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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

WSOP Media Conference Call Breakdown

With just 4 weeks to go until the start of the 2009 WSOP there was the annual media conference held by Jeffrey Pollack, Seth Plansky, Jack Effel and one guy from ESPN. Beside a lot of already known stuff (for those who read the news) there were still some interesting and new announcements:

The capacity of tables has been expanded again. The total is now at 306 tables. Again the majority of these will be in the Amazon-Room. In addition Harrahs is now using the full Brasilia-Room (95 tables) and the Miranda-Room with 56 tables.

Sit&Go's are now moved to Brasilia and there will be up to 48 tables for SnG's starting at $120. Cash game capacity has been expanded by 10 to 75 tables total.

For the $1,000 event Harrahs expects something between 5,000 to 6,000 players. In general it was said the the pre-registration numbers are up from last year. So this is a first indicator that we might get a real good number of participants again.

As already made public players get now 3x the buy-in as their starting-stack. This is valid for all events including the main-event and the 50K H.O.R.S.E. Harrahs also tries to improve the payout structure but this is not completely finalized yet. But there will be still least 10% in the money with a minimum payout between 1.75-2x of the buy-in.

The Champions Invitational (of former main-event winners) will be held on May 31st and June 1st. The winner will receive the newly created Binion Cup ... which will be presented by Jack Binion himself. No decision yet if this is a one time event or will be part of future WSOP years.

Regarding the TOC (Tournament of Champions) that was canceled by Harrahs some years ago there will be an announcement for a new kind of "All-Star-Event" quite soon.

To honor the bracelet winners better then in the last years there will be now a bracelet ceremony in the Amazon-Room at 2pm on every day.

As already known the delayed final table is back and will be held from Nov. 7th to 10th at the Penn & Teller Theater. Some more informations about the particular timetable will be released once the WSOP has been started.

The announcement of the TV coverage feels a bit like a dissapointment. While the general number of hours remains the same the selection is somewhat poor. Only the Champions Invitational, the 40K event, Ante-Up for Africa and the Main-Event will be televised. Seems that ESPN goes the save route to ensure to have televised events with a lot of "known names". In light of the improved structure this may be a short-sighted decision as we may see the Pro's rising again this year...

The good news on the other hand is that live streaming (via ESPN360 and other sources) will be back. No more details yet and most probably not free of charge.

Another point that may raise eyebrows is the way the WSOP handles penalties. Keeping a detailed log about all penalties given to certain players is a very good thing (and allows for escalating penalties). The new "one hand penalty" is good too. Before there was either a warning or a "one round penalty" but nothing in between. But saying that a Pro (who should know better) may be punished different then a first-timer sounds somewhat strange. In an example Jack Effel said that "acting out-of-turn by a first timer maybe worth just a warning while a pro or regular WSOP player may receive a one hand penalty". While I can see the idea behind it, it opens the door for a huge grey area and many people who may feel getting treated worse then others.

Rooms are still available at the Rio and current rates are told to be between $69 midweek and $109 on weekends. But due to the weak economy cheap rooms can be found everywere in Las Vegas!

And of course the "Twitternation" has reached the WSOP. There will be an official Twitter account (@WSOPliveupdates) reporting from the felt as well as @JeffreyPollack himself (who stopped blogging and is now twittering). But the device rules for the WSOP are still remaining. Therefore absolutely no twittering is allowed while at the table!

Hope you enjoyed that little breakdown from the media conference and see you in Vegas in about 4 weeks.

2 Comments:

chris 2:59 AM  

Hi man könnte glauben du bist aus Österreich, da du soviele Pokertour Events in Österreich spielst..! Bist auch in Velden am Start?

Vielleicht hast ja auch lust links zu tauschen!

gl chris

Shadow 5:43 AM  

Naja, ihr habt's halt in Österreich einfach die besseren Turniere. Da können wir in Süddeutschland einfach nicht mithalten :-(

Ja, die LM in Kärnten werd ich wahrscheinlich spielen.

Grüße
Harald

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