If there’s anything in the world of poker that makes us bet online poker sites aside for a moment and focus instead on live poker, this is the game’s most prestigious annual festival, World Series of Poker. We just got word of the dates for its 2023 installment. Series promoter Caesars Entertainment revealed on Monday, December 12 that The 54th WSOP will be held from May 30 to July 18, 2023.
Just like this year, the 2023 WSOP will be held on the Las Vegas Strip at the Paris and Horseshoe (rebranded Bally’s) casinos. 2022 marked the move from the Rio Casino, which had hosted the series since 2005. This venue change appeared to be successful with a record $347.9 million in prize money generated and the second largest Main Event field in history.
World Series of Poker CEO Ty Stewart commented:
The WSOP’s historic debut on the Las Vegas Strip delivered in a big way, and we’re excited to announce our Summer 2023 dates just in time for the holidays. Poker players and fans can now officially mark their calendars and maybe even book their loved ones or themselves a trip to the WSOP as a holiday gift. We are delighted to return to Paris Las Vegas and the future Horseshoe Las Vegas for another exciting chapter in the history of the tournament, as these two resorts raised the bar as hosts of last year’s event.
Specific events announced
While the full details of the tournaments contained in the 2023 WSOP have not yet been made public, we do know of a few.
The $10,000 Main Event will feature four opening days from July 3-6. The action will continue until July 17, when a new poker champion will be crowned.
The $1,000 Mystery Millions, introduced in 2022, will return with a May 31 start date close to the start of the festival. In this tournament, prizes will begin on Day 2, with the value of each prize determined randomly after each player is eliminated. There is one prize that is guaranteed to be $1,000,000 and the winner of the tournament also has a guaranteed prize of $1 million.
Other returning events include the $1,500 Millionaire Maker on June 23 with a $1 million guaranteed top prize, the $1,000 Ladies Championship on June 29 and a $777 buyin Lucky 7s tournament on July 7 with a $777,777 prize for the winner.
New for 2023 is the $300 buyin Gladiators of Poker event scheduled to begin on June 7th. Despite its low cost – the lowest ever for an official bracelet event – this tournament comes with a whopping $3 million guaranteed. The event needs 10,000 participants to reach this ambitious amount, so we should witness a huge crowd pooling their $300 for a chance to win big.
Special room rates
Caesars is giving special room rates to Vegas visitors during the 2023 series. These rates can be accessed on the Caesars online reservation page with the code WSOP23. Prices are as low as $56 per night at the Horseshoe and $75 in Paris for select dates during the WSOP, although other dates, especially on weekends, are much more expensive.
These promotional discounts are not exclusive to the two resorts that actually host the series, but rather extend throughout the Caesars LV empire, including Las Vegas properties such as Planet Hollywood, The Cromwell and The Linq. Please note that the rates shown on the Caesars reservation calendar do not include resort fee.
Poker’s premier annual event rose from inauspicious beginnings in 1970 when casino pioneer Benny Binion invited seven of his poker buddies to play against each other at Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas for a silver cup. The next year’s Main Event actually only had six entrants, but 12 contenders appeared in 1972 and 13 in 1973. It was clear that the series was becoming a fixture in the poker world, and it only grew from there.
After Chris Moneymaker won the Main Event in 2003, gaining entry via online satellite and triumphing over a field of 938, that growth only accelerated. The 2004 WSOP saw a Main Event with 2,576 entrants and a $5 million first prize that was won by Greg Reimer.
Move to Rio
2004 was the last year the WSOP was held at Binion’s Horseshoe, as Harrah’s had acquired the rights to the series and moved it to the Rio in 2005, although the final two days of the 2005 series were held at Binion’s. The World Series stayed here until 2021, with Harrah’s changing its name to Caesars Entertainment in the interim.
The Rio years saw continued growth for the series with the largest Main Event held in 2006 with a field of 8,773, a prize pool of over $82 million and a $12 million payday for winner Jamie Gold. Its shortcomings as a WSOP host have become apparent over the years, however, as the property has rarely been upgraded, is in an inconvenient off-Strip location and is said to be as cold as a meat locker.
In 2019, Caesars announced the sale of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Then in 2021, organizers revealed that starting next year, the WSOP will be held at the Strip casinos Bally’s (soon to be Horseshoe) and Paris.
The 2022 WSOP was the first to be held on the Las Vegas Strip, and by almost all accounts the new venue is better than the Rio. With more space between the two casinos than in the old Rio and superior parking options, players found the new location much more convenient. At the same time, the dining options at the hotel were greatly improved and the rooms were nicer than those in the Rio.
The numbers speak for themselves: The total prize pool of more than $345 million across 101 bracelet events (88 live and 13 online) was the highest ever. As for the Main Event, 2022 saw 8,663 players take their seats, 110 fewer than the record set in 2006, but still good for second most in WSOP Main Event history. The winner was Norwegian Espen Jørstad, who took home the grand prize of $10 million.
Prepare for the WSOP now online
You don’t have to wait until May 2023 to start preparing for the World Series. Indeed, you might want to log on to your favorite online poker site and practice a little right now. Unless you’re lucky enough to live in a handful of states with licensed internet poker rooms, your best bet is to head offshore.
Offshore poker sites, although a gray area for operators, are perfectly legal from your point of view as a regular player. You can learn more about them, including how to sign up, in this guide to US online poker. For additional information on the legal aspects of this pastime, see this page dedicated to online poker and the law.