Turnout down nearly 50% at WPT $25k Championship

Posted by Steve Ruddock on May 20, 2012 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

Day 1 of the World Poker Tour (WPT) $25,000 Championship taking place at the Bellagio in Las Vegas saw just over 100 players register throughout the day, making this the smallest WPT Championship in the 10-year history of the tour.

In both 2010 and 2011, 195 players registered on Day 1 of the event (with late registration available well throughout Day 2 a total of 220 players took part in the 2011 WPT Championship) which was the lowest turnout since Alan Goehring won the inaugural WPT Championship back in 2003. The 103 entrants on Saturday was actually less than the 111 entrants at the 2003 WPT Championship, but with late registration it’s likely the 2012 running of the tournament will not be the least attended in the tour’s history –Late Registration is available throughout Day 2 on Sunday, and right up until Day 3 begins on Monday.

Players deciding to enter the tournament on Day 2 will begin the day with 100,000 chips and the blinds at 300.600 with a 75 chip ante (166 Big Blinds). Even players registering prior to Day 3 of the tournament will have 62.5 Big Blinds as the blinds will begin at 800/1,600 with a 200 chip ante on Day 3.

One possible explanation for the poor turnout could be the SCOOP series on PokerStars. Entering the final weekend of the popular online tournament series many poker players are out of the country in order to take part in the weekend’s tourneys, including the SCOOP Main Event which begins on Sunday. So there could very well be a rash of entries between Sunday’s Day 2 and Monday’s Day 3 as players fly in from overseas.

Of course, Black Friday is still playing a bog role in the attendance at poker tournaments around the world, and it seems like the 2012 WPT Championship is going to be one of the hardest hit.

The 103 players that registered on Day 1 of the WPT Championship played four full levels, and just five players landed on the rail throughout the day: Phil Laak, Darren Elias, Sean Jazayeri, Erik Seidel, and Heather Sue Mercer. 26 former WPT Champions remain in the hunt of the 29 former winners that entered the tournament on Day 1 (Seidel, Jazayeri, and Laak being the three former WPT Champions who hit the rail).

Here is a look at the Top 10 chip counts at the end of Day 1 courtesy of the WorldPoekrTour.com website:

1. Steve O’Dwyer – 231,750

2. Masa Kagawa – 228,675

3. Tyler Smith – 221,600

4. Guillaume Darcourt – 215,250

5. Vanessa Selbst – 207,425

6. Joe Serock – 197,000

7. Michael Mizrachi – 194, 875

8. Justin Young – 190,000

9. Isaac Haxton – 189,500

10. Farzad Bonyadi – 185,000

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