From the hour-long call there were really only a few items that stuck out for me, the most notable being the mention of the new WSOP-branded real money online poker site soon to launch in Nevada. There were no details offered regarding when exactly the site will be going online, although it certainly sounds as though the plan will be to get it up at some point during the Series.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ll be heading out to Vegas again this summer around mid-June to be there for the last month or so. I’ll be spending most of my waking hours working (as usual), but I am curious about perhaps playing on a Nevada site or two while I’m out there, and I imagine the WSOP one might be one I’ll try, if indeed they get it up and running.
This 21-event “Carnivale of Poker” series that was mentioned might be interesting. There was talk of this being a revival of an earlier run series (from 1998-2000), described in the call as having once been the “second-largest poker event in the world.” I’m one of many unfamiliar with that earlier incarnation of the “Carnivale,” although this one sounds more like just an expansion of the Daily Deepstack tourneys -- i.e., more non-bracelet events to occupy folks with a greater variety of low buy-ins (from $365 to $1,675), plus that $5K Open-Face Chinese event.
If I followed the discussion correctly, it sounds like several of these “Carnivale” tourneys (for which winners will be awarded medallions) will play out as the Main Event winds down, which would mean unlike in past summers there will still be considerable WSOP-related action going on all of the way through mid-July.
The other item that interested me was the reference to using RFID technology in the playing cards at a number of final tables this summer in order to be able to show hole cards (on a delay) during the online streaming. Am curious to see that used, and will certainly be tuning in from home to get an idea of it before I get out there.
There were a number of jokes along the way, some of which landed and some falling a little short. A couple of shots were taken at Ultimate Poker (in the context of discussing the WSOP’s planned-for site). Reminded me a little of last year’s call in which there were various digs made regarding the recently-sunk Epic Poker League.
There was a timely remark right off the top about Russ Hamilton and recording the call, and another confusing one later about the erstwhile svengali Sam Chauhan and cooking food. Something about him creating a frequency through vibration of the powerful mantras to cook up some veggie burgers, I think.
All in all, it sounds like the plan going forward for the WSOP in most respects is to keep things as they have been for the last several years, only with more offerings (a record-number of bracelet events, the “Carnivale” tourneys). That said, it seems every year something comes up -- usually early on -- to add new wrinkles and/or make the new year different from what has gone before.
One of the reasons why the sucker remains interesting, year after year.