The 2021 World Series of Poker officially came to a close on Tuesday night when Boris Kolev won the $5,000 8-Handed Event #88. Poker fans and players are already turning their attention to the 2022 WSOP, which will run from May 31 through July 19 next year at the convention center located between the Paris and Bally’s casinos. Donnie Peters took to Twitter in late October to ask the poker community what tournaments they would pitch to the WSOP for the 2022 series.
The tweet received over 150 comments and included a wide array of responses, from serious suggestions to silly ones. After combing through all the comments that spawned from that thread, we’ve selected our eight favorite tournament pitches from the batch.
There was very little consensus in Peters’ thread as players of all different skill levels and preferred buy-in levels weighed in on events they’d like to see on the schedule. But there were three tournaments that came up multiple times, indicating a clear demand. These are all events that the WSOP should seriously consider.
1. Mystery Bounty
The overwhelming success and popularity of the Wynn’s Mystery Bounty tournaments this fall left many wondering how the WSOP had whiffed on not featuring the concept on this year’s schedule. After all, there had been a Mystery Bounty tournament scheduled for the 2020 WSOP before that series was canceled due to COVID-19 lockdowns.
It would be somewhat shocking for the WSOP to skip this event again in 2022. The tournament’s mystery reveals of bounty prize amounts is thrilling for both players and spectators alike. It’s easy to imagine Jeff Platt in his sideline reporter role interviewing big winners or sweating reveals alongside them on a PokerGO broadcast of the event.
This is a slam dunk and was the most commonly suggested tournament in Peters’ thread.
2. PLO Shootout
Andy Bloch mentioned in a separate tweet last month that “There should be weekly shootouts of every game. Besides being fun and a test of full and short-handed play, they also follow a nearly normal schedule. No playing until 2am. In the money on Day 1 with a decent payout.”
2013 WSOP Main Even Champion Ryan Riess, Joseph Choeng, and Ben Ludlow were among the poker professionals that suggested a PLO Shootout in Peters’ pitch thread. One-table shootout events have all the benefits mentioned by Bloch and are universally popular among players. A PLO shootout and perhaps more No-Limit Hold’em shootouts at various buy-in levels would be nice additions to the series.
3. Badugi Mix
Mixed games players generally love Badugi and it’s popular variants Badeucy and Badacey. Badugi is a triple-draw game in which players try to make the best four-card low hand. Badeucy and Badacey are split-pot variants that award half the pot to the best Badugi hand and the other half to the best 2-7 or A-5 lowball hands, respectively.
While Badugi and it’s variants are regularly selected in Dealers Choice events and are spread in mixed-game cash games, there are no tournaments dedicated specifically to them. A handful of poker players are hoping that changes in 2022 and beyond.
1. Ryan DePaulo’s Rapid Shot Clock
“$800 8-max with 10 second pre flop shot clocks and 20 second post flop clocks,” Ryan Depaulo suggested in the thread. “No time extensions. Also heads up you CAN discuss the contents of your hand.”
It’s hard to say when a player would have time to discuss much of anything given these fast-paced parameters. While this isn’t the most practical pitch, it would certainly draw in plenty of players fed up with tanking in poker. And it would be a lot of fun to play. With virtually no time to think on your turn, a tournament like this would favor those with strong intuition and quick decision-making skills.
2. 50/50 Tournament
Marcus Acosta suggested a 50/50 tournament. “10-handed table. Top five from each table advanced to the next round. Everyone starts with the same amount of chips for each of the stages.”
This is a really cool idea. The 50/50 concept was popularized in online poker sit & go’s that offer players the chance to double their money (minus rake) by finishing in the top half of the table. It’s fun to imagine this tournament slowly losing half of the field in each round. This could just play down to a standard final table, or be switched to a heads-up-like format. Two tables of eight down to two tables of four down to two tables of two, then heads-up for the bracelet. Regardless of how the endgame was set up, this feels like something that could take off.
1. The $1K B.A.S.T.A.R.D
Cardplayer Lifestyle founder and mixed-game enthusiast Robbie Strazynski recommended a seven-game mixed game tournament. “Badugi, A-5 triple draw, Stud, (2-7) Triple draw, Archie, Razz, Double board Omaha high.”
Of course there is no legitimate shot that the B.A.S.T.A.R.D. tournament would be adopted by the WSOP (get it?), but this suggestion still deserves mention on the list. How cool would it be to tell people that you “won the B.A.S.T.A.R.D.” or that you “had a World Series of Poker B.A.S.T.A.R.D. bracelet”?
2. Cheater’s Invitational
“All forms of cheating allowed,” Zachary Elwood pitched for the Cheater’s Invitational. “As long as you’re not caught red handed.” This idea got even better when another commenter suggested that “if you accuse a player of cheating and they were found playing fair then the accusing player is eliminated.”
Here’s a tournament that Mike Postle could get behind. All bets are off — or on, depending on what angle you are shooting. A fantastical idea that couldn’t really work in practice, but would be awfully cool if it could. And a true homage to the seedy backroom games of poker’s past.
Featured Image Credit: PokerGO