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World Series of Poker 2008

Taking part in a WSOP event is every poker player’s dream. The world’s most important live poker event has been constantly gaining in popularity over the years, first in a more or less linear manner, and in the last few years, exponentially. Last year (2007) was the first ever year in which there were fewer participants in the main event than in the year before. This temporary drop in player numbers can probably be attributed to the effects of the UIGEA passed in September 2006. Whether the tendency will continue, or whether players are going to return to the WSOP tables in great numbers remains to be seen this year.

One thing is sure though: clinching a WSOP seat has never been easier than it is today. Certainly, if you’d like to go straight to the top and not mess around with smaller buy-in WSOP events, you can always cough up 10,000 greens and be on your way, this option however, is only available to a select few who know they’ll be going home with some money, regardless of the size of the field.

For your everyday live or online poker player, online satellites and qualifiers remain just about the only way into the Main event. Some argue that the popularity of the WSOP in general and the Main Event in particular is largely due to increased television coverage. While that may be true to some extent, one has to admit online poker had very much to do with it too. A huge number of WSOP main event participants qualify through online satellites.
The way the system works is the following: The poker room buys a seat in the main event from the organizers, they then announce a satellite that rewards the winner with a WSOP buy-in, and usually some spending money on the side. You may wonder how the poker room makes money on the whole setup. Well, the buy-ins for the satellite (and sub satellites) generate so much money for the room, that they can afford to pay for the winner’s travel, as well as his accommodation once he’s in Vegas. In theory, if only ten people buy into the direct online qualifier for $1,000+$100 each, the room can offer the winner his buy-in and $1,000 for expenses without losing a dime. There are, of course for more registrants for the direct satellite, not to mention the host of sub-satellites that lead up to it. In every tournament there is a tourney fee collected, so you can rest assured the room won’t get short changed. The interesting part of the deal is, players will get great value for their buy-ins as well. Many of these direct qualifiers feature several WSOP Main Event seats, so the EV is much better in them. While the direct buy-in to one of these satellites might still prove prohibitive for the vast majority of poker players, sub-satellites take care efficiently of this issue. Sub-satellites are usually accessible for a fraction of the cost of the direct satellite buy-in, adding further value to the deal for good players. If you are not comfortable chalking up that much cash for something that is – after all – quite a long-shot, you can use still other – lower level – sub-sub satellites to qualify for the sub-satellites themselves. Basically, if you only have a couple of dollars available in your bankroll for this venture, you’ll still be able in theory to clinch a WSOP seat. This is the extra that online poker has brought to the WSOP: access to everyone, regardless of their social background and position. If skilled-enough, you don’t have to be rich to play in the event either. What online poker did, was to make the ultimate dream, the WSOP main event, accessible for the masses, and that is not a small feat by any standards.

Some poker rooms have sub-sub-sub qualifiers running for which you don’t even need to buy in with real money at all. They accept FPPs (frequent player points) for buy-in. Certainly, if you start at the very bottom of the satellite system, you’ll have to be an exceptional player, plus you’ll need to have a cart-load of luck on your side to qualify. The key here is to be able to select a qualifier which is a higher branch on the “tree”, and which gives you a good EV/buy-in investment ratio.

Our site offers you an insight into what several of the leading online poker rooms offer for WSOP superstar wannabes (face it, you’re one of the bunch too, if you’re reading this). This way, you’ll be able to decide which offer suits you and your wallet the best, while still offering you good enough odds for a seat.

Don’t take it lightly. The WSOP seat offers differ a lot from one room to another. It is not a guarantee either that the biggest poker room has indeed the best offer for you. Shop around and leave satisfied.

Just in case you do succeed in securing a WSOP berth, you may want to know that there are no restrictions whatsoever regarding who may take part in the WSOP live event. You have to be older than 21 (the legal age for gambling in Nevada) and that’s about it. Your poker room will run you through the rest of the terms and conditions regarding the sponsorship you’re playing for.

You most certainly won’t be able to send someone else there in your place, and you won’t be able to cash out the value of your WSOP package if – for whatever reason – you’re unable to attend. All supplementary fees incurred (depending on where in the world you live, these fees can be very diverse) will be supported by you. The poker room always reserves the right to gain additional exposure at the event by assigning you specific apparel.
Some poker rooms may give you half the value of the package in cash, in case something – not dependent on you or them – prevents you from attending.

Bottom line: forget about the $10,000 buy-in. Online poker rides to the rescue and gives you the possibility become a millionaire and a respected poker professional for a mere few bucks. Make the best of the offer, according to the guidelines presented in this article.

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