Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cherokee Bound

Am readying this morning to drive over to the western part of the state to Harrah’s Cherokee where I’ll be helping cover the WSOP Circuit Main Event there from Friday through Monday for PokerNews.

Have to say I’m kind of excited about being there for this first ever WSOP Circuit stop in my home state. Am also excited to be driving to one of these suckers rather than flying. Not that I mind flying so much, but there’s obviously an added convenience to being able to throw my stuff in the car and go. I mean I can take full tubes of toothpaste, big bottles of water, my guitar... practically anything!

Okay, so I probably won’t take my guitar. Have a feeling it’s going to be a busy time up there, anyway, with few spots for interludes.

Amid the packing, I found myself searching through results from other WSOP Circuit events during the 2012-13 season, looking at the numbers of entries for each event. I had been hearing that the turnouts at Cherokee for the preliminary events were especially big, and so was curious to compare how they look alongside what has happened elsewhere on the WSOP-C this season.

As I was mentioning yesterday, there are 20 stops total on the 2012-13 WSOP-C schedule, each featuring 12 different events. The Main Event is always a $1,675 buy-in NLHE tourney with a couple of Day 1 flights that allow for re-entries. Sometimes both Day 1 flights are scheduled for the same day, and sometimes they are on separate days. (The Cherokee one will have Day 1a on Friday and Day 1b on Saturday.)

The other 11 events are usually mostly NLHE events with buy-ins ranging from $365 to $1,125, with most stops throwing in a single PLO event along the way. A couple have other variations in there, too; for instance, at Horseshoe Hammond last October they actually had a H.O.R.S.E. event, a Limit O/8 event, and a PLO with rebuys event mixed in with the usual fare.

But for the most part the schedules are fairly uniform. So even though I was talking about yesterday how hard -- or even foolhardy -- it is to compare tournaments, it’s possible to look at, say, each of the Main Events on the 2012-13 WSOP Circuit and at least compare the number of entries. The buy-ins are the same, the Main Events tend to come later in the schedule (often appearing as Event Nos. 10 or 11), and the number who play in the ME generally reflects how the other 11 events on the schedule did in terms of turnouts, too.

Here’s a quick look at the number of entries for each of the 16 previous WSOP-C Main Events this year:

So there’s been a range this year from as low as 300 at IP Biloxi up to the biggest turnout of 1,523 at Horseshoe Hammond, with most stops having Main Events with entries numbering around 500-600 (or just above or below).

At Cherokee this week there have been events with especially large fields compared to other prelims on the WSOP-C, including 872 for the initial $365 NLH tourney (Event No. 1), 949 for the next one (Event No. 2), and 1,350 for the $365 NLH tourney with re-entries (Event No. 4).

Hard to say what the Main Event will bring in terms of numbers, although I’m guessing it’s probably going to be higher than the 615 entries we saw at the Main Event at Foxwoods last week. We’ll see soon enough.

(By the way, when writing about these WSOP Circuit Main Events I see people constantly refer to fields of, say, “615 players,” when that is never the case because of re-entries. This week I was reading a few of the summaries of the Foxwoods Main Event around the web -- all necessarily written following the reports on PokerNews and the WSOP site -- and was surprised at how many inaccuracies there were with various details. Summarizing a skill game, too, I guess.)

Okay, gotta take care of some more business here and then fill up the car and go. Talk to you next from Cherokee.

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