WSOP 2021: Flip & Go Tourney
Anticipation for this year’s WSOP has perhaps been higher than ever due to last year’s series taking place online. But there was also a desire to see how well new events would fare.
New events such as the Event #20: $1,000 Flip & Go No-Limit Hold'em for which series sponsor GGPoker have introduced their own Flip & Go game, making it the series’ first ever Flip & Go bracelet event on the live felts at the Rio in what is the operator’s first year as sponsors of a live series.
With the format being entirely new to the series, the tourney naturally created a great deal of buzz.
How Flip & Go Works
If you are unsure what Flip & Go is or how it works, then the game works like this. Flip & Go tournaments at GGpoker are hybrid games that have been especially designed to speed players into the money stages of a tournament. They work by incorporating elements of Pineapple and regular Hold’em.
When players take on a Flip & Go tourney, they automatically go all in on the first eight handed table until there is only one player left remaining. From there, all the players from all of the other tables finish off playing in a regular MTT in which everyone left in is guaranteed a pay out.
Because in the initial stages, the game takes the form of Pineapple poker, players are dealt three cards rather than two and have the choice of discarding one in order to stand the best chance of forming the best hand after they’ve gone all in.
The remaining two hole cards now are now valued as a Hold’em hand and players can buy bigger stacks during the flip stage to give themselves a better chance of surviving it.
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Flip & Go At The WSOP
The buy-in to this two day event which ran on Sunday October 10 inside the Brasilia room at the Rio was fixed at $1,000.
As with online, players were playing at eight handed tables for the Pineapple flip portion of the tourney where they were dealt three cards and mucked one post flop.
After revealing their cards, the players can only watch on as the dealer flops the community cards and almost instantly the overwhelming majority of the players are eliminated.
Only one can go through each time so if the pot is chopped pot, the players go again until there is a single winner.
For the majority of rounds, it took two pair or better to win.
Bullets For Deep Pockets
Players had the luxury of buying back into the event as many times as they wanted or needed to, leading to complaints that the tourney favours players with deep pockets.
It’s uncertain how many casual players entered but given that the cost of the buy-in is a not, by WSOP standards at least, an entirely unreasonable $1,000 a time, and the fact that there is such a heavy gambling element at the start, this could definitely prove costly.
How many flips can recs afford to lose before they run out of bullets?
You would imagine, then, that the field would be heavy with high rollers, gambling thrill seekers and pros with large bankrolls.
Sure enough, GGPoker brand ambassador Daniel Negreanu, Shaun Deeb, Jeff Gross, David Williams, Kevin Martin and Paul Volpe all took their seats, with the repeat rebuys reportedly causing plenty of frustration from some at the tables as Negreanu and Williams bought in multiple times.
For example, Negreanu made it through on the ninth attempt while Shaun Deeb, Josh Arieh, Jeff Gross, and Paul Volpe all made it to the money at multiple times of trying. Elsewhere, 2004 WSOP Main Event runner up David Williams bought in 19 times before finally winning a hand.
While all advancing players are guaranteed money, the min cash is only worth $2,000, meaning there’s money back for those that make it through in the first two attempts and some players will have needed to run deep to avoid too much negative equity or turn a profit.
To make the point, Williams, who spent $19,000 to get through, and Negreanu both left with $2,155.
For the second phase, the qualified players returned to take part on the actual poker event - standard no limit Hold'em freezeout - after the bubble has broken and where everyone was in on the money.
In all, 155 players cashed in a tourney that saw 1,232 buy ins when after all of the attempted entries were tallied up.
The final table included the likes of Jake Schwartz, David Peters and Fred Goldberg with the latter the first out.
First place, $180,665, the bracelet and the claim to being the first ever WSOP Flip & Go champion, went to DJ Alexander with Jason Beck in second with $111,715.
In all, the experiment seemed to be a success, albeit one with minor murmurings in some online forums about the removal of the skill edge early on. But you get the feeling that the WSOP will be pleased with the response to this new event, the fastest ever WSOP event to make it to the money.