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2024 WSOP Update – Bracelets!

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We’re more than halfway through the 2024 World Series of Poker (WSOP). Over 65 live bracelet events, out of 99 scheduled, have started in poker’s prestige series that runs from the end of May to the middle of July. Additionally, there have been 13 online bracelet events (of the 30 scheduled). The Main Event starts on July 3rd. Despite what many think, the Main Event is not even close to the final event. There are another 18 live events after the Main Event start. As we covered at the start of this year’s WSOP, there is no rest during the 7+ weeks of the WSOP in Vegas.

To say this has been an active and exciting first half of the 2024 WSOP is an understatement. The wide range of events have attracted everything from multiple bracelet winners to thousands of first-time attendees. From the enormous fields in some events, to a bumper crop of first-time winners, to some poker legends winning more bracelets, interesting stories abound.

Massive Fields in the 2024 WSOP

Much is made of the massive number of people who play the Main Event each year. In 2023, there was a record-setting field of 10,043 players. If the early participation in other events is any indication, the 2024 WSOP may well surpass that number. While there is a hefty $10,000 buy in, many entrants have not come up with the money themselves. All around the country each spring hundreds of regional satellite tournaments award a Main Event package. There are also many home games in which a group of people each throw in, say, $1,200 and play down to a winner for a World Series entry. Certainly, there are many people paying full fare, but the exact number is hard to tell.

Many other events (with players generally ponying up the buy-in themselves) have drawn huge crowds this year. A Monster Stack NL Holdem event with a $1,500 entry got 8,700 registrants. The $1,000 Seniors event got almost 8,000 (what better way to spend that retirement money!). But, it was the relatively cheap $300 Gladiators tournament that has taken the prize thus far with over 20,000 entrants.

Bracelets, Bracelets, Bracelets

Many players enter a WSOP event for the thrill and fun of experiencing poker’s premiere series. A few play with some reasonable hope of making money in the transaction. But let’s be honest, with the WSOP it’s all about the hardware. The 2024 WSOP will be remembered for its bracelets first and foremost.

The most notable bracelet victor thus far has to be Phil Ivey. Considered by many to be poker’s G.O.A.T., Ivey won his 11th WSOP bracelet this month. This places him in sole possession of second place to Phil Hellmuth’s 17 bracelets. Ivey bested 148 other entrants in the $10K Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Championship. This win reaffirms that Ivey is a major threat in any poker game he enters.

Ivey is not the only big name to win a bracelet at the 2024 WSOP. Scott Siever won not one, but two bracelets so far this year. He captured his 5th bracelet in the $10K Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better tournament. Then he followed that with a victory in $1,500 Razz event for his 6th all time title.

Several more big names have taken down hardware this month. John Hennigan won a 7th bracelet in the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice. Robert Mizrachi won a 5th bracelet in the $10K version of Dealer’s Choice. Nick Schulman showed once again that he’s more than just a top poker commentator by winning a 5th bracelet. Schulman outlasted 317 other players in the $25K High Roller NLH (8 handed) event.

The 2024 WSOP has not lacked for star power!

2024 WSOP for the Rest of Us

Great players winning is newsworthy, but not shocking. But how about players who have never even cashed in a WSOP event before winning a bracelet? That happens every year, and how thrilled must those players be? Among the first-time winners at the 2024 WSOP is Daniel Willis, a UK resident who won the $500 Kickoff event, the first event open to everyone each year. Willis bested a field of 3,485. So his WSOP profile right now is 1 tournament, 1 cash and 1 bracelet – a pretty darn good ratio. In the massive aforementioned Gladiators event, Steven Winters of Lyons, Colorado took down the title, and over $400K, for his first WSOP cash ever as well.

Another notable moment was when Darius Samual of the UK took down the $25K Heads-Up NLHE Championship. Prior to this year, Samual had cashed in 4 WSOP events overseas, but never in Las Vegas (this year he’s up to 4 cashes). Samual claimed that the $25K buy-in represented half of his entire poker stake. While a “don’t try this at home kids” caveat may be in order, Samual’s roll of the dice paid off.

The Weeks Ahead

The 2024 WSOP presses on into late July, but the early weeks have set a pretty good standard. Personally, my hope is that Allen Kessler breaks another notable, but less pleasant, streak. Kessler has cashed 250 times in WSOP events (domestic, circuit, and abroad events combined), including 101 in Las Vegas. Sadly, he has yet to win a bracelet in Las Vegas. To be fair, Kessler has 4 rings from circuit events. Winning a bracelet might even bring a smile to the face of this famously grumpy player. It definitely would bring one to mine!

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Paul Gearan

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