On Monday, the World Series of Poker held a conference call to preview Caesars Interactive Entertainment's (CIE) first foray into regulated online poker in the United States with the launch of WSOP.com in Nevada. You can view the recap of that conference call by clicking here. It was during that call that the WSOP revealed that the launch of its real-money online poker site in Nevada will occur on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 9:19 a.m. PST.
WSOP.com will be available to Nevada residents and the nearly 40 million annual visitors to the state. Participants must be 21 years old or older, age-verified and vetted through WSOP.com's responsible gaming screening.
“This is a historic moment for our company,” said Caesars Interactive Entertainment CEO Mitch Garber. “A state-of-the-art poker offering from one of the most established and regulated operators in the United States, is finally here. We have taken the 43-year-old World Series of Poker brand and combined it with the Caesars Entertainment portfolio of assets to provide consumers with what we believe will be an unrivaled poker offering to satisfy today’s technologically savvy consumer. We will bridge land-based and online gaming in ways that have never been seen before.”
WSOP.com, which will launch in a Field Trial stage of development (a period in which CIE and the Nevada regulatory authorities will closely monitor all facets of the operation), will offer satellites into land-based WSOP events including the $10,000 WSOP Main Event at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. WSOP.com will kick off its unique offering with an opportunity for players to win their way to the WSOP Europe (WSOPE) in Paris, France, with a €10,000 WSOPE Main Event seat and $3,000 in spending money up for grabs.
“This opens up a whole new category for the WSOP brand, enabling us to connect with consumers year-round and reach them where they are most today – on digital devices,” said WSOP.com’s General Manager of Online Poker Geoffrey Stewart. “We have high standards, we know our players do as well, and we believe everyone will be impressed with WSOP.com once they get the chance to play and experience its exceptional benefits and rewards.”
WSOP.com real-money poker offering will be available to both PC and Mac Users and will offer the following:
- Cash games, sit-and-gos, satellites and multi-table tournaments
- Buy-ins for cash games that start as low as 1¢-2¢ and tournaments that start at $1.10
- Daily $100 and $25 freerolls for players of all levels
- Limit and no-limit hold’em with full table and short-handed games, plus the popular Omaha variant will be offered including Omaha hi-lo, as well as seven-card stud.
- Deposit methods including ACH (e-Checks), Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards and withdrawal methods including ACH and paper checks.
The WSOP, which opened its first real-money online poker website in the regulated United Kingdom market in 2009 in partnership with 888 Holdings (the software that will power WSOP.com’s Nevada poker client), will promote the new site through a number of outlets including:
- Television spots in major sports programming and on shows like Breaking Bad and Jimmy Kimmel Live.
- Branded room keys and poker rooms in Caesars' Nevada-owned properties.
- Sponsorships of the Las Vegas Wranglers & Las Vegas 51s and ad-support in the UNLV Rebels basketball telecasts.
- Leverage Caesars Entertainment’s Total Rewards to direct mail and database market to more than 44 million members of the program.
WSOP.com will also develop its own loyalty program called the Action Club, which will recognize and reward online poker players with loyalty points (WSOP Points) for each hand or tournament they play. According to the WSOP.com press release, "The Action Club Rewards currency can be redeemed for cash to buy into online ring games or tournaments or they can be converted into Total Rewards credits to use for discounted room nights, dining credit, show tickets, merchandise or even WSOP tournament buy-ins across all Caesars-owned properties. Additionally, given the close ties with Total Rewards, Action Club members will have the ability to earn casino status in the Total Rewards program based on their online play."
“As a long-standing World Series of Poker employee it is gratifying to see this day upon us,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “Our players have played an important part in the success of the World Series of Poker the past decade, and we will work very hard to cultivate a strong poker community and positively represent the game of poker in the online world as we have in the land-based environment.”
In October, the site will host the WSOP.com Online Championships, a series of nine tournaments with $500,000 in added money. Nine different winners from those events will get the opportunity to participate in the first-ever “Online Nine," which will coincide with the November Nine on Nov. 4-5, 2013.