Friday, June 27, 2014

WSOP Stories Getting Big

The World Series of Poker seems to be building to a kind of crazy fever pitch at the moment. So many headlines and “big” events happening at once.

The $50K Poker Players Championship just concluded, normally a big highlight of the WSOP. Some interesting narratives came out of that one, including Melissa Burr becoming the first woman ever to cash in the nine-year history of the $50K (going back to its H.O.R.S.E. days) and winner John Hennigan cashing for a third straight year.

But really, the $50K is getting eclipsed by all of these other big stories building at the moment.

Today there’s the continuation of this crazily huge “Monster Stack” event that drew an amazing 7,864 players. That made the tournament the third-largest live event in history in terms of participants behind the 2006 WSOP Main Event (8,773) and this year’s “Millionaire Maker” (7,977). And it was the biggest ever for a tourney with just one starting day, although they split it up into a couple of flights on Thursday to make it physically possible to seat all of those runners.

Meanwhile the Ladies event gets going today, which usually draws a lot of headlines. Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu are both in the hunt with just 14 left in the $1,500 Eight-Game Mix (Event No. 50). And the “Big One for One Drop” is just around the corner, starting on Sunday.

And sheesh, the Main Event is almost here, too, starting just a week from tomorrow. The summer is flying by -- seems even faster, I think, than when I am out there, when the days always do zip by pretty quickly.

It’s going by so fast, it’s almost hard to stop and take stock of how it’s all going, and how the WSOP might be reflecting the overall health and growth of poker, a favorite topic each summer. Seems as though while some events are down in terms of numbers, overall the Series is clicking along at a similar pace to previous years and all will be considered another successful year in the desert.

Right now, though, it’s all kind of a blur. A big, big blur.

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