How to Qualify Online for the 2018 WSOP – World Series of Poker Main Event Packages and More
Update: As usual, the qualifiers should be announced around April 2018. I will update this page as soon as they are announced!
A few years ago, almost every online poker site offered qualifier games to the World Series of Poker. These days, the number is smaller – with 888 Poker (official sponsors) now taking the lead role. While the choice is smaller, the qualifier games are as easy as ever. If you are motivated and pick the right games, 2018 could be the year you enter the World Series of Poker in an online qualifier.
This page includes the following information:
888 Poker Focus: This is where you will find most of the qualifiers this year.
US Player Options: Coverage of the offshore sites, as well as NJ / NV regulated sites
WSOP Event Overview: Dates and highlights from the 2018 schedule
Side Game Packages: Most prizes are for the main event, though some sites offer packages which include travel + buy-ins for the $1k to $1.5k events.
World Series Qualifiers 2018 – 888 Poker
The '17 packages have now been announced by 888 Poker, who are again the main sponsor and primary site for the online qualifiers. This year's package is worth $12,500. This includes entry in the Main Event ($10,000), plus $1200 for your flight and expenses (paid direct to your player account), with the remaining money paying for 5 nights at the Vdara hotel and some goodies. If you make it deep, I am sure that the extra nights in the hotel and any costs to reschedule your return flight will be the least of your worries!
888 operate a ‘steps’ system. There are 6 levels, and you can buy-in at any point from the 1c ‘step 1’ games to the $525 step 6 tournaments. The full levels are 1c, 10c, $1, $5, $50 and $525 (the top one will vary around this number, depending on the target tournament).
You’ll have a choice of Sit N Goes and multi-table tournaments. These are running right now, you’ll see them under the ‘Tournaments’ tab in the 888 lobby. To show only the live event qualifiers, you simply choose the silver ‘Live Events’ button. You will see tournaments which award the prize packages in bold and pink. There are already main event sub-qualifiers running, and some side-event qualifiers are also mentioned..
If you do not already play at 888, then you could even qualify completely free.
888 offer new signups up to $88 to play their real money games with no deposit or credit card info needed. You get $8 right away, then 10 more installments (in cash game buy-ins and tournament tokens) as you collect points at the tables. This does vary by country, for example UK players get £20 free instead.
I’m a huge fan of 888, which has committed to focusing on the needs of regular (recreational) players – and not the pro ‘grinders’.
Check out the qualifiers and claim your $88 at www.888poker.com now!
US Player Options for WSOP 2018 Qualifiers
First the offshore sites, which are available to the vast majority of US players.
America's Cardroom ' Buck Hunt Promo:
ACR Poker has come up with a novel way of giving away $12,500 packages this year - focusing on their cash game tables and starting in games with 5c / 10c blinds. While you play, you'll see special chips appear on the tables. You'll need to be fast and click on these to reveal a prize. The prizes vary, with 10c the lowest and the $12.5k WSOP package the highest. You can win the package in the smallest games, though as you rise up the buy-in levels, your chances of hitting that top prize do increase significantly. You can see the odds for each buy-in level over at www.americascardroom.eu
Nothing so far from BetOnline or Ignition, I'll keep my eyes open for updates!
Regulated In-State Sites
888 New Jersey is sure to offer qualifiers, though again nothing has been announced as yet. Their current focus seems to be on the ‘Spring Fever’ promotion, and I expect to see some qualifiers after that.
888 Nevada are directly involved in the WSOP, and will be hosting the online bracelet event in 2017. Since visitors to Nevada can legally play online, a boost is expected on the site while the World Series is on. Again, I’m expecting to see the qualifiers come up very soon.
WSOP 2018 Overview – Schedule and Highlights
While the focus of the media is always on the $10,000 buy-in Main Event, the series starts a full month before that. This year things kick off with the Casino Employees event on the 31st of May, quickly followed by the $7million guaranteed ‘colossus III’ on the 2nd June. This has a $565 buy-in, which is considerably lower than many events and takes place at many casinos across 6 separate days.
The 2017 World Series Main Event starts the first of 3 ‘day 1’ events on Saturday the 8th of July. This is event number 68 on the list – giving you an idea of just how much poker is going on at the series this year. This is not the last event, with the ‘little one for the drop’ (a fundraiser for clean water charity work) kicking off on the 12th of July.
There are always plenty of highlights, here are some picks:
Colossus III: With $8 million guaranteed and only a $525 entry fee, this will be the biggest event in terms of the number of players at the 2017 World Series. The winner is guaranteed $1 million.
Dealer’s Choice: I love the idea of this one, each time you are the dealer you can choose from 19 different variations of poker game or structure.
Millionaire Maker Events: $1500 buy-in and $1 million guaranteed to the winner. There is also an 8 handed ‘crazy eights’ game with an $888 buy-in and $888,888 for the winner.
Poker Players Championship: This is the $50,000 buy-in mixed game event which attracts the stars each year.
Tag Team Event: Teams of up to 4 can register together and switch during this game.
The Giant: This is the lowest ever buy-in, with just $365 needed to enter (there are unlimited re-entries)
Ladies Event: This one has problems with men joining before. This has been solved by making the buy-in $10k and offering a 90% discount for ladies.
Bounty Event: Each player you knock out of this event pays a bounty of $300.
In addition there are plenty of variations of NL Holdem, and championship events ($10k buy-in) in many games including Stud variations, Omaha and Draw. The 2017 schedule sees 3 online events too. These are held in conjunction with WSOP Nevada (the 888 room).
World Series Qualifiers 2018 – Side Event Packages
Side events really cover everything that is not the $10K 2017 Main Event.
You will find many poker sites offering qualifiers to side events, focusing on the $1000 and $1500 buy-in NL Holdem games. Typically you’ll get the tournament entry, 4 or 5 nights in a hotel and cash for travel and food.
The big advantage of side events qualifiers is that more people win them based on the same prize pool. While the $10k Main Event entry fee means a lot fewer people travelling – you will often find side event qualifiers sending 5+ people at once.
888 has already scheduled a ‘Crazy 8’s’ side event qualifier (see www.888poker.com for info)
I will keep a close eye on the other poker sites over the coming weeks to see those ‘Las Vegas Vacation’ tournaments pop up.
Bookmark this page now, you could soon be boarding that plane to Las Vegas for the 2017 World Series of Poker after qualifying online!