Countdown to the 2011 WSOP: Side-Stories

Posted by Steve Ruddock on May 28, 2011 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

We are T-Minus 3 and counting until the start of the 2011 World Series of Poker on May 31, when the $500 Casino Employees tournament and the $25,000 Heads-Up No limit Holdem Championship get underway, and in this article I’ll take a look at some of the side-stories, which will likely receive very little mainstream poker press, that will be taking place over the course of the tournament series.

Here is a look at the four side-stories you should keep your eye on during the 2011 WSOP:


One of the big questions in the wake of Black Friday is, who will be patched up at the major tournaments, and whose patches will they be wearing? My guess is that you will see plenty of Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars patches around the Rio, but anyone at a featured television table will likely be asked to remove them.

It will also be interesting to see how a site like Lock Poker deals with sponsorship issues. Lock Poker has a huge stable of top poker talent, so it will be interesting to see if they are allowed to wear patches.

Will Team Full Tilt be there?

Another Black Friday quandary is whether or not some of the supposed higher-ups from Full Tilt Poker will make the trip to the WSOP. Players like Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, and Phil Ivey were notable absences at the recently concluded WPT Championship, and have been persona non grata since Black Friday occurred. Although most of the other Team Full Tilt pros –Erik Seidel, Erick Lindgren, Mike Matusow, et al.—were present.

Will licensed rooms be allowed to advertise?

In addition to the issue of Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars patches, it is also unclear as to whether ANY online poker room will be allowed to advertise or “patch-up” players during the WSOP. So it will be interesting to see if sites like Party Poker and Everest Poker will suddenly be the dominant names at the tables.

Will the online pros try their hand at live poker?

The final storyline I’m very interested in is how many online professional poker players make the trek to Las Vegas to play in the WSOP; not just to play in the tournaments, but how many will be there trying their hand in the cash games that will be taking place all over town. My guess is the 2011 WSOP will be either boom or bust for some online players whose other options are extremely limited –which may cause them to risk a good portion of their bankroll.

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