With its online launch of WSOP.com in Nevada just two weeks old, Caesars has announced an Online Championship to coincide with the 2013 Main Event final table.
The Online Championship consists of nine events that begin on October 25 and run through November 2. The winners of each event will be known as the “Online Nine” and will be invited to play in a special $100k Champions Freeroll on November 4.
That SitNGo freeroll will be played by the Online Nine via the Internet at the Rio All Suites Casino Hotel and Resort. When eliminations leave only two players remaining, the pair will break until the next day and finish the tournament on the live felt at the Penn & Teller Theatre.
That heads-up showdown will be played just before the resumption of the 2013 WSOP Main Event final table by the November Nine. Caesars is drawing attention to both its prestigious WSOP live tournament and its newly-launched website in the regulated state of Nevada by showcasing the Online Nine and the November Nine simultaneously.
Players who competed at the 44th annual WSOP this past summer at the Rio in Las Vegas got a taste of this marketing mix when advertisements promoting the WSOP.com launch were plastered throughout the casino. An online debut during the summer was hoped for by Caesars’ executives, but delays in software testing postponed the rollout until September 19.
With the Main Event champion yet to be decided, WSOP has keenly taken on a cross-marketing strategy that will highlight its live and Internet offerings. The Online Championships feature one event as a freeroll and two with buy-ins of just $27.50, while the online Main Event requires a $215 entry fee to take a virtual seat. WSOP has promised to kick in $500,000 in additional prize money for the Online Championships.
Nevada residents and tourists can shoot for Online Nine status, with the $100,000 Champions Freeroll set to pay out $50,000, $30,000 and $20,000 to the top three finishers, respectively. An interesting sidenote includes the fact that any one of the November Niners can possibly also become an Online Niner while in Nevada and preparing for the live Main Event.
WSOP.com has seen an uptick in player traffic as of late. Recent PokerScout reports indicate that players from Ultimate Poker may be migrating to WSOP.com, as the former has seen traffic decline while the latter has gained. Many expect that trend to continue as the powerful WSOP brand name employs marketing strategies that include the cross-marketing that is now underway.