« Back to blog

The Eight Points of Enlightenment: WSOP

1 comment ● 2010-07-25

When Brandon Steven's {A-Clubs}{K-Spades} was unable to improve against Matthew Jarvis' {Q-Clubs}{Q-Spades}, to send nine players on a hiatus a guaranteed $811,823 richer.

My World Series of Poker (WSOP) was all about long nights that turned into daylight finishes, mixed with -EV gambling and plenty of colourful stories, but let's end the Mecca of all poker tournaments with my continued tournament recap with the The Eight Points of Enlightenment: WSOP.

* * * * * * * *

1 - Tournament Layout: For 2010, gone were the small Brasilia and Miranda rooms as the Pavilion Room (right) trumped them all with over 250 tables allocated for day ones, cash games and satellites. The Amazon Room housed all the restarts and 5pm starts, and consequently was a lot less cluttered than in previous years. Throw in the two additional staged tables for final table overflow or additional feature tables, and it really made viewing a pleasure. The WSOP really got things right this year with the way they structured both rooms and ran the tournaments, and hopefully they don't find a need to change it again next year (like they have every year previously).

2 - Schedule: Although many praise the schedule of the WSOP, I would personally like it to become well-rounded and offer a greater range of non-holdem poker variants. At this year's World Series, 33 of the 54 open events were holdem ones, while on the other end of the spectrum there were only five HORSE variants. Since the WSOP is a true test of tournament poker skill, I believe the schedule should be designed along these lines too.

If you spread buy-ins of $1,500, $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000 (championship) in each game of HORSE, 8-Game, Stud, Stud-8, Razz, Pot Limit Omaha, Pot Limit Omaha-8, 2-7 Draw, along with Pot Limit Holdem, Limit Holdem and No Limit Holdem then it would truly be a test of poker skill. Since holdem is what everyone wants to play at the moment, you could also add in four six-handed events of the same buy-in, along with triple-chance and shootout events of the three smaller buy-ins. Now with some space in the schedule you could also throw in a $10,000 Mixed Stud and Chinese Championship to make it a truly well-rounded World Series!

3 - Structures Too Good?: When poker tournaments are run, the major complaint is normally always revolving around the structure of a specific event. With reasonable buy-ins and a triple-stack starting stack, there isn't really a chance to complain too much about the WSOP structures. Well apart from the fact that they may be too good!
The typical event at the WSOP is supposed to reach a final table by the completion of day two (after twenty levels), but I don't think a single three-day event ever reached the final table before the start of the last day. With players getting better, and more and more players entering these three-day events, in a few years you will have to see a fourth day implemented so that the final table can be set aside solely for the last day . . . maybe with this a 4x starting stack will also come into play?

4 - Bracelet Display: Last year the WSOP conducted a daily bracelet ceremony in the Amazon Room that included a few words by Jeffrey Pollock before the presentation was concluded with the playing of the respected player's national anthem. This year they moved the ceremony into the Pavilion Room so that a guaranteed large audience (due to the day one starts being located there) was there to greet the recent bracelet winner with a round of applause.
The one aspect that was added this year was that the bracelets were on show in a big display in the Pavilion Room for the public to view. Once a bracelet was presented to their recipient, the case where the bracelet was housed was replaced with a winners photo so as to see who had won each respected bracelet. Definitely a must for 2011!

5 - Poker Kitchen / Food: In one word . . . AWFUL! The salad bar was dishing out food poisoning everyday, the chinese food was always stale-tasting, and the pre-made salads and wraps were disgusting. Apart form the occasionally good burrito or quesadilla, the options from the poker kitchen of real food (minus snacks and drinks of course) were just terrible. After the first two weeks of putting up with it, the PokerNews team - and I suspect many others - would do anything to be offered a dinner option outside of the Rio regardless of cost! The WSOP really need to provide better options for their players and staff, preferably healthier ones too, but just better on all levels.

6 - No Service: About mid-way through the WSOP, us PokerNews peeps were refused service from the waiters stating that only players were allowed to order cocktails. Of all the media outlets, we are ones that don't get a $10 food voucher (due to the size of our team), and consequently getting refused cocktail service just sent us into a spiral of tilt!
Like in all seriousness, we tip when we get a water or whatever, so it shouldn't be that much of a big deal . . . but fortunately for us, we were allowed into the dealer break room which housed an unlimited supply of soft drinks, water, coffee, chips and the occasional dinner, so that the lack of cocktail service became an obsolete issue.

7 - Where To Sit?: Although we had issues with cocktail service, the media was still treated fairly awesome when it came to location in the Amazon Room. There were two dedicated two-level L-shape platforms in two corners of the Amazon Room that hugged each of the overflow final tables. Around twenty people could be spread in the media towers, and if there wasn't enough room there, a media room located adjacent to the Amazon Room that housed flat-screen TVs, plenty of desk space and an unlimited supply of cold water and beef jerky could keep you happy. There were additional desks based in both the Amazon and Pavilion Room for the PokerNews crew to continue their exclusive live coverage, but the media towers was where all the degenerate prop betting went down . . . along with the occasional amount of work!

8 - Player of the Year: I personally view consistency as the ledger to mark poker success, and consistency is extremely important in tournament poker if you are to be regarded as one of the greats. Over the past few years there has always been a lot of talk regarding the WSOP Player of the Year and how it is exactly calculated, and with some mixed results this year, it has sparked even more interest.

Frank Kassela will be 2010 WSOP POTY but can tie with Michael Mizrachi if he is to win the Main Event. With only those two being in the race, there are many others like Allen Kessler (eight cashes, one final table, four final two table finishes), Shawn Buchanan (eight cashes, one final table) and Dan Heimiller (seven cashes, two final tables) who really stood no chance at capturing the POTY award despite such a great summer.
For this to be regarded more highly, the powers to be at the WSOP really need to take a better look at the points scoring system so that it is weighted more appropriately in relation to buy-in, field size and game type.

* * * * * * * *

With the World Series all wrapped up . . . well until November anyway . . . I have a little time off before heading to Brazil to cover the LAPT Florianopolis leg before finally returning home after being on the road for over four months!

Unfortunately there will be nearly zero downtime as the Victorian Poker Championships will be in full swing on my arrival back in Australia as I hope to be again behind the computer for the series where it all began for me!

For additional blogs, interviews, articles and photos from tournaments around the world, head to Tilted Behaviour.



Comments (1)

  • annettedn
    annettedn 12-30-2011 17:05

    Buy ativan without prescription judgmatical Causative Buy 2 mg xanax bars histomonas sociologist Vimax miscible sermon

Register to leave a comment


Online Poker Room Ratings

9.6 Full Tilt Poker
Bonuses and Promotions 9.7
Player Traffic 9.1
Limits and Rake 9.7
Software 9.9
Customer Support 9.6
Read review »
9.5 PartyPoker
Bonuses and Promotions 10.0
Player Traffic 9.7
Limits and Rake 9.0
Software 9.1
Customer Support 9.8
Read review »
9.4 PokerStars
Bonuses and Promotions 8.9
Player Traffic 10.0
Limits and Rake 9.0
Software 9.0
Customer Support 10.0
Read review »
9.1 William Hill Poker
Bonuses and Promotions 9.4
Player Traffic 9.4
Limits and Rake 8.6
Software 9.0
Customer Support 9.0
Read review »
9.0 Poker770
Bonuses and Promotions 9.4
Player Traffic 8.9
Limits and Rake 9.2
Software 8.9
Customer Support 8.5
Read review »
8.9 888poker
Bonuses and Promotions 9.4
Player Traffic 8.2
Limits and Rake 9.1
Software 9.4
Customer Support 8.5
Read review »
8.7 PKR Poker
Bonuses and Promotions 8.9
Player Traffic 8.0
Limits and Rake 8.0
Software 9.4
Customer Support 9.3
Read review »
8.6 Titan Poker
Bonuses and Promotions 9.1
Player Traffic 8.6
Limits and Rake 8.1
Software 8.2
Customer Support 9.2
Read review »
8.2 Unibet Poker
Bonuses and Promotions 8.5
Player Traffic 8.1
Limits and Rake 8.0
Software 8.1
Customer Support 8.1
Read review »
8.2 Betfair Poker
Bonuses and Promotions 8.3
Player Traffic 8.4
Limits and Rake 7.8
Software 8.0
Customer Support 8.3
Read review »
More Ratings »