After 33 Year Absence WSOP Bringing Back a Team Tournament in 2016

Steve Ruddock : February 15th, 2016


It’s often surprising to me where poker news is broken, and the latest announcement about the yet to be released 2016 World Series of Poker schedule was no exception.

A French language poker radio show, the RMC Poker Show, recently had Gregory Chochon, the director of the World Series of Poker for Caesars Entertainment on as a guest, and Chochon used this appearance to announce the World Series of Poker will be adding a team event to the 2016 WSOP schedule.

Details are still a bit hazy, due to the lack of information and the difficulty of using Google to translate French to English, but it appears the tournament will feature teams of two to four players and cost about $1,000 per player to enter.

The tournament format the WSOP will use is also unknown at this time (stated as something along the lines of the Ryder or Davis Cup), but it sounds like players will either alternate in and out or will face off against a preselected opponent from the opposing team.

When asked how a team poker tournament might work, Matt Savage explained his experience with such formats:

Also, this will be a bracelet event, so t-minus 5 until the 2+2 poker forum’s collective heads explode.

Not the first team event at the WSOP

That being said, this isn’t the first time teams will compete for a World Series of Poker bracelet.

From 1979 to 1983 the World Series of Poker schedule contained what was called a mixed-doubles event, where a team comprised of a male and a female player alternated in and out every half hour.

In 1979 the Mixed Doubles tournament was played as a Seven Card Stud tournament, in 1980 the tournament was changed to a No Limit Holdem event, and from 1981-1983 it reverted back to a Seven Card Stud tournament before being eliminated from the WSOP schedule.

A pair of poker legends were the first Mixed Double winners, as Doyle Brunson and Starla Brodie won the first Mixed Doubles event in 1979, while husband and wife team Donna and Jim Doman won the final Mixed Doubles tournament at the WSOP in 1983.

The other winners were:

  • A.J Myers and Lynn Harvey in 1980
  • Frank Cardone and Juanda Matthews in 1981
  • David Sklansky and Dani Kelly in 1982

Sportification continues

One person who was very pleased with the development was Alex Dreyfus, whose Global Poker League is trying to bring the concept of team poker to the masses and take the game in a whole new direction.

While not the same concept as his GPL, Dreyfus was the first person on Twitter to break the news of the team event at the 2016 WSOP (it helps that he’s French) and will likely be the event’s biggest cheerleader:

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