The 2015 World Series of Poker kicks off later this week. In the past decade, the WSOP has grown to be the largest tournament series in the world thanks to organizers who are constantly looking for ways to improve the product.
While this year’s WSOP promises to be the best ever, there’s always room for improvement. With that in mind, below are three things that should be added to improve the WSOP experience.
WSOP on Twitch
With the popularity of poker on Twitch, it seems logical that the WSOP should setup their own dedicated channel during the summer. The WSOP is unable to Twitch final tables due to contractual obligations with ESPN, but they can promote the WSOP in other ways.
One idea is to provide a daily look at the winners at the WSOP and then bring them over for a live interview on Twitch. This could be done directly after someone wins a bracelet. Instead of waiting for a couple hours for an outlet to upload an interview with Daniel Negreanu following his seventh bracelet win, just bring him over to Twitch and talk live.
While bracelet events aren’t streamable due to contractual obligations, what about other events and cash games. If players will flock onto Twitch to watch an online cash game or tournament, they will certainly watch the top players in the world battle in WSOP side games.
Twitch could also give some love to players of the daily side tournaments. Maybe stream the occasional final table or have an interview with some of the winners. This would be a great little perk for playing one of the daily deepstack events.
Live Poker Hall of Fame Display
A common complaint about the Poker Hall of Fame is that it lacks a physical home. The World Series of Poker would be a great place for a temporary physical location for the Hall of Fame.
We already have a wall of champions in the Pavilion Room, so why not put up a Hall of Fame wall somewhere else inside the Convention Center. Ideally, I would like to see a small display for each player similar to Cooperstown with the accomplishments of each player.
In addition, setup some looping videos highlighting the players inducted into the Hall of Fame and maybe replay some induction ceremonies or clips. Finally, educate the players about the Hall of Fame process and how they can take a part.
The Poker Hall of Fame deserves more than an induction dinner once a year and a mention at the final table of the Main Event. Let’s give it some type of a physical prescience, even if it is only for six weeks a year.
Time to Maybe Split the WSOP?
Since 1970, the World Series of Poker has been held annually in Las Vegas. As the WSOP continues to grow, the issue of floor space becomes increasingly complicated. Now that gimmick events such as the Colossus and the Millionaire Maker are becoming more commonplace, this could lead organizers looking for additional space in the future.
Also, the size of the WSOP is getting to the point where some players feel like they are just another number or getting lost in the shuffle. The sheer growth has cause the event to lose some of the charm that it had just as recently as a few years ago.
One answer to this issue would be considering a potential splitting of the WSOP into multiple locations. Caesars has various properties throughout the United States and this could be a way to possibly showcase some of these locations.
Don’t forget that this year is already the first time that the WSOP will offer an online bracelet, showcasing the popularity of innovating and diversifying the offerings of the WSOP brand.
The WSOP could consider splitting up into WSOP East and WSOP West and look at possibly holding events in Atlantic City, Tunica or other locales. This could be a way to increase numbers at the WSOP as players on the East Coast would not have to travel cross country to play for a bracelet.
Another option, and probably the more likely to happen, would be to split the WSOP into multiple properties. Rumors have swirled for years about possibly moving the WSOP to Caesars Palace.
What is more likely would be moving certain events away from the Rio to maximize space for larger events. Perhaps hold certain events or restarts at Caesars on days with mega-field events or maybe hold all smaller field events at a different property.