Friday, December 20, 2013

Talking 2014 WSOP (Already)

Saw that announcement yesterday regarding dates for the 2014 World Series of Poker. No schedule of events just yet -- that usually comes later, anyway -- but we did get the word that as usual things will get kicked off at the end of May and run through mid-July (from 5/27 to 7/14 this time), and once more they’ll be back at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.

Was almost surprising to read in the presser that this will mark the 10th straight year the WSOP will be at the Rio, even though it’s easy enough to recall how it was 2005 that the move first occurred, with only the last couple of days of the Main Event that year (won by Joe Hachem) playing out back at Binion’s as a kind of last hurrah.

Not too much else of note in the announcement. The Main Event will again feature three Day 1 flights. The full slate of “deep stack” tourneys and cash games will be on offer again throughout the summer, with buy-ins as low as $75 for some tourneys. And of course this year will be the first for which players on WSOP.com in both Nevada and New Jersey will be able to satellite into events, a wrinkle that should get more attention throughout the winter and spring.

There are a few hints dropped about what the schedule will contain, including another one of those “Millionaire Maker” events (a $1,500 tourney with a first-prize guaranteed to be at least $1 milly), a second “Big One for One Drop” with the $1 million buy-in (already announced), and another “Little One for One Drop” (with a $1,111 buy-in and unlimited re-entries).

No indication of a total number of events, although there is mention that there will be “60+ official gold bracelet events,” thus suggesting a schedule not too different from years past.

That said, some tweets from WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart (@wsopSUITd) from about a month ago suggested the so-called “Matt Glantz” plan proposed in a piece appearing in Card Player back in June is getting some consideration. That’s the idea to jettison the mid-range buy-ins ($2,500 and $5,000) and instead have both $1,500 and $10,000 events for all of the major variants, with the latter designated as “championship” events.

“Debate. What are ‘core’ disciplines outside NLHE that merit WSOP championship event? Ten right now on the table (1/2) - Agree?” tweeted Stewart back on November 20, who then followed with “Limit HE, PLHE, PLO, O8OB, 7-Stud, 7-Stud 8OB, Razz, 2-7, 2-7 TD, HORSE. For the much discussed 1500/10k framework. Sked coming 2gether.”

I think I like the $1.5K/$10K idea well enough, although the true test of it will come via those field sizes next summer. Meanwhile, we’ll have to wait and see how the actual schedule ends up shaping up, but it does sound like we might anticipate a lot of $1,500 events, a handful of $10,000 ones (in each of those disciplines), with the non-HE games thus covered in that way and the rest of the schedule again filled with NLHE tourneys of various shapes and sizes.

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