2017 WSOP Schedule


[SS] “I knew the World Series of Poker would go over 70 events this year,” Stan the Stat mentioned, “but I didn’t think it’d jump all the way to 74. That’s the largest increase since nine events were added in 2007.”

[LL] “It’s great to know that the poker economy is doing well”, Leroy the Lion remarked.

[SS] “Yes, although some of the new events are low buyin tournaments, so they’re also catering to poker players with smaller bankrolls. Because of that, it’s not surprising that No-Limit Hold ‘Em, the most popular game for casual players, accounts for most of the increase.1 Two of new events are online, so that’s an interesting trend.”

[LL] “I’ll bet the WSOP hopes those events do well; so much less overhead for them! If we could only get the laws changed, imagine how huge the WSOP could be if you could play from anywhere in the world instead of having to be in Nevada.”

[RR] “With 3D holograms of the players, so you could still read their body language!” Roderick the Rock suggested.

[SS] “Still many years off, unfortunately. The WSOP actually had great success at the other end of the social spectrum last year as well with the new team event. They’ve added a second one this year with a $10,000 buyin.”

[RR] “I wonder if that will attract mostly pro teams.”

[LL] “I would guess so. Lots of amateurs play in the $10,000 Main Event, but a good chunk of them satellite in. Since I don’t see this event having satellites, even $2,500 a head is going to deter most casual players.”

[SS] “The WSOP has those players covered, too. The new $333-buyin WSOP.com Online and $365-buyin Giant No-Limit Hold ‘Em events are the cheapest one-person open events in the history of the WSOP,2. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new record for field size.”3

[SS] “Oh, and one last piece of news… after an appropriate nine years, the November Nine is history. This year will have just a two day break after the Main Event final table is set, so the champion will be determined in July again.”

[LL] “Probably another result of ESPN’s cutbacks. I wouldn’t be surprised if the decision was mostly financially-related.”

[SS] “Undoubtedly. ESPN also sold coverage rights to Poker Central. This is great if you like to watch the WSOP almost live on a thirty-minute delay.”

WSOP Event Comparison: 2017 vs. 2016

By Game Type:

Game Type 2016 2017 Change
Hold ‘Em 38 42 +5
Lowball4 8 6 -1
Omaha 11 11 0
Stud 4 4 0
Mixed Games4 9 10 +1

By Limit Type:

Limit Type 2016 2017 Change
Limit 16 17 +1
Pot Limit 10 11 +1
No Limit 37 40 +3
Mixed Limit 6 6 0

By Buyin:

Buyin 2016 2017 Change
$333 0 1 +1
$365 0 1 +1
$565 3 3 0
$888 1 1 0
$1,000 11 11 0
$1,111 1 0 -1
$1,500 23 24 +1
$2,000 1 0 -1
$2,500 3 4 +1
$2,620 0 1 +1
$3,000 7 6 -1
$3,333 0 1 +1
$5,000 3 3 0
$10,000 13 15 +2
$25,000 1 1 0
$50,000 1 1 0
$111,000 1 1 0

Footnotes:

  1. The total amount needed to play every event increased from $410,805 to $428,694, but the average buyin dropped from $5,954 to $5,793.
  2. The previous low for a single-person open event was $500, done many times. The 1977 Women’s Championship ($100) and the 1978 Women’s Championship ($200) remain the lowest buyin events ever.
  3. The largest event was the 2015 $565 Colossus, which attracted 22,374 players. See the top ten Biggest WSOP Fields.
  4. For this chart, Lowball events include Lowball, Deuce-to-Seven Draw/Triple Draw/Mixed Triple Draw, and Razz.

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{ June 9, 2017 correction: There are 42 Hold ‘Em events and 8 Lowball events, not 43 and 7. }

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Female World Series of Poker Bracelet Winners


[DD] “I’ve got a bet for you guys”, Deb the Duchess offered.

[RR] “Sure…”, Roderick the Rock encouraged.

[DD] “I’ll give you even money on whether or not a woman wins a World Series of Poker bracelet in an open event this summer. I’ll back the women, of course.”

[RR] “Sounds reasonable. What do you think, Stan?”

[SS] “I’d be remiss if I didn’t inform you that at least one female has won a bracelet every year since 2012,” Stan the Stat explained. “Before that, if I’m not misremembering, the Misses, Mrses.,1 and Mses. missed three straight years. The 2000s have had exactly 17 female winners in 17 years. That’s a bit misleading as five years had multiple female winners, but that still makes them 12 for 17. Deb’s offering us miserable odds, especially given the continual increase in events.”

[DD] “I doubt you’ve misspoken. I’ll give you 2-to-1.”

[SS] “I must dismiss that offer, too. Make it 3-to-1.”

[DD] “I have misgivings about going that high, but if you multiply my payout by the number of bracelets women win, I’ll give you 3-to-1.

[SS] “… Okay, unless I’ve miscalculated, I don’t think it’s a mistake to take that bet. How about you, Rod?”

[RR] “I can’t miss out on those kinds of odds… I’m not optimistic, but I’m in.”

[SS] “Now we just need Vanessa Selbst to mysteriously disappear, since she’s the one who took care of business three of the last six times a woman won! If we could convince her to join Phil Ivey in the cash games for the next couple of months, it might be mission accomplished.”

Women Who Have Won WSOP Open Events

# Year Player Event Prize Entrants
1 1982 Vera Richmond $1,000 Limit Ace to Five Draw $38,500 77
2 1996 Barbara Enright $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha $180,000 180
3 1997 Linda Johnson $1,500 Seven-Card Razz $96,000 160
4 1997 Maria Stern $1,500 Seven-Card Stud $140,708 257
5 2000 Jerri Thomas $1,500 Seven-Card Stud $135,825 245
6 2000 Jennifer Harman $5,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Draw $146,250 30
7 2001 Nani Dollison $2,000 Limit Hold ‘Em $441,440 615
8 2002 Jennifer Harman $5,000 Limit Hold ‘Em $212,440 113
9 2004 Cyndy Violette $2,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Split $135,900 224
10 2004 Kathy Liebert $1,500 Limit Hold ‘Em Shootout $110,180 240
11 2004 Annie Duke $2,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Split $137,860 234
12 2007 Katja Thater $1,500 Seven Card Razz $132,653 341
13 2007 Annette Obrestad £10,000 World Championship No Limit Hold ‘Em $2,013,733 362
14 2008 Vanessa Selbst $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha $227,933 759
15 2012 Vanessa Selbst $2,500 10-Game – Six Handed $244,259 421
16 2013 Dana Castaneda $1,000 No Limit Hold ‘Em $454,207 2,883
17 2013 Loni Harwood $1,500 No Limit Hold ‘Em $609,017 2,541
18 2014 Vanessa Selbst $25,000 No Limit Hold ‘Em – Mixed Max $871,148 131
19 2015 Carol Fuchs $1,500 Dealers Choice Six Handed $127,735 357
20 2016 Kristen Bicknell $1,000 No Limit Hold ‘Em $290,768 2,158
21 2016 Safiya Umerova $1,500 No Limit Hold ‘Em Shootout $264,046 1,050
22 2017 Liv Boeree $10,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em Championship $136,982 102

Notes:

  • Vanessa Selbst, who won the highest buyin event ($25,000), and Jennifer Harman (two bracelets) are the only multiple winners.
  • Annette Obrestad won the largest prize by far, a cool £1,000,000 (worth over two million U.S. dollars at the time) in the only win outside the U.S.
  • Dana Casteneda (2,883 players), Loni Harwood (2,541), and Kristen Bicknell (2,158) defeated the largest fields.
  • In Barbara Enright’s victory, Lucy Rokach finished third.
  • In Jennifer Harman’s second victory, Mimi Tran finished third.
  • Not counting Ladies and Mixed Doubles events where a woman was guaranteed to win, three women have captured other non-open bracelets:
    • Sandy Stupak – 1984 Employee Event2 ($14,000)
    • Clare Miller – 2006 $1,000 Seniors Championship ($247,814)
    • Allyn Jaffrey Shulman – 2012 $1,000 Seniors Championship ($603,713)
  • Women have finished second seventeen times and third eight times in open WSOP events.3 Six other women have exactly three “medal” finishes, matching Selbst.

    Women With Multiple WSOP Open Event Top Three Finishes

    Player 1st 2nd 3rd Top 3
    Vanessa Selbst 3 0 0 3
    Jennifer Harman 2 1 0 3
    Annie Duke 1 2 0 3
    Cyndy Violette 1 1 1 3
    Kathy Liebert 1 1 1 3
    Mimi Tran 0 2 1 3
    Marsha Waggoner 0 1 2 3

{ June 2, 2017 Update: Liv Boeree won the $10,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold ‘Em Championship with Igor Kurganov to split $273,964 and win the bet for Deb. }

{ July 20, 2017 Update: added WSOP Europe and WSOP Asia Pacific finishes. }

Footnotes:

  1. The actual plural of “Mrs.” is “Mmes.”, short for “mesdames”.
  2. The Hendon Mob Database doesn’t recognize the 1984 Employee event as an official WSOP tournament.
  3. The numbers are too small to be very meaningful, but it’s noteworthy that women have finished first 22 times, second 17 times, and third only 8 times. Winning 22 out of 47 times (46.8%) they’ve reached the final three and 22 out of 39 times (56.4%) they’ve reached heads-up are both extremely good rates. { May 22, 2017 Update: was missing one 2nd and one 3rd place finish. }

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“Championship Hold’em Tournament Hands” Review

[LL] “Championship Hold’em Tournament Hands is really two books in one”, Leroy the Lion explained. “Fortunately, the strategy sections were written by a WSOP Main Event winner, Tom McEvoy. Unfortunately, over half of his chapters discuss Limit Hold ‘Em. Fortunately, even without those, the book still has over 200 pages. Unfortunately, the 1983 champ spends 22 of them on how to play a pair of Aces in the hole, a hand you’ll only get once every 221 hands. Fortunately, T.J. Cloutier’s part of the book on important tournament hands is excellent. Unfortunately, he fills less than a third of the book. Fortunately, most of the hands are the pivotal hands from the World Series of Poker Main Event. Unfortunately, he only covers 1978 to 2001, so an entire decade was already missing when the book was published (and now it’s less than half of the years).”

[RR] “She loves me… she loves me not…” Roderick the Rock suggested.

[LL] “I could barely bring myself to read another 150 pages on Limit Hold ‘Em. I’ve never even played the game against human opponents. In 2016, the World Series of Poker had twelve No Limit Hold ‘Em tournaments for every Limit Hold ‘Em tournament, which is already a pretty big ratio. More telling, 90 times as many players entered the No Limit events!”1

[RR] “Times have changed. Don’t blame the authors.”

[LL] “You’re right. I’ll give the book a pass on the Limit sections and only say that McEvoy wants you to play supertight, especially in early position. Players he described as ‘Super Aggressors’ then are almost considered average now.

For No Limit Hold ‘Em, McEvoy dedicates a short section to each of the top nine hands (Aces through Tens, Ace-King to Ace-Jack, and King-Queen2) plus Ace-Wheel,3 Middle Pairs, Small Pairs, and Middle Suited Connectors, with everything else folded. Some of these sections are split into Early, Middle, Late Position, and occasionally the Blinds. This means the advice, as accurate as it may be, is necessarily very brief. In general, McEvoy recommends playing very tightly, which is certainly an excellent beginner’s strategy.”

[RR] “Sounds a lot like Phil Hellmuth’s advice.”

[LL] “Very similar. They even have a common weakness that I might have glossed over when I talked about Play Poker Like the Pros… The advice is very heavy on preflop hand selection and very light on everything after that. I think the implication is that if you pick the right hands to play, good results will follow. If only it were that simple.”

[RR] “I think that’s more applicable in Limit games where the bets are only twice as big on the river as they are preflop.”

[LL] “This book certainly could have used a second part covering postflop play. But the actual second part was my favorite part of the book, the last third (actually closer to a quarter), covered 44 key hands from the WSOP Main Event plus one from the 2002 Four Queens Classic.4 Only about a quarter of these hands are the final hands of the event, so many were new to me. Cloutier gives the back story where it’s relevant, includes most of the details like blind, stack, and bet sizes, and offers some analysis of the play. It was fascinating to read about some of the most important hands in the history of poker.”

Title Championship Hold’em Tournament Hands
Author Tom McEvoy and T.J. Cloutier
Year 2003 (2005 edition)
Skill Level Beginner (strategy)/Any (hand recaps)
Pros Solid, basic advice on playing Limit and No Limit Hold ‘Em. Excellent collection of important WSOP Main Event hands.
Cons Over half of the book is on Limit Hold ‘Em, and all of the advice is a bit tight for modern play.
Rating 3.0 (2.5 for the strategy and 4.0 for the hands)

Footnotes:

  1. The No Limit Hold ‘Em section of this book includes a few scattered notes about how play would differ for the Pot Limit variation, which was last contested in the WSOP in 2015.
  2. McEvoy discounts the value of suitedness greatly, saying on page 21, “…we want you to understand that the ranks of the cards are more important than whether they are suited.” Modern players probably value suited Aces and Kings much more highly than he did.
  3. Ace-Wheel means an Ace with a Deuce, Trey, Four, or Five.
  4. Actually, although 45 hands are featured, several others are mentioned bringing the total over fifty.

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“Amarillo Slim in a World of Fat People” Review

[LL] “Amarillo Slim Preston’s life story parallels Byron Wolford’s in many ways”, Leroy the Lion began. “They were born in the South less than two years apart around the Great Depression. Both made an unconventional living before poker, Preston playing pool, and Wolford roping calves. Both formerly worked illegally as bookies. Both were charismatic hustlers who loved prop bets and became road gamblers. Both dressed like cowboys when they played poker. Both excelled at No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em, their favorite game. And their tournament results were comparable. Slim won four WSOP bracelets and had eleven cashes to Cowboy’s one and nine, while Wolford won almost twice as much money.”

[SS] “Were they friends?” Stan the Stat wondered.

[LL] “Yes, although Preston never moved to Las Vegas like Wolford did. Wolford evoked tears reading his poem about Preston at Slim’s Poker Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in 1992.”

[LL] “The biggest thing that set them apart, and it was a pretty big thing, was that Preston won the WSOP Main Event, while Wolford’s best result was second place. Amarillo Slim converted his victory into a tremendous amount of publicity for both himself and poker, appearing on television regularly and becoming the most recognizable poker player in the world for decades. Preston was like Wolford, only bigger, badder, and crazier. And so it is with their two books; Amarillo Slim’s autobiography has more interesting stories from his more exciting life.

Born as Thomas Preston in Arkansas, by high school he went by his middle name Austin or his nickname ‘Curly’. But when he sprouted straight up to 6’3″, he became ‘Slim’. At 16 years old, he met legendary pool hustler Minnesota Fats1 and decided that he would henceforth go by the moniker ‘Amarillo Slim’. At 20, he stole his friend’s girlfriend and got married only a few months later. For most of the 1950’s his wife Helen, their son Thomas Austin Preston III, and he traveled the country where he would hustle pool, often with the family there to help him look like an amateur. When their daughter Rebecca was born in 1959, though, Preston decided that poker was a relatively more stable way to make a living. He left his family behind and became partners with Doyle Brunson, sharing transportation, lodging, and a bankroll. They were also bookies for a while but exited the business when the 1961 Federal Wire Act2 made it too risky even for them.”

[SS] “The threat of a long jail sentence can do that.”

[LL] “They were also doing well enough playing poker to want to focus on it. It’s too bad the book doesn’t show much of their actually playing. This is a story book that happens to be about a poker player, not a poker strategy book that happens to have some stories.”

[RR] “Couldn’t it have been both?”

[LL] “There is some implicit poker advice throughout the book, such as in the detailed recounting of the 1972 WSOP Main Event. At least Preston does dedicate one short section to lay out:

Amarillo Slim’s Top Ten Keys to Poker Success

  1. Play the players…
  2. Choose the right opponents…
  3. Never play with money you can’t afford to lose.
  4. Be tight and aggressive…
  5. Always be observing…
  6. Watch the other players for “tells”…
  7. Diversify your play…
  8. Choose your speed based on the direction of the game…
  9. Be able to quit a loser…
  10. Conduct yourself honorably…”

[SS] “That’s better advice than I’ve read in some entire poker books.”

[LL] “Nevertheless, you want to read this for the stories, which are plentiful. Amarillo Slim crossed paths with many famous gamblers and several non-poker celebrities, including singers Kenny Rogers3 and Willie Nelson (beat him in dominoes); Presidents Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson; actors George Segal, Elliott Gould, and Bob Hope; television host Johnny Carson; and daredevil Evel Knievel (whom he beat in a golf match employing a hammer for a club).”4

Title Amarillo Slim in a World of Fat People
Author Amarillo Slim Preston and Greg Dinkin
Year 2003 (paperback 2005)
Skill Level Any
Pros Very entertaining tales from a Texas road gambler.
Cons Not much actual poker.
Rating 3.0

Footnotes:

  1. Rudolf Walter Wanderone Jr. called himself “New York Fats” until The Hustler, based on the Walter Tevis novel of the same name, came out in 1961. Wanderone initially sued Tevis for his Minnesota Fats character but eventually realized that he’d benefit much more by actually becoming “Minnesota Fats”.
  2. The 1961 Federal Wire Act made it illegal to transmit across state lines any information that could be used to place bets.
  3. Although Amarillo Slim claims to have helped Kenny Rogers write his famous song, “The Gambler”, the story appears apocryphal. Don Schlitz wrote the song in 1976, and Rogers had already made the major change from “You gotta know when to hold up, know when to fold up” to “… hold ’em,… fold ’em” before Preston got involved. The next line, which Preston claims to have inspired — “Know when to walk away, know when to run” — was already in the song.
  4. Preston also famously defeated top tennis pro and renowned hustler Bobby Riggs in table tennis by stipulating that frying pans would serve as paddles. Once that ruse became known, Amarillo Slim beat a later opponent, a professional table tennis player, by switching to coke bottles. Therein lies the key to a successful prop bet: Preston would practice ahead of time to ensure he had the advantage.
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