Ever since Benny Binion organized the first game at the Horseshoe Casino, the World Poker Series has been the arguable high point of every poker fan’s year, with millions of dollars and the best players on the globe fighting for the top prize. The main event alone for this tournament sees participants numbering in the thousands. Considering that said event has a whopping $10,000 buy-in, this gives you an idea of just how serious the World Poker Series is for many people.
Serious money, serious business, serious competition. If you think you can handle all of those things, then you may want to take your own shot at the events of the world poker series.
- For Which Event in the World Poker Series Do You Want to Qualify?
This is something people still unfamiliar with the World Poker Series fail to think about. For a lot of them, the World Poker Series boils down to just its main event, the big $10,000 buy-in game of Texas Hold ‘Em with a million-dollar cash prize. But this is actually reductive, since the World Poker Series is about far more than its main game. In fact, some people even argue that the so-called main event should not even be considered the one that decides who is the true poker champion for the year.
The chief “rival” for the $10,000 game is a new event, the World Poker Series $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship. With its enormous buy-in and serious game variety, it has drawn an almost exclusively top-level entrant demographic. This along with its rules has led some professional poker players which include a few World Poker Series champions that it should arguably be the main event of the series, at least in terms of deciding the world champion.
These are only 2 events we have discussed so far. In reality, the range per year goes far beyond them. For 2016, for instance, there are at least 69 events. They range from ones lasting 49 days to ones that take place over a single day. They can be no-limit hold ‘em games, pot-limit Omahas, H.O.R.S.E. games, or even something else.
This means that if your only goal is to qualify for World Poker Series event you can meet that goal easily. There is an event here for everyone. You can register for events with buy-ins as low as $1, like the live action games at the Pavilion Room. You can go higher and register at the series for something like the $135 No Limit Hold ‘Em games instead. You can even register for the special demographic games, like the one for casino employees and the one for players over 50 years old.
Of course, when people talk about qualifying for the World Poker Series, they usually mean the main event, which is still the $10,000 Texas Hold ‘Em game. This is called the $10,000 No-limit Hold ‘Em Championship and it usually takes place over several days and elimination flights.
- How to qualify for the No-limit Hold ‘Em Championship
The simplest way to qualify for the main event of the World Poker Series is to buy into it. That means paying the $10,000 fee to become one of its officially registered participants. If you do choose to do this, take note that you cannot use a credit card to pay the fee. There are going to be some rules on how you deposit such a large sum, for obvious reasons.
Not everyone can afford to pay out $10,000 to enter a poker tournament. In fact, most people can’t. This is why most will look for alternative ways of entering this tournament’s main even, and there are alternative ways, so do not be too discouraged by your low bankroll. If you are a good enough player, you could theoretically even start out by playing a lot of free-roll tournaments and just move up until you get enough winnings to play for the really big prizes.
The best way to get into the main event of the series if you cannot afford the buy-in is to enter a poker game in a casino or some other gaming place where the final prize is a seat in the World Series main event. It was easier to do this before, when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was not yet in place. After this legislation was passed, people could no longer win seats for the tournament by playing in online poker websites in the US. Prior to the Act, there had been winners of the tournament’s main event who only managed to qualify for it via online poker games.
This does not mean that you can no longer get a seat at the main event of the World Series via another poker game. It simply means that what poker games you do try for this are going to be ones played offline, in land-based poker rooms.
The popularity of the World Series will help you a lot here. Every time the tournament draws near, many casinos and resorts run promotions related to it, and some of the bigger ones run tournament event qualifier games where winning grants you a seat in one of the series events. Look specifically for a game that grants seats to the championship game, and sign up for that.
Be prepared for multiple flights, though. This is normal for most of these tournaments, so do not think that winning the first poker game you enter will get you the seat you have been slavering over for the World Series. You should be prepared to meet stiff competition there too. A lot of poker players try to get into the series each year through this route, which means even just winning your seat at a satellite or external game is going to be a challenge in itself. If you are ready for the big stakes, you should be capable of taking on the challenge. If you happen to win a satellite tournament granting you a ride to the World Poker Series, be sure to expect a lot of equally win-hungry, bluff-ready poker professionals eager to pit their wits against each other for a chance at a million-dollar prize.