WSOP 2022: LAS VEGAS POKER TOURNAMENT GUIDE
The most famous poker series in the world returns to Las Vegas this summer, with the 53rd World Series of Poker kicking off on May 31st and extending through July 21st.
For many recreational poker players, the WSOP is a bucket-list item. Simply playing an event in the Big Show fills out their poker ambitions, although the dream of winning a bracelet will become a reality for a lucky and skillful few. Meanwhile, the pros are attracted by the soft fields, high-stakes cash-game action, and the bracelet bets and television time to promote their personal brands.
With Las Vegas shining front and center on the poker landscape, the summer also sees the other major Las Vegas card rooms hosting series of their own. Indeed, many players prefer to play in the calmer, more plush surroundings of properties such as the Wynn and the Venetian.
This article gives a brief overview of what poker players can expect during the Las Vegas tournament summer, along with links to all the major series. As has been the case for many years, Kenny Hallaert a.k.a. SpaceyFCB maintains an incredibly useful spreadsheet featuring all the Las Vegas poker series.
The 53rd World Series Of Poker
Despite the global disruption produced by the COVID pandemic, the World Series of Poker has found ways to maintain its status as the premier poker tournament series. In 2021, that involved pushing the series into November. Consequently, the 53rd WSOP this summer in Las Vegas will commence after the shortest break ever from the previous series.
In addition to this scheduling novelty, the WSOP is also moving to a new location. For the first time ever, the series will be played on the storied Las Vegas Strip. The vast ballrooms of the Bally’s/Paris complex will host the 88 bracelet events for the 2022 WSOP, with the added twist that Bally’s is being rebranded as Horseshoe Las Vegas.
Along with providing brand consistency for parent company CET and their other Horseshoe properties, the rebranding returns the series to the famous name that started the ball rolling over five decades ago. Despite being a very different property to the old Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas, Horseshoe Las Vegas provides a delightful linguistic link to the place where it all began.
The 2022 WSOP schedule closely follows that of 2021, and along with structure sheets can be found here. As is traditional, the series kicks off on May 31st with the Casino Employees event, which this year is joined by a $100k high-roller bounty on opening day.
The Main Event is scheduled to run for two weeks, with the first flight beginning on July 3rd. Bounty tournaments have a higher prominence in 2022 than previous years, likely reflecting their growing popularity both live and online.
The series will be rounded out by a new event: the Tournament Of Champions. While past series have featured tournaments of that name, this year’s offering is quite different. The tournament is a freeroll for winners of bracelets in the 2021 WSOP, along with winners of rings from the WSOP Circuit Series from the previous twelve months.
The sheer scale of the WSOP makes it a massive organizational challenge, and the new location is expected by some industry insiders to lead to a bumpy start. It seems inevitable that the annual stories of dealer shortages and long registration lines will feature in 2022. But somehow, despite changing locations, global events, and other challenges, the World Series of Poker keeps rolling on.
TIPS FOR WSOP DEBUTANTES AND BEAUTILLIONS
Will this summer be your first visit to the World Series of Poker? If so, you may find some of the following tips and observations helpful.
The first issue to keep in mind is the sheer scale of the playing areas. Experience in massive rooms, such as those on the US east coast and in LA, provides some preparation, but simply the sound of thousands of poker players all riffling chips simultaneously can be a little overwhelming.
In addition to the noise and seething mass of humanity at every two-hour break, playing days at the WSOP can be long, sometimes exceeding twelve hours. With the vast majority of events being multi-day affairs, mental stamina is absolutely critical. Anyone planning on playing a WSOP event would do well to get in some practice with this kind of schedule in casinos closer to home.
In some ways, your first WSOP is a test. You’ll be quizzed on your poker knowledge in somewhat intimidating surroundings. You may get a famous pro you’ve seen on television sat on your left. If you’ve flown to Las Vegas across several time zones, you may be suffering jetlag. So look for any edge you can generate, whether that’s nutritional, adjusting your sleep schedule ahead of time to Las Vegas local, or arriving a few days early so you can acclimatize. At the very least, pop over to the Horseshoe the day before your event just to get a feel for the place.
Like any test, it’s a good idea to study beforehand, without burning out. In terms of Red Chip material, WSOP bracelet-winner Chris “Fox” Wallace has provided an excellent video series in our CORE program that walks you through every stage of a tournament. It’s the perfect preparation for your first appearance at the WSOP. Also look out for Red Chip’s new opening ranges app that includes MTT ranges.
SERIES BEYOND THE WSOP
While playing at least one WSOP event is an understandable goal, it should be noted that there’s no need to play more than one, while still filling your desire for MTT action. All of the hotel-casinos with large poker rooms run parallel series to the WSOP, and typically feature lower juice and far more comfortable chairs. If you enjoy the crowds and bustle of the WSOP, you may be perfectly happy setting up shop there. But don’t sleep on the other poker options that Las Vegas has to offer.
Notable offerings this year include the Wynn Summer Classic. This series parallels the timing of WSOP, and runs May 31st to July 20th. The poker room and overspill area within the Encore is regarded by many as the most comfortable place to play poker in Las Vegas. The professionalism of the staff adds to its attraction.
Just to the south, The Venetian has one of its three Deepstacks offerings running year round. As in previous years, The Venetian summer series is even longer than the WSOP and features $22 million in guarantees.
For lower buy-ins and a greater emphasis on games other than no-limit hold’em, The Orleans is popular with locals and tourists alike. The 2022 Orleans Summer Open runs from May 31st through July 10th.
Summer poker series at The Aria (June 1st through July 17th) and The Golden Nugget (May 31st through July 3rd) have also been announced. Those schedules with structure details will be made available on this spreadsheet.
And finally, if you are coming out for the 2022 WSOP, everyone at Red Chip wishes you the best of luck. Please feel free to drop by our Discord server to share your experiences, or join or community in discussing poker hands and strategy.