Big changes announced during WSOP Conference Call

Posted by Steve Ruddock on May 08, 2012 Posted in WSOP News | No Comments »

The World Series of Poker held an hour-long conference call on Tuesday detailing the 2012 WSOP, and answering questions from the poker media on a variety of topics. After talking about their expectations for the 2012 WSOP, the newly announced WSOP APAC in Australia, and the new events on the 2012 schedule, Ty Stewart Seth Palansky, and Jack Effel got down to the nuts and bolts of the call, which were the rule changes and the Q&A session with the poker media.

Rules Changes:

* No Talking About Your Hand Rule

The most controversial ruling from the 2011 World Series of Poker, the Jamie Gold inspired “No talking about your hand” rule has not simply been clarified or modified, but the WSOP has decided to do a full 180 on this issue.

Players will now be allowed to say anything about their hand that they want, provided it meets two criterions: #1 the player who is talking cannot be capable of reopening the action and #2, the player must not expose their hand to the other players.

The change is an attempt to bring back the verbal strategy of the game, as well as to liven up the atmosphere, as it was explained, “the poker room is not a church.”

* Excessive Celebration

The WSOP also announced an easing of the excessive celebration rule. Players will now be able to be a bit more vocal in celebrating victories, within reason. What precisely will be allowed and what will earn a player a penalty will be at the discretion of the WSOP staff.

Also discussed were:

1. Despite a new law in Nevada, WSOP lawyers have decided that the WSOP should not try to ban men from entering the ladies tournament. However the WSOP representatives on the conference call were standing fast in their commitment to dissuade men from entering.

2. There will be some type of recognition for the passing of poker legend Amarillo Slim, but there are no plans for a formal tribute at this time.

3. The $50k Players Championship (which is not on the ESPN TV schedule) will be played as a HORSE tournament through the final table –last year the event switched to NLHE for the final table to conform to ESPN’s wishes.

4. Chris Ferguson’s WSOP Champions banner will not be taken down or hidden, and judging by the response Russ Hamilton’s may also be on display.

5. A change to the comps system will see players receive Rewards Points instead of Food Vouchers. The Rewards Points received will be based on the tournament fee paid –while lower buy-in tournaments will see the reward decrease from a $10 food voucher to under $10 worth of Rewards Points (which can be used to purchase anything from food to sneakers), the WSOP is expanding these rewards to events ranging from satellites to WSOP Circuit events. As it was explained, “it’s a superior currency and there is more opportunity to earn points.”

6. The WSOP is optimistic the Big One for OneDrop $1 million tournament will reach the 48 player cap, with close to 40 players already preregistering.

7. Pre-registrations and hotel bookings are up from last year.

8. A media Guide is expected to be released next week.

9. With the WSOP, WSOP Europe, and WSOP APAC the World Series of Poker has a long-term goal of establishing a Poker Grand Slam.

10. There will be a live-stream of every bracelet event: ESPN live streams will use a 15-minute delay.

11. More space has been added, with the 92-table Brazilia Room now joining the Pavilion and Amazon Room. In all there will be 420 tables dedicated to the WSOP, and over 500 poker tables when the cash game tables and the Rio poker room is added in.

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