PLO8 Tourney shows why the WSOP should embrace variety

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jun 18, 2013 Posted in Op-Ed, WSOP News | No Comments »

wsop las vegasI’ve been on quite the “The World Series of Poker needs to improve the selection of events they offer” kick as of late, and plenty of people in the poker world have jumped right on the bandwagon with me. Obviously, the big hurdle with adding more Stud, Limit, and dare I say it, Draw tournaments to the WSOP schedule is proving to Caesars Entertainment that this can be a profitable move.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect a Limit Holdem tournament or a Razz event to draw the same kind of fields we see for the $1k and $1,500 NLHE events, but there is plenty of evidence to show that players will participate in these events under the right conditions, and given a few years I think the field sizes will be far better than most people can currently imagine.

Look no further than the $1,500 PLO8 tournament that kicked-off on Monday and drew nearly 1,000 entrants. If a PLO8 event can draw 1,000 players than imagine if we put a little more emphasis on the other formats and made them each have a $1,500 and a $10k buy-in? This would help to solve the long-term solvency of these games, and at the same time improve the worth of WSOP bracelets (more on this below).

Make them all $1,500 and Bump them up to $10k

If I had to choose one area where I think the WSOP has gone completely off the rails it would be the price-points they are offering. In my opinion, offering anything but $1,500 and $10k tournaments is a huge mistake by the WSOP.

All $2,500 and $3,000 tournaments do is scare off half the field as most people are willing to take a flyer on a $1,500 event, but when you start talking $3k they only want to play in their best poker formats.

And all $5,000 tournaments do is cut the prize-pool in half. Anyone who is confident enough in their skills to enter a $5k tournament in the current poker climate is certainly going to play if the event is a $10k. In fact, I would argue more people would consider playing due to the larger prize-pools.

Silver and Gold

Another area where I feel the WSOP has made a tactical error is by making every bracelet (with the exception of a few) equal. There is no reason that a player who wins one of the 11 $1,500 NLHE bracelets this year should get the same recognition/publicity as a player who wins one of the $5k events, which are essentially the Championship tournaments.

Seriously, if the WSOP wants people to take shots at the $10k events than they have to have some prestige over the $1,500 events. My advice: Silver bracelets for $1,500 tournaments and Gold Bracelets for the $10k’s.

And please don’t tell me about history; this tournament has been changed so many times that nothing is untouchable in my opinion. Bracelets weren’t introduced until 1976, and for decades they were considered baubles. It wasn’t until bracelets started equaling sponsorship dollars that people started taking them seriously. Considering the WSOP has expanded from one, to five, to ten, to twenty, to thirty, and now to over sixty events I think its high-time we started separating the bracelet winners into two categories.


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