Column: Do We Want More WSOP Events?

Following the news that a third World Series of Poker event in Australia will debut in 2013, Barry Carter discusses whether or not more bracelet events outside of Las Vegas is a good thing.

This week the WSOP announced it would be holding five bracelet events in Melbourne, Australia next year. The WSOP Asia Pacific (WSOP APAC) is the second event outside of the main series in Vegas to host bracelet events, alongside the WSOPE, which has been held in London and Cannes.

This is no doubt tremendous news for anyone involved in Australian poker, but is it a good thing to have a second WSOP event on the calendar outside of the main World Series of Poker in Las Vegas?

The Grand Slam of Poker?

The WSOPE has gone from
strength to strength
Anyone who has any initial negativity towards this new event should look no further than its nearest equivalent, the World Series of Poker Europe. When this event was first announced it drew some naysayers, but with four successful festivals across two counties already in the bag, it is hard to deny the success of the WSOP spinoff.

Although the fields are smaller, and arguably softer, there are few people these days that do not consider a WSOPE bracelet as being a legitimate WSOP bracelet, and the event always captures the same kind of buzz and atmosphere of its parent event. The growth of the WSOPE is also undeniable; having had three successful years in London, the fields almost doubled when it moved to Cannes last year.

In the press release for this new event, this event was referred to as making the WSOP a series of Grand Slam events, not unlike tennis. Now there is a European, an American and an Asian Pacific event in the WSOP calendar, which covers the three major poker regions globally.

The question is, how many more bracelet events does the WSOP want to host? Would this be the final piece of the puzzle, or can we expect a WSOP South America, WSOP Africa (there already is a WSOP branded African event, but that is a WSOP circuit event), WSOP India etc? Do we want the WSOP to take over the global poker calendar, or does some of the beauty of the series lie within the 'once a year' aspect of it?

Some would say that an oversaturation of these events devalues the bracelets, and that there are too many of them. Yes, it is true that there are more bracelets awarded than there are EPT & WPT titles combined in a year, but I would say that any "devaluing" of WSOP bracelets has happened already, with some 55+ straps awarded in Vegas each year.

If the WSOP has designs on expanding significantly further, I think this would be a mistake. It would turn the WSOP from a 'World Cup of Poker' into just another tour and a rival to the EPT & WPT. Most entities outside of the WSOP accept and embrace it, and all the online poker rooms happily host satellites and send their sponsored players to it. I worry that by expanding it much more we would destroy that positive relationship between the WSOP and everyone else in poker.

Aussie Aussie Aussie

Australian poker is the big winner
The biggest winners in all of this will be everyone involved with Australian poker. The WSOPE did wonders for French poker, and the Australian market is really going to get behind this event, just like they did with Joe Hachem and the birth of the Aussie Millions. Asian poker is booming right now, and it would not surprise me if somewhere like Macau is the next place pencilled in for the WSOP APAC in a few years' time, should it be a success.

I'm not surprised at all that the Crown Casino in Melbourne was chosen to host this event; it is one of the best poker rooms I have ever played in, with enough space for thousands of players, and a brilliant hotel and facilities for the players away from home. In fact, I would say that the Crown has the best infrastructure outside of Las Vegas to host such an event of any casino in the world.

I would love to see the WSOP APAC enjoy a good few years in Melbourne before moving on to somewhere else, ideally in Asia. The Crown Casino is a great starting place to set the bar high and create a strong brand, before moving on to a new region - just like the WSOPE did in London, then Cannes. I think the biggest offering these additional WSOP events can provide is to promote and strengthen the poker markets where they take place, before moving on to raise the profile of poker somewhere else (as well as keeping it interesting and fresh for travelling players).

I'm excited about this event; I don't think it devalues the bracelet and I am delighted that they have picked a great region and venue to grow the WSOP APAC brand. I just hope the WSOP can commit to a steady, gradual, global expansion and maintain what is special and unique about the World Series of Poker, rather than becoming just another poker tour.

By Barry Carter

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Comments (10)

newest first
  • ThatGuyMatt


    I think 3 s plenty, they are spread evenly across the globe now.
  • AaronLambert


    I just really hope they don't keep adding them because in a way they downgrade the accomplishment. If you won a bracelet a few years ago when only 20+events were being played it was a big achievement.

    Now with so many events you don't really get the recognition you use to if you were to win a bracelet.

    Doesn't mean I don't want one though!!!
  • BarryCarter


    WSOP North Pole?
  • MattKaufman


    They need to hit Brazil imo before it's accurate to say they're spread across the globe.
  • OarrO


    I disagree Aaron even though there is more events now i do not think that makes the recognition less because the fields are so much bigger, poker in general is a lot bigger. More people now then ever before would actually know what a bracelet actually is therefor surely the recognition is more?


    @5 +1
  • LimburgCwboy


    They should be called CSOP (Continent Series of Poker) and then once a year the real WSOP.
    Here the final tables of all CSOP's should have a free entry.
    Then you would know who really deserves to be known as the WORLD Series of Poker Champion for that year.
  • AaronLambert


    what I'm saying is that eventually when they have so many stops the value of the bracelet diminishes due to so many being given out in a given year.

    I understand that the fields are bigger (although I think this WSOP will be smaller) but if they start giving out 200 bracelets a year it is going to lessen the meaning of winning one.
  • gadget51


    @8 Agree. A bit like a degree in the UK now; so many going to uni you have to have one to get a job in McDonalds! Most aren't worth the paper they're written on, notwithstanding how hard the students worked.
  • chenny8888


    i'm very happy with this provided the tournaments are never played 11handed. anyone who's played the smaller donkaments at crown will know what i'm talking about >_<