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Posts Tagged ‘world series of poker’

WSOPC National Championship has New Home

One of the more intriguing tournaments of the year is the season-ending World Series of Poker Circuit Series National Championship. The WSOPC National Championship is an exclusive tournament, open to the winners of circuit series Main events as well as other qualifiers based on points earned during the WSOPC season, and last year the National Championship was opened-up to specific players who must buy-in for $10,000 if they want to compete –the Top 100 players on the WSOP POY eligible leader-board which can be found here: http://www.wsop.com/2012/circuit/national-championship-qualifiers.asp.

Considering the event is a $1,000,000 freeroll every player eligible makes the trip to the event, and with a field full of “second-tier” players the tournament is somewhat attractive to the 100 players eligible to buy-in to the tournament.

As a new tournament (the WSOPC National Championship was introduced in 2011) as well as one of the few tournaments that have strict eligibility requirements the event has undergone some serious changes in its short life, both to the structure and to where and when the tournament takes place. In 2012 the National Championship took place at the World Series of Poker, and was one of the last tournaments before the WSOP Main Event: Ryan Eriquezzo won the event, beating the field of 157 players. In 2011 the WSOPC National Championship took place just before the World Series of Poker tournament series in Las Vegas: Sam Barnhart won the tournament, defeating the 100 player field –in 2011 the WSOPC National Championship didn’t allow other players to buy into the tournament.

This year the WSOPC National Championship will be played away from Las Vegas and the World Series of Poker, taking place at the Harrah’s New Orleans from May 22-24, 2013; still just before the WSOP tournament series kicks-off in Las Vegas but quite far away for any of the 100 eligible players who may be thinking about participating in the WSOPC National Championship.

Last year all of the big names were already in Las Vegas gearing up for the WSOP Main Event, so the chance to enter a $10k tournament a few days before was very appealing, and in fact 57 of the 100 eligible players entered the tournament. With this year’s tournament taking place thousands of miles away, before the WSOP is in full swing, it’s unlikely the tournament will attract anywhere near the 57 extra entries they pulled-in in 2012.

There are a total of 100 spots in the $1,000,000 freeroll: Players who are given automatic entries into the tournament include the Main E vent champion at each WSOP Circuit Series stop, as well as the Player of the Series (or Casino Champion as the WSOPC calls them). The remainder of the spots will be filled by the top players on the WSOPC Player of the Year standings that are not already eligible. Download for free our latest Titan Poker software here.

 

WSOP APAC to Feature “Accumulator” Tournament

Earlier this week the World Series of Poker revealed the full schedule for their upcoming tournament series at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia. The WSOP Asia-Pacific, or WSOP APAC for short, will feature seven separate events, including five WSOP bracelet events. In addition to the five bracelet tournaments the WSOP APAC will also host a $50,000 buy-in High-Roller tournament and an invite-only Caesar’s Cup event, pitting US players vs. European players vs. Asia-Pacific players.

Among the bracelet events will be a first of its kind “Accumulator” tournament, where players are allowed to enter any or all of the three starting days and any chips they accumulate during those days will be combined when Day 2 begins. The structure seems to be a tweak of the popular reentry format, but in the case of the accumulator, players do not have to bust out of the event to take part in a second Day 1 starting flight, and of course the combining of the players chip stacks from all three days will be another wrinkle players will have to think about when formulating their strategies.

This will be the WSOP’s first foray into the burgeoning Asia-Pacific market as Caesar’s Entertainment tries to build the WSOP brand outside of Las Vegas and globally, working off of the success of WSOP Circuit events in the Us and Canada, the WSOP Europe tournament series, and the WSOP Africa tournaments. The WSOP has high hopes for the WSOP APAC as the tournaments will count towards Player of the Year points, in addition to the 2013 WSOP in Las Vegas this summer and the 2013 WSOP Europe that will be held in Paris, France in October.

In the press release WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart stated, “Ever since Australian Joe Hachem won the WSOP Main Event in 2005, we dreamed of the day we could hear Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi Oi, Oi on native soil,” Stewart when on to say, “We can’t wait for the first WSOP Asia-Pacific to begin, and we hope with a solidified schedule, players from around the globe will plan their trip to Melbourne in April as we make WSOP history awarding the first bracelets in the Southern Hemisphere.”

Below you will find the full schedule of events that was posted on the WSOP.com website (Bracelet events are bolded):

Date Day Start Event # Tournament Buy-In
4/4/2013 Thursday 6 PM 1 No-Limit Hold’em Accumulator – Day 1 Flight A (5 Day Event) AUD$1,100
4/5/2013 Friday 12 PM 1 No-Limit Hold’em Accumulator – Day 1 Flight B (4 Day Event) AUD$1,100
4/6/2013 Saturday 12 PM 1 No-Limit Hold’em Accumulator – Day 1 Flight C (3 Day Event) AUD$1,100
4/7/2013 Sunday 12 PM 1 No Limit Hold’em Accumulator – Day 2 (Combine Stacks & Fields)  
4/7/2013 Sunday 4 PM 2 Pot-Limit Omaha – Day 1 (3 Day Event) AUD$1,650
4/8/2013 Monday 12 PM 2 Pot-Limit Omaha – Day 2  
4/8/2013 Monday 12:30 PM 1 No Limit Hold’em Accumulator – Final Table  
4/8/2013 Monday 4 PM 3 Mixed Event (3 day event) AUD$2,200
4/9/2013 Tuesday 12 PM 3 Mixed Event – Day 2  
4/9/2013 Tuesday 12:30 PM 2 Pot Limit Omaha – Final Table  
4/9/2013 Tuesday 4 PM 4 6-Handed No Limit Hold’em (3 day event) AUD$5,000
4/10/2013 Wednesday 12 PM 4 6-Handed No Limit Hold’em – Day 2  
4/10/2013 Wednesday 12:30 PM 3 Mixed Event – Final Table  
4/11/2013 Thursday 12:30 4 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em – Final Table  
4/11/2013 Thursday 6 PM 5 WSOP ASIA-PACIFIC MAIN EVENT – No Limit Hold’em AUD$10,000
4/12/2013 Friday 2 PM 5 WSOP APAC MAIN EVENT – Day 2  
4/13/2013 Saturday 2 PM 5 WSOP APAC MAIN EVENT – Day 3  
4/13/2013 Saturday 4 PM   High Roller No-Limit Hold’em w/Re-Buys (2-Day Event) AUD$50,000
4/14/2013 Sunday 12 PM   Caesars Cup Invitational – Asia Pacific vs. Europe vs. The Americas  
4/14/2013 Sunday 2 PM 5 WSOP APAC MAIN EVENT – Day 4  
4/14/2013 Sunday 4 PM   High Roller No-Limit Hold’em Final Table  
4/15/2013 Monday 2 PM 5 WSOP Asia-Pacific Main Event Championship – Final Table  

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Previewing the 2012 WSOP Final Table

After a three month interlude the October Nine are ready to resume their battle for the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event title. At 8 PM EST the final nine competitors that began their journeys back in July will sit down under the bright lights of the Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio All Suites in Las Vegas, Nevada with poker immortality and a potential prize increase of nearly $8 million on the line.

Here is a glimpse at the seating assignments and chip counts of the October Nine:

  • Seat 1 – Russell Thomas with 24,800,000 chips
  • Seat 2 – Jacob Balsinger with 13,115,000 chips
  • Seat 3 – Jeremy Ausmus with 9,805,000 chips
  • Seat 4 – Steven Gee with 16,860,000 chips
  • Seat 5 – Greg Merson with 28,725,000 chips
  • Seat 6 – Jesse Sylvia with 43,875,000 chips
  • Seat 7 – Robert Salaburu with 15,155,000 chips
  • Seat 8 – Andras Koroknai with 29,375,000 chips
  • Seat 9 – Michael Esposito with 16,260,000 chips

Like last year, the final table will be shown virtually live (on a 15-minute delay) on both ESPN 2 as well as online at ESPN.go, allowing the poker world to follow right along with the action as the Main Event final table unfolds. When six players have been eliminated the remaining three players will bag-up their chips for the night, returning at 8 PM EST Tuesday night to play down to the winner, this time with the action shown live on ESPN, and once again online at ESPN.go.

So what are the storylines to watch? So far the talk has been about how “uninteresting” this final table compared to year’s past, but there are definitely some angles that could make for must-see-TV:

Will a new superstar be crowned?

With a slew of cash-game grinders at the final table there is a very good chance that the winner of the 2012 WSOP Main Event could become one of the “Next Big Thing’s” in poker. Jacob Balsinger, Greg Merson, Jesse Sylvia, Russell Thomas, or Jeremy Ausmus all have the potential to be the next poker superstar if they can show a little personality, and of course win the Main Event!

Jacob Balsinger’s quest to become the Youngest Champion

Balsinger has the possibility of breaking Joe Cada’s record as the youngest WSOP Main Event Champion. While the past few WSOP champions have all been in their early 20’s, Balsinger has a chance to be the first 21 year-old to win the title.

Eight Americans and a lone Hungarian

Andras Koroknai will be representing the world at the final table as he squares off against eight US poker players, harking back to the days before online poker, when US players dominated the tournament. In the past few years the final table has been very international, but this year it is the Americans who dominated… unless of course Koroknai can channel his fictitious countryman Kaiser Sose and outwit them all –go watch The Usual Suspects if you don’t get the reference!

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Is Hellmuth the Greatest NL Hold’em Tournament Player Ever?

He is known for his temperamental “poker brat” personality and extravagant, self-promoting entrances to casinos. But no one can deny it – Phil Hellmuth has won more World Series of Poker bracelets than anyone else. Now the media is calling him the greatest No Limit Hold’em tournament player ever.

On October 4, 2012 Hellmuth won his 13th World Series of Poker bracelet when he defeated Sergii Baranov in heads-up play, outlasting a starting field of 420 players in the €10,450 World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) Main Event. Hellmuth captured the first place prize of €1,022,376, bringing his lifetime tournament earnings to $17,493,271 and ranking him 3rd in all-time winnings behind Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Ivey and just ahead of Sam Trickett.

Not only does this win extend Hellmuth’s lead as the player with the most WSOP titles, but it also made him the only player to ever win both the WSOP Main Event and the WSOPE Europe Main Event. It is the perfect cap to Hellmuth’s WSOPE stint as he managed to score an impressive four cashes during the seven-event series. The win also puts Hellmuth in the lead for the WSOP Player of the Year race.

Phil first came on the poker scene in 1989, when at age 24 he defeated defending champion Johnny Chan to win the World Series of Poker Main Event and its first prize of $755,000. His record as youngest Main Event winner would last until Peter Eastgate took the title in 2008.

Except for the earlier win this year, all of his other bracelets have been in Hold’em events. Hellmuth came close to winning his 12th bracelet in 2011 when he finished second in three separate events, including the $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship.

Following his win in Cannes, Hellmuth told the media: “This was the best poker I’ve ever played in my life, I know that for certain. I played as good as I can possibly play, caught a few breaks and here I am. I’m very thankful.”

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Heimiller and Raymer Take Down Poker Tournaments

In the past week Greg Raymer and his poker doppelganger with a moustache, Dan Heimiller, both won major tournaments, the $1,500 HPT Main Event in Missouri and the $1,500 WSOPC Main Event in Indiana respectively. This is Heimiller’s first major tournament victory since he captured his only WSOP bracelet back in 2002. For Raymer the HPT victory was the second HPT Main Event the 2004 WSOP Main Event Champion has won in 2012, a feat that puts him atop the HPT Player of the Year leader-board at the moment.

Greg Raymer wins $1,500 Heartland Poker Tour stop in River City, Missouri

Greg Raymer has been a busy man since winning the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2004. First, “Fossilman” was signed to a sponsorship deal by PokerStars where he served as one of the main faces of the site until this year, and Raymer has also thrown his hat into the lobbying ring serving on the Board of Directors for both FairPlay USA and the Poker Players Alliance.

In the meantime, if you think Raymer’s poker game may be suffering from all this added work, think again. Raymer has just won his second Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Main Event of 2012, becoming only the second player in the tour’s history with two HPT Main Events.

Raymer’s latest triumph came at the HPT Missouri II No Limit Hold’em Main Event where he bested a field of 336 players to take home the title.

Here is a look at the final table payouts from the event:

  1. Greg Raymer – $121,973
  2. Ryan Hickey – $69,034
  3. Alona Sushynina – $43,908
  4. Shawn Roberts – $37,810
  5. Penelope Banhidy – $29,272
  6. Stan Jablonski – $23,906
  7. Dennis Phillips – $14,636
  8. Marvin Glowczewski – $13,904
  9. Brad Albrinck – $12,246

And here is a look at the payouts from Raymer’s HPT victory earlier this year in New Mexico:

  1. Greg Raymer – $71,875
  2. Robert Crawford – $42,500
  3. Scott Dougherty – $26,875
  4. Benjie Benaviden – $21,550
  5. Allan Hedin – $16,250
  6. Steven Carruthers – $14,375
  7. John Bechard – $11,875
  8. Alberto Herrera – $10,625
  9. Julian Melancon – $9,375

Dan Heimiller wins the World Series of Poker Circuit stop in Elizabeth, Indiana

If you’re wondering how a man who has been playing poker tournaments since 1992 can be relatively unknown despite over $3.4 million in career tournament winnings Dan Heimiller’s career can sum it up perfectly. Heimiller won a WSOP bracelet just before the poker boom, and his victory on the WSOPC this past week was his first major win since. So despite final tables, six-figure cashes, and the respect of his peers, Heimiller has plied his trade in relative anonymity.

Here is a look at the final table results from Heimiller’s WSOPC victory:

  1. Dan Heimiller — $117,300
  2. Jonathan Taylor — $72,517
  3. Chad Eveslage — $52,903
  4. Timothy Chang — $39,240
  5. Sean Winter — $29,560
  6. Ki Kim — $22,609
  7. Joseph Worth — $17,545
  8. Charles Furey — $13,811
  9. Kevin Davis — $11,027

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Elisabeth Hille Parlays WSOP Main Event Run into Betfair Sponsorship

Two women were battling for a spot at the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event final table, and while both fell just short (Gaelle Baumann in 10th place and Elisabeth Hille in 11th place) it seems that at least one of the ladies has already cashed-in or her newfound fame; fame that will likely only rise as ESPN starts its WSOP Main Event coverage in the coming weeks. According to a report in WPT Magazine, Elisabeth Hille has signed a long-term deal with Betfair to be the site’s newest sponsored pro.

Hille was sporting a Betfair patch during her WSOP Main Event run, and now it appears that her sponsorship deal is official, and the Norwegian poker player will join the likes of 2008 WSOP Main Event Champion Peter Eastgate, John Tabatabai and Hans Vogl as Betfair poker pros. Along with Hille, Betfair also signed poker pro John Driscoll at the same time, but of course Hille’s signing (fresh off her Main Event run) overshadows the signing of Driscoll.

Hille’s official role with Betfair will be as the site’s poker ambassador for Norway, quite a different job than the full-time waitress position she held going into the 2012 WSOP!

The 2012 WSOP Main Event was Hille’s first live tournament cash according to thehendonmob.com’s database, which likely makes her one of the most inexperienced players ever signed to a major sponsorship deal, but as she showed throughout her Main Event, Elisabeth is a fearless aggressive poker player, and is unlikely to be intimidated in future events.

So how did this waitress end up in the WSOP Main Event? According to WPT Magazine Hille’s entry came from her having a 50% stake in her boyfriend Harald Olsen, who finished 22nd in event #59 for $20,700. The $10,000 Hille pocketed from her percentage was then used for her WSOP Main Event buy-in, which she parlayed into a score of nearly $600k and now a sponsorship deal with Betfair!

The signing of Hille is the latest sponsorship deal offered to a young, female, poker player that many would say is undeserving of such an honor (considering this is her only live tournament cash of her career). But this speaks more to the poker landscape and the incredible shortage of female players in poker that poker sites will sign virtually any attractive female player who gains a little bit of notoriety in the poker world. It’s quite likely that Hille’s counterpart in the 2012 WSOP Main Event, Gaelle Baumann who finished one-spot ahead of Elisabeth, will also land a sponsorship deal in the near future.

2012 WSOP Main Event Final Table Set

The final nine players in the 2012 World Series of poker Main Event Championship were determined late on Monday night, and the final table bubble produced some heart-wrenching moments, as it always seems to do. With 11 players remaining two women were still vying for one of the coveted spots at the official final table of nine players, and it seemed like the entire poker world was sitting on the edge of their seats, hoping that for the first time during the Poker Boom a woman would be featured in the biggest poker tournament in the world.

Alas, both Elisabeth Hille and Gaelle Baumann fell in 11th and 10th respectively, leaving nine men to battle for the World Series of Poker Main Event crown for the 17th straight year. Baumann’s 10th place is the best since Annie Duke accomplished the same feat at the 2000 WSOP Main Event, making the unofficial final table, but failing to reach the final nine.

With poker in a state of flux (some would say in absolute shambles) after Black Friday, the game needed a really good story to spike interest in the general public once again. With Black Friday, Full Tilt Poker, and the Epic Poker League leaving poker with multiple black-eyes, a truly positive story was needed. But as the big names fell on Day 6 the weight of the poker world fell on Hille’s and Baumann’s shoulders, as the only remaining story that would capture national attention would be a woman at the final table.

The final table will feature eight US players, including two bracelet winners in Greg Merson and Steven Gee, as well as Jeremy Ausmus who is working on his ninth cash of the 2012 WSOP tournament series. The lone international player is Andras Koroknai, the 2012 WPT LA Poker Classic champion.

Here is a look at the final nine players that will reconvene at the Rio in October to play for the 2012 WSOP Main Event title and the $8.5 million first-place prize:

  • Seat 1: Russell Thomas – 24,800,000
  • Seat 2: Jacob Balsiger – 13,115,000
  • Seat 3: Jeremy Ausmus – 9,805,000
  • Seat 4: Steven Gee – 16,860,000
  • Seat 5: Greg Merson – 28,725,000
  • Seat 6: Jesse Sylvia – 43,875,000
  • Seat 7: Robert Salaburu – 15,155,000
  • Seat 8: Andras Koroknai – 29,375,000
  • Seat 9: Michael Esposito – 16,260,000

Each player walked away from the Rio last night with 9th place prize-money, $754,798, and will now have a couple months to perfect their poker game and study-up on their opponents.

Just the Facts: The Statistics for the 2012 WSOP

Total Prize-Pool

The total prize-pool awarded throughout the entirety of the 2012 World Series of Poker was by far the largest in the history of the tournament series; in fact it was a 15.6% increase over the previous record set at the 2011 WSOP. In all $222,035,192 was won daring the 2012 WSOP, but of course this statistic does need to have a caveat attached, as the $1,000,000 buy-in Big One for One Drop tournament was responsible for a massive $42,666,672.

The 2012 WSOP Main Event pulled in an impressive $62,021,200.

Female Winners and Final Tables

The 2012 WSOP will likely go down as the Year of the One Drop tournament, but it could very well be known as the Year of the Women, as the ladies had perhaps their best WSOP of all-time, winning two three bracelets (one of which was obviously the Ladies Championship) and making more final tables than in any other WSOP tournament series: 12.

The 12 final tables by females at the 2012 WSOP dwarfs the five final tables they made in 2011 and is the most by women at any WSOP, and their bracelet haul is the best since 2004, when Hung Doan, Cyndy Violette, Annie Duke and Kathy Liebert all won bracelets.

The Main Event

The 6,598 entrants in the 2012 World Series of poker Main Event was the fifth most in the history of the tournament series. Here is a look at the WSOP attendance numbers for the Main Event since 2003:

  • 2003 WSOP — 839 entrants
  • 2004 WSOP — 2,576 entrants
  • 2005 WSOP — 5,619 entrants
  • 2006 WSOP — 8,773 entrants
  • 2007 WSOP — 6,358 entrants
  • 2008 WSOP — 6,844 entrants
  • 2009 WSOP — 6,494 entrants
  • 2010 WSOP — 7,319 entrants
  • 2011 WSOP — 6,865 entrants
  • 2012 WSOP – 6,598 entrants

Player of the Year Race is Wide Open

With zero double-bracelet winners the WSOP Player of the Year award could go to any number of players, depending on their WSOP Main Event performance and how they fare at the 2012 WSOP Europe. This is the first time since 1999 that no player won multiple bracelets during the WSOP.

Compare that to 2009 when five players won at least two bracelets, including Phil Ivey and Jeffrey Lisandro – Lisandro won three bracelets in 2009, all in Seven-Card-Stud disciplines.

WSOP All-Time Records

As you might expect, Phil Hellmuth’s name is all over the World Series of Poker record-book, but I don’t think too many people realize just how astounding his WSOP accomplishments have been. Phil is the all-time leader in the three most important categories at the WSOP, and really nobody else is even close.

  • Bracelets (12) – Phil Hellmuth
  • Cashes (91) — Phil Hellmuth
  • Final Tables (47) – Phil Hellmuth

Money Bubble Set to Burst at the 2012 WSOP Main Event

After three full days of play in the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event the number of players still in the hunt for the coveted title has been slashed down to just 720 players from the starting field of 6,598. Unfortunately for 54 of those players their 2012 WSOP Main Event will end with nothing to show for it, as only 666 players will make the money on Day 4.

Day 3 saw 1,753 players return to the Rio with their eyes on making a deep run in the 2012 WSOP Main Event, but for many of these players it was simply not meant to be, including the likes of Phil Galfond, 2011 WSOP Champion Pius Heinz, 2008 WSOP Champion Peter Eastgate, Barry Greenstein, and the man who was the face of the 2011 WSOP Ben Lamb, all of whom hit the rail on Day 3.

Surviving the day, with varying levels of success, were Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Selbst, Sorel Mizzi, Jason Somerville, Marcel Luske, Antonio Esfandiari, Mike McDonald, Maria Ho, Johnny Chan, John Juanda, Chris Moorman, Andrew Lichtenberger, Freddy Deeb, Phil Collins, Joe Cheong, Erick Lindgren, Liv Boeree, JC Tran, David “ODB” Baker, Jackie Glazier, Huck Seed, Matt Marifioti, Christian Harder, Dan Shak, Bernard Lee, Marvin Rettenmaier, Jason Mercier, NHL star Roberto Luongo, and actor Kevin Pollack.

Here is a look at the Top 10 chip counts heading into the all-important Day 4 of the 2012 WSOP Main Event, which includes three well-known players in Sean Rice, Leo Wolpert, and Paul Volpe:

  1. Dave D’Alesandro — 1,100,000
  2. Sean Rice — 1,076,000
  3. Jacob Balsiger — 1,065,000
  4. Leo Wolpert — 1,003,500
  5. Ben Greenberg — 963,000
  6. A.J. Jejelowo — 928,500
  7. Daniel Rudd — 834,500
  8. Jonathan Seelbach — 824,000
  9. Michael Ferrell — 821,000
  10. Paul Volpe — 820,000

Amazingly, after three full days of play nobody has separated themselves for the pack as less than 100,000 chips separate the top four players on the leader-board. Day 2 chip-leader Gaelle Baumann also survived Day 3, but only increased her stack ever so slightly, bagging-up just under 600,000 chips at the end of the night.

Day 4 will once again begin at Noon local time, and is scheduled to see five more 2-hour levels play out. It could be a very long day depending on how long the hand-for-hand play goes this year, possibly adding upwards of 30-minutes to an hour to the length of Day 4.

Did One Drop Diminish the Prestige of the WSOP Main Event

The World Series of poker Main Event is now upon us and in years past this was virtually the only story, the only tournament, that players talked about as life-changing. But this year there was a second tournament held at the WSOP that rivaled, if not exceeded the allure of the Main Event, The Big One for One Drop, which crowned Antonio Esfandiari as an $18 million man, and even runner-up Sam Trickett pocketed more than the expected winner of the WSOP Main Event in 2012. So the question is: has the Big One for One Drop tournament diminished the prestige of the WSOP Main Event?

A lot of people are finding the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event a bit anti-climactic after the Big One for One Drop, but personally I find both tournaments to be unique in their own ways. The Big One for One Drop was sort of an All-Star game for poker players and wealthy businessmen; something the average person simply doesn’t have a chance of taking part in, but something even beyond the means of the well-to-do people in society. On the other hand, the WSOP Main Event is, and always has been, the tournament that puts the amateurs on equal footing with the professionals. The buy-in is not so large that it shuts out 99% of the population, and over the years we’ve seen a number of amateur players excel in the Main Event.

The One Drop tournament featured amateurs too, but these were amateurs who have received coaching from top-level players; who regularly play against the best in the world; and for whom the sting of losing $1,000,000 can quickly be erased by a glimpse at their stock portfolio. Basically, the One Drop amateurs were not playing for life changing money, where virtually every single participant in the WSOP Main Event is in fact entering with the hopes of forging a new life with a deep run.

Even though One Drop gave us pause to reconsider what we thought possible in the poker world (who considered a $1,000,000 buy-in poker tournament feasible in a post-Black Friday world, let alone reaching its 48-player cap with an alternate list!?!?!), the WSOP Main Event will still be the Everest to One Drop’s K-2, thanks to the dynamics of the tournament and its entrants. For players bubbling the WSOP Main Event or losing a heartbreaking hand that would have given them the chip-lead but instead sends them home in 50th place, there are no smiles and “it was a great experience” interviews afterward; the emotion is there, raw and palpable, and we can all put ourselves in their shoes.

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