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What the World Wants to see at the 2015 World Series of Poker

Poker has never moved as quickly as it does today.

There is no time for people to pore over the success or failure of the World Series of Poker Asia Pacific (WSOP-APAC) because nine of the most fortunate poker players alive are about to sit around a table and play for $10m.

But there is one man looking beyond the Penn & Teller Theatre, and he’s also the man who will be standing center stage when the climax to the world’s most illustrious tournament delivers it’s two-day finale in three weeks time.

I am, of course, talking about WSOP Tournament Director (TD) Jack Effel, who earlier this week went to Twitter to ask his clients what games they would like to see at the 2015 WSOP in Las Vegas.

“What new event would you like to see at the 2015 WSOP? This is your chance to weigh in and send suggestions! Only serious comments please.”

You sensed the Australian experience had gotten those intelligent cogs whirring because he followed up that Tweet with several others, asking for opinion on the WSOP-APAC type events: The Terminator and The Accumulator.

I love this approach.

The Vice President of Corporate Communications for Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Seth Palansky, did something similar a little while back, and I think it’s not just a nice thing to do – it’s a necessity.

So how did the players react? What do they want to play?

Here is a round up of the feedback that flew in the general direction of Effel.

Hold’em is so Last Week

Either the game of Hold’em is starting to resemble a pair of corduroys, or nobody mentioned it because the WSOP is full of it.

I recently penned an article, on this very site, called Innovation Divides the Poker World, where I questioned if our human trait of always searching for something better will take us too far away from the beating heart of poker: nine players sitting around a table with a decent structure, playing No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE).

Using Effel’s feedback as a barometer – it seems there aren’t many people who want their heart to beat like I think it does.

Pot-Limit Omaha

The biggest reason that I came to this conclusion was the overwhelming surge of popularity for the game of Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO). The request to have more PLO tournaments was, without a doubt, the most popular request that was tweeted to Effel.

It was difficult to extrapolate one particular trend from within the midst of the PLO requests, but the one that did stand out was the reminder that PLO is a six-handed game.

$25k 8-max events, $10k HU, $10k PLO Hi/Lo, $3k HU PLO, and one of the most popular requests: a $1k PLO with rebuys, were just a few of the types of buy-ins and types that were filling up Effel’s inbox.

Dealers Choice

The 2014 WSOP was a test bed for the $1,500 Dealer’s Choice Six-Handed event, and it went down a storm. So much so that there were a lot of Tweets asking for more of the same, but with a wider range of buy-ins.

$3,000, $5,000 and even a $10,000 Championship event; all very popular formats.

Mixed Games

There was a lot of noise around mixed games, in particular draw games, and Badugi. There were a lot of requests for more Badugi tournaments, and also a few people pushing an idea submitted by Allen Kessler for a Triple Stud event: Stud, Stud8 & Razz.

The $50k Poker Players Championships

Another idea of Kessler’s that seemed to gain some traction was a request to reduce the buy-in of the $50k Poker Players Championship to $25k. The argument being that it would allow more people to participate, and thus create a bigger field, that would still create a lot of money in the top three spots. There was also a great idea to turn this tournament into a Dealers Choice event.

Shot Clocks

The idea of implementing a Shot Clock, into live tournament poker, gained a lot more traction after the WPT balloted players regarding their interest and received a positive yes vote earlier this year.

It seems the idea has stuck with a lot of Tweets asking for specific events to include a Shot Clock, not only as a way of increasing the game speed in general, but to actually create a new speedier format of the game.

Monster Stack

What can I say? Everyone loved them, and there were a lot of tweets demanding more of them.

Open Faced Chinese

Open Faced Chinese (OFC) is starting to pop up at more poker events. The WSOP introduced an event at the 2013 Carnivale of Poker, and TonyBet Poker plan to host a €1,000 Main Event and €10,000 High Roller at the Prague Poker Festival this December.

WSOP players want this type of game in their series.

The Best of the Rest

Those were the main points that seemed popular, now here are the best of the rest.

There was a lot of noise surrounding 10-Handed tables. People don’t dislike 10-Handed play, they hate it. There was also a suggestion of an annual $250,000 buy-in should the $1m buy-in remain an ‘on off’ event.

Online registration was requested to avoid the wastage of queues, Ironman events came up a lot, and there was even a request to up the age limit of the Seniors to 65+ and add in a ‘Mid Life Crisis’ event for the 40+ (where do I sign up?).

EPT style ‘Win the Button’ events were requested, and a lot of requests for 4-max events. Perhaps the biggest suggestion that was tweeted was the need to have 5x starting structures for the smaller events to give more playability.

If none of that floats your boat, then I loved the idea that one person had to increase the level of punting to an obscene level, and that was to host a $10m Russian Roulette event.

We could even make it heads-up: Mike Matusow v Ted Forrest, Daniel Negreanu v Annie Duke, and anyone you choose v Howard Lederer.



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Lee Davy

Life can be viewed as the sum of the parts or the parts themselves. I believe in the holistic view of life, or the sum. When dealing with individual parts you develop whack-a-mole syndrome; each time you clobber one problem with your hammer another one just pops up.