Future of WSOP Circuit Series is in Doubt
The World Series of Poker announced their plans for a “Poker Tour” at the height of the poker boom in 2005, and with the WSOP brand attached the decision-makers must have felt they had a slam-dunk winner on their hands. Fast forward to 2010 and the now struggling poker tournament tour is wondering what it can do to increase attendance and exposure.
The highest payday in 2010 was $264,000; in 2009 it was $322,000; in 2008 it was $499,000, with 2 other tourneys topping the $400k mark; in 2007 the top prize was $563,000, again with 2 other tournaments topping $500k and 3 others at $372k+; in 2006 the WSOP Circuit awarded a $755,000 and a $648k first prize; and in 2005 there was a $787,000 prize and the lowest first-place prize-money was $335k (better than the top prize in 2009 and 2010)!
The WSOP Circuit Series has tried everything from lowering buy-ins, to adding new stops, to decreasing the number of stops the tour makes and so far nothing has improved. The talk now is whether they should award a WSOP bracelet to the winners of Circuit Series events –players and poker enthusiasts have come down on both sides of this issue—but I don’t see the chance at gold bracelet changing people’s perception of the WSOP Circuit poker tournaments.
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