WSOP Circuit Returns to Calgary in 2024
Deerfoot Inn & Casino in Calgary, Alberta plays host to two big WSOP-C festivals every year in January and May, with total prizes in the most recent series capping $5 million. The series is back in 2024 with the first series running from Jan 10 – 22.
It’s official – Calgary is the new home of WSOP Circuit (WSOP-C) events in Canada. The city is the home of Deerfoot Inn & Casino, a multi-use facility in the southeast portion of the city that includes casino, hotel, banquet, and convention facilities and will be bustling with activity starting Jan 10, 2024 when WSOP-C comes to town.
For a couple of weeks, two times a year, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) brings their regional tour, the WSOP Circuit (WSOP-C), to the southern Alberta casino and while the Calgary stops have only been on the schedule for two years, they are quickly becoming crowd favorites. The host facility generally takes over one of the hotel’s massive banquet spaces for the series, but even with the extra space, WSOP-C continually fills Deerfoot Casino to the rafters every time.
There have been four trips to Cowtown for WSOP-C since the live poker world reopened after the COVID-19 pandemic with the very first edition in Jan 2022 setting the stage for what was to come. That series crushed local records for attendance and prize pools with more than $3.3 million in total prizes and nearly $1.8 million in the Main Event pool alone, a clear record for the province of Alberta and establishing Deerfoot Casinos as one of Calgary’s best casino’s and poker destinations.
Since then, things have only gotten bigger. Despite some obvious growing pains during that first series, with lines for some events getting truly absurd, the facility has been able to beef up their presence for the huge poker tournament series, which continue to grow year to year.
The WSOP-C is back again for 2024 in the Stampede City with its usual two stops in Jan and May. The January dates are already on the books, with the series running from Jan 10 – 22, 2024. Interested players can use room code WSOP0124 when booking rooms for a reduced rate at Deerfoot Inn.
WSOP-C Calgary 2024
After two successful years in the city, the WSOP Circuit event is returning for two more stops in 2024. While the May details are still to be decided, the Deerfoot WSOP schedule for January 2023 is now out with 15 events over 13 days of poker action.
The games kick off for WSOP-C Calgary on Jan 10 with the ever-popular Big 30 Stack game for $400, as well as the first live satellite shot of the series.
The first big multi-day event kicks off on Jan 11, and it promises to be huge. In Jan 2023, the 4-Flight game drew more than 1,500 runners and packed both the Chrome Showroom and the banquet hall reserved for WSOP events.
Main Event action gets going on Jan 18 with the $1,700 ($1,515 + $185) game running three starting days before Day 2 plays out on Sunday Jan 21. Players who go deep in the Main should expect the final table to be played on Monday, Jan 22.
That Main Event final table will play out alongside Day 2 of the $2,200 High Roller game that begins the day before. And there is a lot more to choose from on the schedule with popular WSOP-C tournaments like the Black Chip Bounty, Mystery Bounty, and Monster Stack poker games with both two-card and four-card options to choose from.
Almost $15 Million in Circuit Fun in Calgary so Far
There have been a total of four WSOP Circuit series held in Calgary so far, beginning in Jan 2022 immediately after the pandemic. In fact, that original series was heavily impacted by pandemic restrictions still, with masking rules in effect and, at one point, a ban on all food and drink at the tables or in the poker area at all.
Even through all the difficulties presented by unprecedented crowds and external pressures, that first series was a resounding success, setting regional records for attendance and prize pools in the Alberta poker scene. In total, more than 6,500 entries were recorded for the 13-event series with total prizes of $3,324,335.
That set the stage for a solid return in May. While the numbers in May 2022 were down from the record-breaking January series, nearly 4,500 entries and more than $2.5 million in prizes was still a huge event by local standards with a Main Event prize pool of almost $1.4 million.
When the series returned to Canada’s gateway to the Rockies in Jan of 2023, the pattern of big January numbers and smaller May numbers started to present itself. The Jan 23 series blew past both the previous editions with nearly 7,500 entries and more than $5.3 million in total prizes, even after one of the 15 scheduled events had to be canceled due to the overwhelming numbers in other events.
The Main Event in Jan 23 set another huge record for the region, blowing past $2 million with almost 1,500 runners. The series also saw an early event, the classic 4-Flight game so popular at Circuit stops, draw a crowd of more than 1,500 entries for a prize pool of more than $500k in a $400 buy-in game.
The most recent series, in May of 2023, proved the trend of smaller turnouts in May compared to January. It was up over the previous May by nearly $1 million in prizes from almost 1,000 extra entries, but it was still well below the Jan 23 numbers. It’s worth mentioning, however, that May 23 beat the Jan 22 prize pool total by a hair despite seeing fewer entries.
Historic Totals for WSOP-C in Calgary
Main Event Money Stays in Alberta
One of the more interesting trends to emerge in the four series held so far is that the winner of every Main Event to date has been a native of Alberta. In most series, there are cashing players from nearly every jurisdiction in Canada and a healthy dose of international players, so it’s not like this is just a local game.
Yet, four series in, the Main Event winners have all hailed from the host province of Alberta. Perhaps even more interestingly, and in a testament to how well spread out the Alberta poker talent is, all four have also hailed from smaller towns and cities in the province as opposed to the population powerhouses of Calgary and Edmonton.
It remains to be seen if that trend continues into 2024, but incoming players looking to unseat the locals from the Main Event title should be prepared for some solid homegrown talent standing in their way.
Deerfoot Inn & Casino – at the Intersection of Ecosystems
Calgary sits at the intersection of two very different ecosystems. To the east, the vast Canadian prairies stretch out for almost 2 million square kilometers. Prairie dwellers joke it’s so flat, when your dog runs away, you can watch them run for days.
But to the west, the terrain changes vastly as the foothills begin to rise into the Rocky Mountains. An hour’s drive puts you at the foot of the Rockies with world-class mountain destinations like Banff, Radium, and Jasper well within grasp.
Deerfoot Inn & Casino takes advantage of Calgary’s sweet spot as the gateway to the Rocky Mountains. The full-service hotel and casino offers rooms with 188 guest rooms featuring stunning views of the mountains or city, directly attached to a casino that offers nearly every form of gaming imaginable.
Whether you play high or low stakes, like the table games or the slots, Deerfoot Casino has plenty of choice. A 24-hour poker room caps off the casino experience with cash games running all the time, as well as regular tournaments even while there are no series in town.
When the WSOP comes to town, the poker room is always bursting at the seams, but it’s not with tournament action. The cash games are very hot and generally plays in the official poker room with tournament action taking place in the casino’s Chrome events room, as well as one of the hotel banquet spaces. During the WSOP-C events in Alberta, Deerfoot’s poker room sees some of Calgary’s best cash poker action.
Deerfoot Inn & Casino / WSOP-C FAQ
How can I buy-in to Deerfoot WSOP Circuit?Cash is the easiest way to get into games at Deerfoot Inn & Casino. Both INTERAC bank cards and credit cards can typically be used, but fees apply to both and the fees on credit cards can be quite onerous. Cash is king for poker buy-ins and other gaming at the casino.
Where is Deerfoot Casino?Deerfoot Casino is part of the larger full-service complex of Deerfoot Inn & Casino. Located in the south-east quadrant of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It is a short drive or Uber to the city center and other sites like the Calgary Zoo. It is also convenient to the Calgary International Airport with access via Deerfoot Trail in about half an hour depending on traffic. Parking tends to be plentiful in Calgary, and free outside the downtown core, so renting a car is a good and convenient idea if players want to do some non-poker excursions. With a car, there is easy day access to places like Canmore and Banff National Park, including such picturesque spots as Lake Louise. For skiers, the world-class resorts of Lake Louise and Sunshine are right around the corner, in addition to many other lesser known spots like Mt. Norquay.
How can I qualify to WSOP Circuit?There are live satellites in the schedule during the series, and organizers generally also include one-table satellite games in the poker room running throughout the week as the Main Event approaches. At present, there doesn’t seem to be an online qualification option for this WSOP-C stop.
Is Deerfoot Calgary a hotel?Yes, Deerfoot Inn & Casino is a full service gaming spot with 188 guest rooms including 28 suites. Most rooms include stunning city or mountain views and the hotel is directly connected to the state-of-the-art gaming facility.