First major poker tournaments underway after Black Friday

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Apr 29, 2011 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

Once again the poker world finds itself in desperate need of some NFL-style “Flex Scheduling” as three major poker tournaments are once again running concurrently for the second time in less than a month. In Early April the poker world had the option to partake in any of the following tournaments over the course of a single week:

·    The PokerStars EPT Berlin
·    The WPT Hollywood Poker Open
·    The PokerStars NAPT Mohegan Sun
·    The World Series of Poker Circuit Series St Louis

Now this week the options to poker players include:

·    The PokerStars EPT San Remo
·    The WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
·    The World Series of Poker Circuit Series Championship at Caesar’s Palace

There is one major difference between the two crowded poker tournament schedules of course, as Black Friday happened to fall right in between these busy weeks of live tournament poker!

As a numbers guy I was hoping to get a good idea on how Black Friday will affect the live tournament poker industry, but two of the three tournaments are both inaugural events so the attendance numbers cannot be compared with previous numbers. One tournament, the EPT San Remo, however is not only a long-standing tournament, but it is also one of the most popular tournament stops in the world, so the over 20% decline in attendance is a little disheartening. On the other hand the attendance at both US stops is much higher than I anticipated.

Here is a look at the numbers from the three tournaments:

·    EPT San Remo = 987 (as I mentioned above this is a 20% drop from 2010’s 1,240 entrants, and even well below 2009’s 1,178 entrants)
·    WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown = 433 (a very high total for a $10,000 buy-in WPT tournament)
·    World Series of Poker Circuit Championship at Caesar’s Palace = 487 (a very pro heavy field turned out for this $1,600 buy-in tournament)

The real measure of Black Friday’s impact will likely not be known until Late may when we have not only the World Poker Tour Championship at the Bellagio, but also the beginning of the World Series of Poker, which many feel will be the hardest hit poker tournament series due to the enormous amount of online qualifiers PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker sent to the WSOP every year –estimates put last year’s WSOP Main Event qualifiers from these two sites alone at around 2,800 people!

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