2012 WSOP Takeaways: One Drop saves the day

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jul 25, 2012 Posted in Op-Ed, WSOP News | No Comments »

There was a lot going on at the 2012 World Series of Poker. From the controversies and complaints, to David “ODB” Baker’s Ben Lambish performance, to the Big One for One Drop tournament, to Phil Hellmuth’s 12th bracelet, to Phil Ivey’s five final tables in two weeks: It was a pretty wild ride at the 2012 WSOP.

Among all of the highs and lows there several things that stood out for me during the 2012 WSOP, and in this five-part series I’ll take a look at the five things I have taken away from the 2012 World Series of Poker.

* The prevalence of backing is destroying the public’s image if the professional poker player

* There are too many events at the WSOP

* The Big One for One Drop tournament saved the 2012 WSOP

* Women are still a small percentage of poker players, but that small percentage is pretty good

* The poker world as it stood in 2003 is now officially dead

The Big One for One Drop tournament saved the 2012 WSOP

Of all the new events at the 2012 WSOP nothing captured the imagination of the poker world more than the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop. Even though the tournament was hyped before the WSOP, and the excitement and anticipation grew in the days leading up to the tournament, few people were expecting it to be as successful as it was, basically captivating the entire poker world and bringing a lot of mainstream exposure to poker.

Honestly, despite all of the great stories in 2012 –the women, Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth—without the Big One for One Drop tournament the 2012 World Series of Poker would have been an abject failure. One Drop was able to save the 2012 WSOP, and bring a positive angle back to poker considering that over a year after Black Friday the poker economy is not only decimated, but the general population at large has a very bad taste left in its mouth after all of the indictments, scandals, and bad press poker has received.

From the charity angle, to the super-wealthy-businessmen holding their own against the poker pros, to the exciting finish which saw Sam Trickett and Antonio Esfandiari outlast Phil Hellmuth and Guy Laliberte at the final table, you really couldn’t have scripted a better story for the Big One for One Drop tournament.

The Big One for One Drop will also be broadcast on ESPN, and for the first time since 2006, the casual poker fan will see something they have never seen before in poker, and $18 million first-place prize, which is 33% more than the $12,000,000 Jamie Gold pocketed for winning the 2006 WSOP Main Event. For the first time since the 2006 WSOP Main Event a poker prize-pool has gone up; which is something I consider is very, very, good for poker.

Without the One Drop tournament, the 2012 WSOP would have been lackluster at best, considering the only other events ESPN will be showing are the WSOP Main Event, which had some serious drama right up until the final two eliminations, and the WSOPC National Championship, both of which have very uninteresting final tables.

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