WSOP.com wound up two of its concurrent series on Sunday, as the Paris Las Vegas circuit series and the online bracelet series both crowned their final champions.
Online Bracelet Event #10 was billed as the “mini main event.” It’s a cute idea. With a buy-in of one tenth the Main Event at the Rio, the online miniaturized version is certainly more accessible to the budgets of recreational players. Indeed, the live series exploited that idea with its own “mini main event” in WSOP Event #65.
The event attracted 774 players, creating a prize pool of $696,600, of which $142,664 was awarded to first. After almost 14 hours of competition, Daniel “SilasSilver” Turner claimed that first prize, along with his first WSOP gold bracelet.
Adding fuel to the late registration fire
To deepen the similarity, WSOP.com set the starting stack at the same 60k chips used at the Rio, and made the tournament a genuine freeze-out with no re-entries allowed. The site also used its punitive rake structure of $900+$100 for the event.
New Jersey players were pleased to see the start time brought up to 6:30 p.m. on the east coast, from the 8:30 p.m. used for most of the previous events. However, any hopes that registration would close on Sunday for such players were quickly dashed by the astonishing six hours of late registration.
One can again see this as WSOP.com trying to create the closest possible facsimile to the “real” Main Event, in which late registration this year was possible on Day 2. That decision, however, has not received universal acclimation. Mike Matusow in particular seems particularly miffed. He tweeted:
“If dnegs wins he’ll be the 10th that I know of to win regging on day 2 I hope he does phil reg days 2 6 times he’s got 2 2nds and 4th I did twice got 7 and 17 keep letting people buy in @wsop with 2/3 of field out see how many regs stop coming to wsop. Keep catering to rich”
Even those fluent in Matusowian are not entirely sure what Mike is saying here, but it’s consistent with his position that Day 2 registration at the WSOP has “completely destroyed the integrity of tournament poker,” and that somehow it negatively impacts him more than the rich.
If it was indeed the goal of WSOP.com to emulate live Day 2 registration through the six-hour period for the Mini, they characteristically missed the mark. In the online event, only 254 players of the 774 starting field were still standing when registration finally closed. With the event paying 112 spots, nearly half were guaranteed a cash.
Contrast this to a representative day for the Main Event at the Rio. There were 845 entries on Day 1B, of whom 611 moved on to Day 2. And none those who were fortunate enough to advance deep into the tournament had to play through the night to a local end time past 8 a.m.
It is encouraging to see events with significant prize pools run by WSOP.com. However, it is unfortunate that such tournaments are mostly restricted to limited series. WSOP bracelet-winner Chris “Fox” Wallace recently expressed his frustrations with the regular WSOP.com schedule via Twitter:
“It’s 12:45 on a Saturday. I log on to WSoP.com to play some tournaments. My options are to late reg a $7 buy-in, a $3 buy-in, or a freeroll. Can we please get PokerStars in here to bring us a real tournament schedule? It’s like WSOP hates money.”
When WSOP.com does offer big tournaments, players show up. Why not do so more often?
Featured image source: Twitter