WPT Legends of Poker attendance plummets

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 26, 2012 Posted in Tournament News, WPT News | No Comments »

The World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Main Event was once of the highlights of the WPT schedule, but over the years the tournament has lost its luster, and with shrinking attendance numbers the tournament has reduced its buy-in from $10,000, to $5,000, and last year down to $3,500. While attendance numbers increased, the total prize-pool has still been on the decline. Last year 757 players registered for the $3,500 Main Event, and this year, even with a reentry format for Day 1b, the tournament drew just 622 entries.

The WPT Legends of Poker is facing off against the EPT Barcelona (which wrapped up yesterday) but considering the tournament used to draw close to 500 entrants for a $10,000 Championship event, the 622 entries (with reentries accounting for a number of the total entrants) for the 2012 running of the Legends of Poker is a major disappointment, especially considering the EPT Barcelona, with a €5,000 entry fee, was the largest field in the nine year history of the tournament, attracting over 1,080 players.

As far as the tournament itself, there were plenty of big names at the event, including Jonathan Little, Tony Dunst, Carlos Mortensen, Erick Lindgren, Doc Sands, Brian Hastings, Galen Hall, Vanessa Selbst, Andy Frankenberger, Vanessa Rousso, Dee Dozier, Allen Kessler, Kathy Liebert, JC Tran, Prahlad Friedman, Barry Shulman, and Phil Collins. In all, a total of 308 of the 622 entries moved on to Day 2 of the Legends of Poker Main Event.

Here is a look at the Top 10 chip counts from Day 1a of the tournament:

1. Michael Lipman — 257,100

2. Vadim Bulavchik — 242,200

3. David Marshall — 211,000

4. Joseph Hunter — 173,700

5. David Randall — 169,500

6. Evan Orman — 146,500

7. Joseph Cheong — 112,500

8. Dwyte Pilgrim — 106,600

9. Lee Markholt — 105,400

10. Jeff Madsen — 99,500

Here is a look at the Top 10 chip counts from Day 1b of the tournament:

1. Hilmar Solvason — 227,000

2. Bhagwan Tejwani — 177,700

3. Thanh Van Tran — 159,500

4. Behzad Teranie — 158,000

5. Stephen Graner — 154,900

6. Gevork Kasabyan — 150,000

7. Steve Sung — 138,900

8. Randy Dorfman — 130,000

9. Jeff Greco — 125,000

10. Bart Hanson — 122,200

The tournament also saw a minor incident occur on Day 1a of the event when Matt Marafioti and Jonathan Aguiar got into a tussle during a break in the tournament. The two have been going back and forth on Twitter and Marafioti first started yelling at and then shoved Aguiar according to witnesses and Aguiar himself. Marafioti was at the event with a bodyguard, which makes the incident all the more surreal. Aguiar explained the incident on Twitter in the following way:

Jonathan Aguiar‏@JonAguiar

It was not a fight, Matt stood 4 feet in front of his bodyguard, started yelling at me, then tried unnecessarily to shove me to the floor

Jason Mercier also chimed in on Marafioti’s recent actions (which include the Twitter tilt of Twitter tilt’s against his on-again/off-again girlfriend Lauren Kling, and more recently serious cheating and hacking allegations):

Jason Mercier‏@JasonMercier

Retweet if u think adz should get booted from the entire poker community… #whyisheevenhere

Both Marafioti and Aguiar made it through to Day 2 (Aguiar busted Day 1a but reentered and survived Day 1b) so we’ll keep an eye on the situation, and see if the two have another run-in or if cooler heads prevail.


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