Column: Thoughts on the 2013 WSOP Schedule

Barry Carter muses over the new schedule for the 2013 World Series of Poker and shares his thoughts on some of the biggest new additions.

Yesterday the 2013 World Series of Poker schedule was announced, and as always it gave us plenty to talk about.

It's ladies' night

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Less of this
The most interesting thing about the new schedule was the clever way in which the WSOP have dealt with the problem of men entering the Ladies Event:

The event is a $10,000 buy-in, but women can enter at a discount price of $1,000.

It is not legal to refuse a man entry into a ladies' event under US law, but in Nevada it is legal to hold "Ladies' Night" events in bars and clubs, whereby entry and drinks are reduced for women. The WSOP is using this law to charge men ten times the amount to buy in.

They may be claiming they are doing it in protest, but the men who enter women's events are doing so because they think it will be a soft field. This genius move by the WSOP will make entering the women's event a much more -EV proposition and we will see just how many of them truly were protesting when entry opens for this one.

I do think there will be a couple of guys arrogant enough to enter, and in doing so will just bring even more embarrassment on themselves this time. But I think this is a brilliant move which will most likely kill off men ruining the event.

Millionaire maker

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Top heavy prizes on the way
A rare guarantee in a WSOP event, which will see the winner take at least $1 million, highlights the $1,500 re-entry event.

Details on how the prize pool will be determined remain to be seen. For example, if only 665 or less players enter, does this essentially become a winner-take-all event?

I doubt that is a question most people will need to worry about. Poker players show up for bracelets and poker players show up for guarantees, and I think this is the way forward for the WSOP.

This event should get at least 2,000 runners and it wouldn't surprise me if it breaks the non-Main Event attendance record (4,620) and hits close to 5,000 entries.

The $111,111 ONE DROP

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Defending his title at a reduced price
The $1 million ONE DROP has been announced to return in 2014, but there will still be a Super High Roller event this year.

$111,111 seems like the right level for a Super High Roller event. There are certainly enough of these in the poker calendar to justify one here.

I think this event will comfortably get over 100 runners, given that the $50,000 Players Championship always has and there are a lot more No-Limit high rollers than mixed game high rollers.

Re-entries on the rise

Last year there was one, this year there are three re-entry events. There is no denying the popularity of these events with both players and event organisers, and I only expect the number of re-entry events to increase year after year.

I do think they missed a trick by not having the first ever turbo event as a re-entry - now that would have been a fun tournament to play and report on.

Reaching critical mass?

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Has the WSOP reached its peak?
It seems like the growth of the WSOP is finally starting to slow down. This year only one extra bracelet event was added to the schedule and the number of $10,000+ events has been reduced from nine to seven (I'm not counting the Ladies Event as a $10,000+ event).

I feel this reflects where poker is going. High stakes events are just not as sustainable as they once were, and it is becoming abundantly clear that most professional players sell a big percentage of their action at the WSOP, so for most players the $10,000+ events are just for show.

The Millionaire Maker event, plus the fact that re-entries are becoming more prevalent, shows that there is more value for pros and recreational players alike to have affordable events with huge fields, rather than having a couple of hundred pros playing events only a handful of them are realistically bankrolled for.

It is always an exciting day of the year when the WSOP reveals their schedule, and this one was no different. My hat goes off to them once again for maintaining the most popular elements of the series, while also keeping the WSOP fresh and trying something new.

By Barry Carter

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Comments (3)

newest first
  • #1

    Honestly I'm surprised this Ladies' Night loophole hasn't been found before, I remember people mentioning the possibility when it first became an issue.

    Guarantees on WSOP events I'm obviously all for. Actually you know what, besides the fact that the November Nine is still around, this is a pretty ideal set of changes.
  • #2

    I still think they should have a WSOP Double or Nothing where half the field gets a bracelet
  • #3

    Maybe one of those tourneys where everyone starts off with a 1x ante stack and shoves first hand?