Things the WSOP Got Right this Year

Posted by James Guill on May 29, 2011 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

The 2011 WSOP kicks off on Tuesday, and this years event is beginning to shape up to be one of the best in history.  Players can debate whether or not the event will see any shrinkage, but many can still agree that the schedule looks strong.  In the past, I have been very critical when the WSOP has gotten things wrong in regards to either their schedule or running the event.  This time, I would like to go over a few things that I think they got right so far.

Moving the $50,000 Poker Players Championship to Later in the Schedule

Last year the $50,000 Poker Players Championship was held as the first open event of the 2011 WSOP.  While that was great for creating buzz on the first day of the series, it really did very little to build anticipation during the series.

This year, the event has been moved to Event #55 on the schedule.  This will allow for more of a buildup during the series, and it may even help the attendance.  Those chasing the Player of the Year title or those that have done well earlier in the series will now have the choice to play in the Poker Players Championship.  This is a great lead-in for the Main Event.

WSOP Rematches

I am seldom a big fan of “made for TV” events, even if they are run by the World Series of Poker.  However, this is one made for TV event that I actually am looking forward to.

Who wouldn’t want to see rematches from some of the greatest heads-up matches in WSOP history.  Heads-up poker is such a popular form of the game and this give players  a chance to relive some of the old matches.  In addition, we get to see if the extra experience gained by the winners and losers will make a difference.

I wish that Stu Ungar was still alive for this one.  Ungar vs. Brunson in a rematch of the 1980 Main Event would have been classic.

Initiative to Expand and Add More Mixed Games

One reason I so enjoy the WSOP over any other event in the world is the fact that they go out of their way to incorporate every brand of poker feasible.  This year, they added Badugi to the 10-Game mix at the WSOP.  This is the first time that game has been spread at the WSOP.

Next, the half Omaha 8, half Stud 8 event has been resurrected on the schedule.  Split pot fanatics were really upset when this was removed and I applaud Jack and company for adding it back to the schedule.

I have been a part of every WSOP since 2006 in one aspect or another and I have seen the event go through an amazing transformation.  Every year, the event has either been improved or streamlined to bring players the best poker experience possible and still accommodate the masses that descend upon the Rio.  While nobody is perfect, the staff that run the event strive for such, and as long as they continue to, I expect to see improvements each year at the WSOP.

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