The 2016 World Series of Poker is underway at the Rio in Las Vegas. So far, the Employee’s Event bracelet has been awarded, the Colossus has brought in monster crowds and the $10k Stud has reached the money.
Overall, the WSOP is one of the best run events in the world but there are still issues that arise each year. Many of these issues tend to pop up in the early weeks and this year is no exception. Today, I give my take on a few of those stories.
World Series of Spam?
The other day I noticed a tweet from Lon McEachern to Kevmath asking about the new requirement of having to login via Facebook or Google in order to access updates on WSOP.com.
I checked it out and discovered this was the case. The notice says that “once signed in we will send you exclusive offers for the Social WSOP game.” You don’t have the option to decline this either. Ok, you do but you will not be able to access updates unless you sign in.
As you can see from the screen shot below, the WSOP gets access to your public profile information as well as your email address. Perfect way to spam us and to track demographics.
Do we understand what they are doing? Sure we do. However, we also feel there should be a less invasive way to access the updates for those that don’t want to have their information transmitted to the Rio.
WSOP Controversy #1 – Chris Ferguson Has Returned
If you hear a collected WTF from the poker community on Saturday, that was because Chris “Jesus” Ferguson has returned to the World Series of Poker. After ducking out for the last five years, Ferguson decided to play in the $10k Stud Event.
Believe it or not, the latest person to sit down in the 10K stud…. pic.twitter.com/2jJ1xbJroZ— Drew Amato (@drew_amato) June 5, 2016
Offering very few comments other than telling PokerNews, “I’m just here to play poker,” Ferguson snuck in at the end of late registration and barely lasted two levels before busting.
When Howard Lederer recently issued a public apology, the poker world thought there was a chance that he and Ferguson might return this summer. That still doesn’t mean that players are going to be happy about the situation.
The reaction to his return has naturally run the gamut of emotions. Personally, I’m a bit torn over his return. I’ve played and interacted with Chris in the past and on a personal level I am happy to see him attempt a return to poker.
With that said, there are a few players that have such a negative stigma attached to them; the best thing is for them to stay away from the game. Sadly, I believe that Chris fits in this category. Most believe he deserves the stigma while other, like Layne Flack, say that there is more to the story of Full Tilt’s demise than anyone will ever know.
It’s not like Ferguson NEEDS to play poker. He’s always been financially stable. Chances are that he misses the game and want to try and work his way back. It is hard to see the poker world as a whole ever truly accepting his return.
Stay Classy WSOP
After all the talk about sexism in poker, the World Series of Poker goes and does this:
OK this is literally a drawing. Someone explain how this a key marketing tactic & not really dehumanizing or w/e. pic.twitter.com/OzQj7DaXwB— Cate Hall (@catehall) June 3, 2016
REALLY?? What marketing genius thought this one up? Great way to promote equality in poker folks.
Writer’s Note: For those out there that are clueless, that last sentence contained sarcasm.
With the amount of negative press that sexism has received in recent months in poker, it blows my mind that the WSOP thought that this was a good idea.
I’m sure this will go over famously during the women’s event. Or are you going to have pics of male dealers that emphasis their “package” when the women play?
We won’t even go into certain accusations recently raised against a certain WSOP employee. It would seem that someone should have said, “Maybe we should reconsider those pics?”
World Series of ….Poor Decision Making.
Structures Too Fast?
Lastly, I’d like to talk a little about some of the revised structures in this year’s WSOP. I’m not an “Allen Kessler type” by any means when it comes to structures but some structures this year are a bit too fast and Day 1 of the $10k Stud proved that point.
@AllenKessler So proud of you Kessler. This is a big day for us. For all of us. Perhaps even for all of mankind.— Antonio Esfandiari (@MagicAntonio) May 4, 2016
Day 1 went from 87 players down to 35. That to me is insane for a $10k Limit Event. When I went to check on how Day 2 was progressing (at 4:30 PDT on Sunday), there were 19 players left and bets were 6k/12k. Only the top six players had more than 20 big bets. Over half of the field was down to one or two hand stacks.
It makes perfect sense why some chose not to play in this event due to the unnaturally fast structure. While the WSOP is looking to ensure that most events finish in three days, it shouldn’t be done at the sake of ruining a structure.
Some events have to have a fast structure to get through in time. The Colossus being a prime example. But if you are going to put up $5k or more to play in an event, you should have a solid structure and not one that makes the event a crapshoot half way through Day 1.