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Does the World Series of Poker Still Matter?

From 1970 through 2006 the World Series of Poker was in a constant state of growth, which is pretty impressive considering the event has and always will be the largest poker tournament in the game. But a funny thing happened when the “Poker Boom” pinnacled in 2006, the tournament series was still pulling in massive numbers (especially for the Main Event) but the prestige and the buzz around the entire tournament series has been severely lacking.

In the 1970’s the World Series of Poker was a niche event, the chances that the average person knew the names Doyle Brunson or Johnny Moss were slim to none, and if they did recognize the name it was only on a very general level. In the 1980’s the WSOP was even less of a spectacle. Not only were we getting to a point of “been-there, done-that”, but with fields that were no longer made up of solely of the best players in the world and maybe a handful of amateurs, the interest from the general public was definitely waning. By the 1990’s it wasn’t even a certainty that the WSOP would be sustainable in the future.

Fortunately by the mid-1990’s there was a renewed interest in the game, and with online poker launching in 1998 the WSOP was already seeing an increase in popularity and buzz well before Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 win. With Positively Fifth Street, Rounders, the Hole-Card camera, Chris Moneymaker, and the advancement of online poker the WSOP reached a “Golden Age” which continued for multiple years thanks to the poker bug biting countries around the globe.

All that being said, throughout it all –the highs and the lows—the WSOP really didn’t change. Instead of being proactive with wither their marketing or in the way the tournament was presented, they simply went with the flow, and in the case of the current Caesars Entertainment era they have simply supersaturated anything they deem to be popular, to the point that it becomes a watered down version of the original.

This is why I feel the WSOP is starting to get the point where it really doesn’t matter. There is no buzz to 95% of the tournaments (or if there is, it’s simply been manufactured buzz) and there is no special, individualized, identity to many of the tournaments 60+ tournaments. The WSOP is now a typical tournament series with a Main Event, some-type of Super-High Roller and High-Roller tournaments, and then meaningless preliminary events –with the only difference being these preliminary events award bracelets.

Personally I’d like to see the WSOP whittled down to maybe 20 “real” WSOP tournaments, while the other tournaments, including all events under a $5,000 buy-in being dropped as bracelet-events. I still want a massive tournament series, maybe even more tournaments, but I want a special emphasis placed on the higher-buy-in tournaments. Download Titan Poker Software for Free at TPBC!


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