Monday, December 13, 2010

Did Harrah's mess up the WSOPC schedule?

ESPN's Andrew Feldman posted recently about the World Series of Poker Circuit event in Atlantic City.

Feldman had high hopes for the event - and for the record, haw drawn very well - especially after seeing how the WSOPC did in Hammond.

But Feldman thinks there was screw up in the scheduling and Harrah's could have done a better job.

Before the second of four $10,000 Regional Championships on the 2010-2011 WSOPC season, Harrah's Atlantic City $1,650 buy-in main event attracted 352 players to become the second-largest WSOP Circuit main event this year. Sounds great, right? Well, maybe. The WSOPC Hammond main event recruited 872 players before the first Regional Championship and in turn, created a field of 226 for the $10,000 event.

Hopes were high after Hammond that we'd see a great turnout in Atlantic City and in attendance, yes, they've got it compared with 2009 for the "main event." When the highlighted tournament was a $5,150 event last year, 195 players bought in and created a prize pool of $926,835. We'll have to wait to see where the $10,000 event falls as the main event reached only $561,776. Numbers aside, I have one major issue with this stop of the WSOPC: The $10,000 event in Hammond began three days after the $1,600 event; in Atlantic City, the $10,000 event begins a week after the $1,650 event.

Talk about killing all momentum.

It's possible that the staff in Atlantic City wanted to allow players the chance to come back from APPT Sydney or EPT Prague, but let's be serious, that's only an excuse I'm going to throw in their direction. This is a big mistake on their part. Traveling to tournaments isn't cheap and if you can convince players to go for two tournaments instead of one, they'll be more likely to see that the trip is worthwhile. In this case, players either had to decide to fly out for the $1,650 and stay in A.C. for a week or fly in next weekend for the higher buy-in tournament. There are some who definitely stayed for both, but you'll see an influx of different players in town next weekend ready to play in a nationally televised event. There was the opportunity to capitalize on the added excitement a televised tournament brings and this schedule just didn't do the trick. Make the $1,650 a couple days before the $10,000 and see numbers rise in both tournaments. I don't doubt that we're going to see a bigger turnout in this $10,000 compared with the Hammond $10,000, but I think that the WSOPC could've made more out of one of the bigger poker locations in the world.

As for the tournament, just over three dozen remain looking for the $117,797 top prize and notables among them include Matt Glantz, Josh Brikis, Ari Engel, Mike Leah and Chris Tryba. Thirty-six players will make the money.


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