WPT Five Diamonds attendance up, but at what cost

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Dec 06, 2012 Posted in Tournament News, WPT News | No Comments »

There have been a number of poker tournaments that have grabbed headlines for reasons other than what happens on the felt. From the Big One for One Drop to the Epic Poker League, the poker world has had plenty to digest regarding everything from structural issues, to what’s good for TV poker, to the long-term positives and negatives for the game. The latest tournament that has caused a bit of a kerfuffle is the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamonds World Poker Classic.

The WPT Five Diamonds saw a marked increase in attendance thanks to late registration that lasted well into Day 2 of the tournament, but even more so because of the decision to allow unlimited reentries during this period, turning the event into what amounts to nothing more than a rebuy tournament.

Without getting into the debate itself, it seems foolish and short-sighted to me to rely on a gimmick of sorts in order to boost attendance at an event. The increase in attendance could very well lead to other tournaments following suit, which in my opinion would be a terrible path for poker to take. [You can read my thoughts on the reentry debate here]

As for the tournament, the field was chock-full of big name players (a byproduct of the reentry format and the $10,000 buy-in) and the cream has risen to the top, with some, like Team PokerStars pro Daniel Negreanu, helped by the reentry format –Negreanu has bought into the tournament five-times at the time of writing.

In all there were 503 entries when the final tally came in, with countless of those entries being second, third, fourth, and even fifth bullets.

At the end of the Day the leader-board looked like this heading into Day 3:

1. Michael Mizrachi – 272,600

2. Frank Rusnak – 255,900

3. Arthur Morris – 242,000

4. Warwick Mirzikinian – 232,200

5. Ravi Raghavan – 211,500

6. Chino Rheem – 209,000

7. Tyler Reiman – 202,700

8. Vanessa Selbst – 202,100

9. George Dunst – 201,400

10. Sorel Mizzi – 198,600

Not only is the tournament very favorable to poker pros structure-wise, but consider that entering Day 3 of the WPT Five Diamonds there are still 166 players remaining and only 54 will make the money! Players could conceivably play three full days without even seeing the money-bubble burst.

However it turns out, one thing is for certain, the Season XI stop at the Bellagio for the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamonds World Poker Classic could be as alien to the poker world as the very first WPT event back in 2002, which just so happened to be this very tournament –which was won by Gus Hansen. Obviously I feel the entire tournament is a bit disturbing, from the reentries to the structure which will see players well into Day 3 and possibly Day 4 before the money-bubble is burst; with that in mind I’ll end this article with a Tweet from Doyle Brunson who had this to say about the eponymously named event: “Still not too late to play in the tournament at Bellagio. Just can’t psych myself up to do it. The players look sooo miserable.#PokerisFun”

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