $50K NLHE event later in the summer.
British pro Ben Heath took down the initial $50K high roller event, which enabled him to snag his very first WSOP bracelet, along with the $1.48 million first-place prize.
Closing Out The “Fifty” Theme
Palansky said they also made a mistake by not having a $25K High Roller NLH this year, something that disappointed a lot of players. The WSOP hopes to compensate for that mistake by adding a new bracelet event. Palansky said they made it a point to continue the “Fifty” theme to coincide with the tournament’s 50th anniversary, so they decided to make it a $50K event instead of $25K.
The opening event which was the BIG 50, was hugely successful and went on to become the largest-ever tournament in poker history, attracting a massive field of 28,731 entries.
With the organizers doing all they can to augment everything, from entries, to prize pools and managing players’ expectations, the possibility of adding a new event, two weeks into the festival came as a pleasant surprise to everyone. While Palansky has acknowledged how difficult it was to fit a new event in at this stage, the WSOP team hopes the late addition will satisfy everyone.
$50K Final Fifty High Roller
The announcement of a new $50K bracelet event quickly made the rounds on social media since it first surfaced on social media earlier in the week. Upon confirmation, WSOP officials released the key details of the event which is set to kick off on July 8 at 6pm. Day 2 of the action happens on July 9, 4pm.
The event has a buy-in of $50,000, 2.8% of that will be withheld for entry fees, with 1.2% going to dealers and staff. The starting chips will be 300,000, played in 40-minute levels. Blinds begin at 1,000/1,000 (1,000 ante); you may check out the full structure on the WSOP website.
Players are allowed unlimited re-entry, and the late registration period closes upon the start of Day 2. The Final Fifty will be a three-day event and will make use of a Shot Clock. The final six will battle it out on July 10, during which a winner will be crowned. The WSOP will release more updates soon in relation to whether or not the final table will be live-streamed.
Palansky also hinted at what’s in store for high rollers next year, saying the $25K NLH event will likely make a comeback and will replace one of the current $50Ks.
Impact on POY Race and $25K Fantasy League
Organizers have confirmed that the Final Fifty will count towards Player of the Year (POY) rankings. For players who participate in the $25K fantasy league such as Daniel Negreanu, the announcement came as a little bit of annoyance, considering how it would affect the league. Players usually draft teams at the start of the series, and a late addition would benefit some teams and hurt others.
While rules say the Final Fifty should count as it is an open event, Negreanu said league participants could always agree to not count it, but then everyone would vote according to their own interest. The Canadian poker pro pointed out that a team composed of NLH players would undoubtedly say it should count, while the mixed-game players would reject the idea.
Kid Poker proposed an arbitration committee to make the final say, and the three appointees for that committee include Phil Galfond, Jason Somerville and Isaac Haxton. They will consider both sides of the issue and will decide whether or not the added $50K event should count to POY points.
The Final Fifty will take place right before the $100K high roller event which is slated for July 11.