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WSOP online circuit is an early success

Wed, Mar 13, 8:45am by Staff Writer

The World Series of Poker Circuit has stopped at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles and Harrah’s Atlantic City recently, with a hail of rings available to poker players in the United States.

The Online Circuit concluded last Sunday, with the $525 Main Event exceeding the expectations of WSOP staff.

The series featured 13 ring events and surpassed every guarantee. In total, $1,719,280 was awarded as both entries and prize pools increased relative to last year.

“The online circuit events are proving to be exceptionally popular with players,” said WSOP Head of Online Poker Bill Rini.

“We experimented a bit with limiting the number of re-entries in certain events and we’re seeing that this is a popular option, resulting in even bigger prize pools than in some of the unlimited re-entry events,” he said.

Compared to the 13 events held in 2018, the prize pools and number of entrants have swelled.

The $525 Main Event with a prize pool of $250,000 in 2019 exceeds the $200,000 in 2018, with 88 more entrants.

Guarantees went up across the board with the exception of the $100,000 Monster Strack. Attendance only dipped for four of the 13 events.

On the whole, the WSOP is said to be happy with the results according to Poker News, with the Vice President of Corporate Communication Seth Palansky saying the strategy of raising guarantees proved “successful”.

Of the $1.7 million awarded, the most significant chunk – more than 20 per cent – came in the $525 Main Event.

William Romaine of Riverside, Connecticut shipped the biggest score of the series when he defeated a field of 770 to snag $92,400 and his first gold ring.

Prior to his windfall, Romaine had only about $20,000 in WSOP cashes.

He topped a final table that included Joe Cappuccio, Brad Albrinck, Anthony Maio and AJ Kelsall.

Maio lucked out in the Main Event, but didn’t leave empty handed as he took out the pot limit Omaha event for $15,390 and his first Circuit ring. Also among the players taking home sme gold were Matt Stout and Ralph Perry.

Tough times ahead for online circuit with new Wire Act law

The online circuit began as a one-off online ring event last February won by Anthony Spinella.

It proved to be the precursor to more circuit stops, with two places allotted on the 2018-19 CIrcuit season.

The online poker market in the United States is shrouded in uncertainty after the reinterpretation of the Wire Act last week.

The Department of Justice originally laid out an April 15 deadline for compliance with Wire Act, which applied to all forms of online gambling and not just sports betting.

The date has been extended for 60 days to June 14, Online Poker Report reported.

Stakeholders in online gaming reacted with an uproar after the Department of Justice memo in January.

The new Act “will probably be tested in the courts” according to The Washington Post and “many in the gambling industry fear the new interpretation will limit the growth of the online betting industry across states.”

The WSOP is currently grappling with this issue, having scheduled nine online bracelet events without confirming whether individuals from New Jersey will be able to play again.

The new compliance date falls in the middle of the WSHOP, with a conservative decision to restrict events to Nevada meaning smaller prize pools could be on offer for players involved.

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