How to Hunt for WSOP Bracelets in WSOP 2024

The most extensive live poker MTT series, the World Series of Poker (WSOP), starts its 55th edition on May 28 and lasts until July 17. 

We will see a lot of professionals and amateurs trying to get their hands on the WSOP bracelet, considered one of the most prestigious trophies in the poker world. But the question is, how likely are they to get a bracelet?

Since 1976, a bracelet has been awarded to the winner of every event at the annual WSOP. Even if the victory occurred before 1976, WSOP championships are now counted as “bracelets.” During the first years of the WSOP, only a handful of bracelets were awarded each year. In 1990, there were only 14 bracelet events.

In 2024, there will be 99 WSOP bracelet events, so there will be plenty of opportunities for players to grab the prestigious trophy.

The Numbers

So, if we take numbers from the 54th Annual WSOP Series, the average field in 95 bracelet events was 2,267 entries. An average player’s chance of winning the WSOP bracelet is 1/2267 or 0,0441 percent.

If we make the same calculation for a Super-Pro who would be 20 to 50 times more likely to win the tournament, the chances still aren’t great, and they will be between 0.88 and 2.21 percent.

Picking the right strategy and being a skilled player will make it realistic to win a bracelet over the whole WSOP series.

The Bracelet Strategy

If your only goal is to win the WSOP bracelet, the strategy is to play as many small-field events as possible where you have the highest edge.

  • Typically, the smallest field would be in the highest buy-in events. Even though you wouldn’t have an edge like in large field events, the size of the field guarantees you the highest odds of winning the WSOP bracelet. 
  • After the highest buy-in events, we could see the second smallest fields in mixed games like Razz or NL 2-7. For example, the seven-card stud championship had 50-60 entries in the last three WSOP editions.
  • Also, if you are a female or senior, you could find your luck in ladies’ or senior events with small fields that tend to be soft.
  • If we want to include the WSOP online, there are some small field events on since players would need to be physically located in Nevada or New Jersey.

How to Make the Most Money

Conversely, if our goal were to make the most money, we would want to play the biggest possible field with the slowest formats. The biggest fields will have the most recreational players, and slower formats will give us a chance to realize our edge, wait for good spots, and gamble less.

Some top professionals could have an ROI (return on investment) of 100 percent! If they decided to play all the WSOP events with an average ROI of 50 percent (falls off in smaller fields/higher buy-ins), they would make $125,000 in profits on average (this number can vary depending on what percent of ROI the player has in the biggest buy-in events).

We must consider that playing all 99 WSOP events with $250,000 buy-ins would be draining and impossible because of overlapping events. Also, it’s known that the longer a player’s playing hours, the more his edge drops. And, of course, variance can put players on all kinds of tilts and decrease their edge.

Daniel Negreanu is one of the professionals who announced he will lower the volume from 60 to 45 WSOP events this year. He also said he would increase the number if he were close to the top of the Player of the Year leaderboard.

There are rumors that there will be changes in the WSOP Player of the Year requirements. This year, it will be more of who has the best results compared to the previous years, where it was based on who has the most cashes. So, a player with the ten best results will be the winner of the WSOP Player of the Year award.

You can read more about Daniel’s WSOP schedule here.

The best way to make the most money would be to optimize playing hours and pick events with the most favorable conditions.

Proof of the Strategy – Phil Hellmuth

At 24 years old, Phil Hellmuth defeated Johnny Chan heads-up during the 1989 World Series of Poker Main Event to become the youngest WSOP Main Event champion in history at the time. The Main Event had only 178 entries, so Phil’s chances of getting a bracelet were good, especially if we consider he was one of the best players back then; that is probably not the case today. The second bracelet came in 1992 when Phil played a $5,000 Limit Hold’em event with only 88 entries.

With his victory at the 2012 WSOP Europe Main Event, Phil Hellmuth is now the only person ever to win both the WSOP Main Event and the WSOPE Main Event.

The average field size of all events in which Phil won a bracelet is 445 entries. He won bracelets in 17 events with a total of 7569 entries, which is less than one WSOP Main Event today. The largest WSOP Main Event was in 2023 when 10,043 entries were recorded.

The current state of the live MTT structure makes it extremely hard for a player to win the bracelet and makes Phil’s all-time record of 17 bracelets hard to beat; some would say impossible.

Phil is also in third place for All-time WSOP money earnings with $17,782,609, just behind Antonio Esfandiari and Daniel Negreanu, who have earned $21,917,218 and $20,757,650. Phil’s WSOP earnings make up more than half of his all-time earnings of $30,058,954.

Phil announced that he will be playing in the 55th edition of WSOP this year and is excited about it. We will be able to see Phil’s action in the first event of the series, “Champions Reunion,” which starts on May 28. 

Champions Reunion is a new addition to WSOP, and it gives players the opportunity to win a seat in Main Event if they knock out a former Main Event champion, so we can expect an even bigger target on Phil’s back. 

“As for the Champions Reunion, first of all, it seems like people are always gunning for me! This time, they win a Main Event seat if they take me out. It’s going to be a really fun tourney.” says Phil Hellmuth. 

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