5 Ways to Make the WSOP Better in 2010
Since taking over the operating duties for the World Series of Poker from the Binion's family, Harrah's Entertainment has made some huge strides in improving the year's biggest tournament series. What was once a series of poker tournaments held on tables scattered all over the dingy Binion's Horseshoe Casino is now an international spectacle held in the massive convention center at the Rio. There's no doubting that the WSOP has improved under Harrah's management. Still, like all poker players, we love to whine. Here are five ideas for making the WSOP even better in 2010:
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Utilize the Expo Room for the Main Event
This year at the Main Event, and perhaps in year's past, though I don't recall for sure, the massive convention room across the hall from the Amazon room has been completely empty. This is the same room that has hosted the "Poker Expo" each year which clears out prior to the start of the Main Event. With so many players in the Main Event, Harrah's has been forced to place people all over the Rio property, including in a seafood restaurant! This is fairly inexcusable for the WSOP Main Event. Players who come to Vegas with $10,000 should be treated a little better than to be subjected to playing the year's biggest tournament next to a seafood kitchen.
It didn't seem that there was any particularly good reason why Harrah's couldn't have used the Expo room to hold Main Event tables that overflowed from the Amazon room. The Expo room sat completely empty during the starting days of the Main Event. The room is large enough that it would more than accommodate all of the WSOP action that cannot fit in the Amazon room.
Bring Back Rebuy Events
Harrah's removed rebuy events from this year's schedule citing that it gave pros an unfair advantage towards winning a bracelet. This was a pretty stupid argument to support the move. It could also be argued that rebuy events are great for amateurs since some pros pour excessive amounts of money into the prize pool that is effectively dead money. But stupid arguments aside, there's no reason not to have rebuy events at the WSOP. A $1,000 rebuy event can be great for pros and novices alike; for the pros, the tournament effectively plays as a $5,000 buy-in, and novices get to take a shot at a bracelet for just $1,000. Restore rebuy events to the 2010 WSOP schedule!
Better Food Comps
Each time you register for a WSOP event, Harrah's grants you a $10 food voucher to use on the Rio property. This is certainly a nice gesture, but they could probably make the comp $15 or $20. Food comps for registering in a poker tournament is pretty much standard practice all across the U.S. Why not make the comps at the WSOP a little nicer? After all, Harrah's rakes countless millions of dollars from the WSOP prize pools in the form of entry fees. Poker players could gripe about wanting a lot more than just a bigger food comp and be entirely justified in doing so, but we'll try not to be too greedy!
Completely Random Table Draws
There was a troubling situation at this year's WSOP in which players who registered late were put at the same tables in the same room as other players who registered late. The problem with this scenario is that many pros wait until the last second to register. This meant that some tournaments with fields in excess of 1,000 players had tables that were a Who's Who of poker players. To make matters worse, Harrah's kept these players isolated away in secondary rooms. In other words, even if the Table of Death broke, it didn't mean they broke into the entire field, it meant they just broke into the secondary room in which they were playing. Essentially it was a bad beat on your tournament equity to draw a seat in that room. There's no excuse for not having completely random table draws at the WSOP.
Cut Out the Stupid Fanfare
Anyone who spent time at the WSOP this year got to witness some absurdly stupid fanfare. Harrah's decided that instead of awarding players their bracelet immediately at the conclusion of their tournament that they would present the bracelet the following day at the conclusion of the first break. Not only did they give the player the bracelet in front of the whole room, but they also played the United States National Anthem at the World Series of Poker (!!!). It didn't even matter if the winning player was foreign. He still had to stand up there and listen to the U.S. National Anthem after receiving his bracelet. Ridiculous. What was an attempt at honoring America backfired completely. Poker players stood around laughing and talking during the anthem. It made for an uncomfortable setting regardless of your feelings towards the U.S. C'mon Harrah's, cut the stupid nationalist crap at the World Series of Poker!