The World Series of Poker, or the WSOP, is one of the world’s most highly regarded series of poker tournaments. Players come from all over the world for a chance to win the coveted Main Event bracelet.
How much you start with in the WSOP is dependent on the tournament. In the Main Event, each player receives 60,000 in chips. With the smallest buy-in, the Colossus offers players 40,000 in chips, and the $250,000 Super High Roller provides each player with 1,500,000 in chips.
In the rest of this article, I will explore the WSOP, how it works, how much you start with, how you enter, and how much you can win. I will also discuss satellite tournaments and how you can benefit from participating in one.
What Is the World Series of Poker?
The WSOP is one of the leading poker events in the world. Players from many countries flock to Las Vegas yearly to participate in this esteemed series of poker tournaments. While the main tournament of the WSOP is no longer the biggest prize earner of all the available competitions worldwide, it is still one of the most respected.
In recent years, the WSOP has expanded into a circuit, with tournaments in several casinos throughout the United States.
How Does the WSOP Work?
The WSOP in 2023 is a seven-week event, ending with the Main Event tournament, that has a buy-in of $10,000. Players will buy their way into the tournament of their choice and will all start with the same number of chips. The last player to have chips remaining will be the tournament’s winner.
In 2023, the WSOP will not end with the Main Event. There will be two more events after it is finished. $5,000 8-Handed No-Limit Hold’em and ending with $1000 Super Turbo No-Limit Hold’em.
One of the best parts of the WSOP is that anyone can play. Even if you are a complete novice in the professional poker world, you can still participate and attempt to win the coveted bracelet and cash prize.
How Do You Enter the WSOP?
The primary way to enter the WSOP is to buy your way into a tournament. In 2023, the lowest costing buy-in is $300 (Gladiators of Poker No-limit Hold’em $3,000,000 Guaranteed Prize Pool) , and the highest is $250,000 ($250,000 Super High Roller No-Limit Hold’em). Alternatively, there are occasionally qualifying tournaments held online for a mere couple of dollars that you can participate in to earn your way into a WSOP tournament.
You will need to register, which can be done online or in person. The WSOP is a popular event with thousands of participants. Don’t forget your ID and Caesar’s Royalty Card for registration.
How Much Do You Start With in the WSOP?
Your total chip count will vary based on which tournament you enter in the WSOP.
Consider the Main Event. Each player will start the tournament with 60,000 in chips, broken into different denominations. The starting value never changes based on the number of entrants. However, the amount you can win will be affected by the number of buy-ins.
Alternatively, if you buy into the Colossus, one of the lowest cost tournaments, you will receive 40,000 in chips. The other extreme is the $250,000 Super High Roller Tournament. In this tournament, every player begins with 1,500,000 in chips.
How Much Can You Win in the WSOP?
According to Forbes, the prize pool for the 2022 WSOP Main event was over $80 million. The result was the last player standing won a cool $10 million while 1,299 other players won at least $15,000. Even the players who didn’t place in the top nine spots recovered their buy-in of $10,000 because the pot was so large.
The results will vary depending on the tournament chosen and the participants. While there may be more participants in the Colossus Tournament, which has a buy-in of $400, the pot will grow more slowly as each participant adds a smaller amount than in the case of the Main Event. Ultimately, this can result in many more participants with a significantly smaller prize pool.
You might think that the Super High Roller Tournament would result in the highest prize pool, but there is the potential for this pool to be average. Because of the high buy-in price, there could be fewer players, resulting in a smaller prize pot.
Interested in how payouts get calculated in poker tournaments? Then my article on poker tournament payout structure is a good read. If however, you would want to know information specific about the details of WSOP payouts, I’ve written extensively about it in my guide.
What Is the WSOP Bracelet Worth?
If you win any WSOP tournaments, you’ll also receive one of the coveted WSOP bracelets. These bracelets cost $1,500 for all events except the Main Event. For the prestigious Main Event, the winner’s bauble is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
For most players, WSOP bracelets are synonymous with making it to the top. There is a clear distinction between players who have earned a bracelet and those who have not.
What Is a Satellite Game?
Many players don’t have the upfront fees to join the major tournaments at the WSOP. Satellite games are an option for these players to win the necessary funds. Buy-ins for these games are significantly lower than standard tournament buy-ins, providing an alternative means of securing the money.
Because of the new rules at the WSOP, the winners of satellite games will receive the cash or chips to buy their seats instead of having their spots purchased for them. If you were to win one of these games, it would leave you with the option of choosing to keep the money instead of buying a seat in the Main Event.
Satellites are online games, so you won’t be able to look your opponents in the face. However, you will get a lot of practice at high-stakes games. Depending on the game’s speed, you may go all in faster than you would normally.
You can learn more about various WSOP tournaments in my ultimate guide about them. I’ve covered the rules, conditions, and more.
The WSOP is one of the most prestigious poker events worldwide, with players coming from across the globe to Las Vegas yearly to participate, hoping to obtain one of the coveted bracelets to show their superior playing abilities.
The tournament you choose will determine how much you must pay to play, how much you will start with, and how much you can win. Your number of chips will vary greatly depending on the tournament you enter.