Thursday, October 08, 2015

WSOP Europe Begins in Berlin

The World Series of Poker Europe quietly began today at the Spielbank Berlin Casino in Germany. I say “quietly” because I can’t remember there ever having been less buzz about the WSOPE before.

This marks the eighth installment of the WSOPE which dates back to 2007. It’s also the first one to come after a two-year gap after there having been seven straight years’ worth of WSOPEs from 2007 to 2013.

From 2007-2010 the WSOPE took place in London, growing from three to five bracelet events over that stretch. Then from 2011-2013 the festival traveled to France, taking place in Cannes twice then moving to Enghien-les-Bains (north of Paris) in 2013. There were seven bracelet events for each of those two years in Cannes, then eight bracelet events in Enghien-les-Bains.

This year there are 10 bracelet events, with buy-ins ranging from as little as a couple of €550 buy-in events (one no-limit hold’em, one pot-limit Omaha) up to the €10,450 NLHE Main Event and a €25,600 High Roller. Looks like a small field of 197 showed up for today’s Event No. 1, a €2,200 NLHE 6-Max. event.

Most of what I saw over Twitter the last couple of weeks with regard to WSOPE were occasional notes from players wondering how to wire funds to Berlin and appearing to run into hurdles preventing them from doing so. Now that things have started, there are some updates (in English) on and also live reporting (in German) on the PokerFirma site (where the WSOP updates are also being funneled through).

Things pick up, coverage-wise, this weekend with live streaming of several events on Twitch starting tomorrow. I think, though, that neither the Main Event nor the High Roller is going to be featured there, as those are being shot for ESPN. (Not 100% sure about that.) Here’s the presser spelling out what WSOP is doing to cover the series.

For various reasons it feels almost more like a WSOP Circuit stop than a major stop (looking at it from afar, that is), with the upcoming European Poker Tour festivals in Malta (later this month) and Prague (in December) seeming more significant by comparison.

We’ll see how (or if) the bracelet buzz builds by the time the Main rolls around. Not hearing too much as yet, though.

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