I have to admit I am kind of interested to see how the first ever ONLINE WSOP event turns out. As an advocate for online poker in the past, and as a person who is incredulous as to why it remains basically illegal in the US except for Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware, I am very curious as to how this event will be received. Online poker has been fading at a rapid rate in the few states that have legalized it, as the US continues to ignore a tax-cash-cow that should be milked.
To have a Bracelet event that will be played online is not only a first, it might spark a renewed interest in online poker in Nevada. From everything that I have read, online poker traffic on the WSOP online poker website has been down significantly since peaking during the 2014 WSOP. I think a lot of players spend time playing online while they were in Vegas waiting to play live events and I really thought that would result in online poker taking off in NV, but apparently not.
Even though this event (WSOP Event #64 on July 2nd) will culminate with the final 2 players playing heads-up at the Rio, the vast majority of the tournament will take place online. At only $1,000 buy in, my guess is that this event will see a fairly large field and it also brings the possibility of players multi-tabling this event while they play in another event live at the Rio. How the WSOP will handle that seems to be anyone’s guess, but I have no doubt there will be rules in place for this very occurrence. The WSOP loves rules and loves enforcing them at their discretion so I will be interested to see what happens when a player wants to play another Bracelet event from his iPad while he is involved in the $1,500 7-Card Stud H/L event that takes place at basically the same time.
Whether or not this event stays around or makes much difference in the popularity of online poker remains to be seen, but at the very least it is something new that may provide a litmus test for the WSOP as they expand to other avenues.