Posts Tagged ‘WSOP’

WSOP Changes Player of the Year Formula

 WSOP Changes Player of the Year Formula

On Thursday, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) announced that it has made changes to the WSOP Player of Year points formula, based very much on feedback from players.

The WSOP Player of the Year formula has gone through several iterations over the years. POY standings began in 2004 and from then through 2010, the World Series of Poker had its own formula. From 2011 through 2014, poker media outlet Bluff took over as caretaker of the rankings. For the next two years, the WSOP used the Global Poker Index’s proprietary formula, and last year, King’s Casino took care of the rankings.

It is probably impossible to come up with the perfect tournament rankings system and no matter how the formula is massaged, not everyone will be pleased with it. The biggest problem with last year’s formula was that it rewarded high volume, min-cash players way too much. Most of the players at the top of the WSOP Player of the Year standings were very deserving, but the weakness of the formula was on display with the winner, poker’s persona non grata, Chris Ferguson.

On top of being a guy that almost nobody wanted to see rewarded, Ferguson’s rise to the top of the standings was fueled by tiny cashes. He cashed 17 times in the traditional WSOP in Las Vegas and another 6 times at WSOP Europe. In Las Vegas, most of his cashes were in the four-figure range, which is a lot of money for me, but nearly nothing for a WSOP event. He did make two final tables, so that’s good. In Europe, he won a bracelet in a €1,650 buy-in event with fewer than 100 players.

It’s not that Ferguson performed poorly at the WSOP – 23 cashes is certainly some nice work – but it wasn’t a performance that felt deserving of Player of the Year.

In the meantime, David Bach won two bracelets – one in a $ 10,000 championship event – and had an 11th place finish among his five cashes, and was only able to finish 87th in the POY standings.

Thus, the WSOP has adjusted its formula, trying to achieve a balance of rewarding both consistency (number of cashes) and deep runs. The new formula, the WSOP says, is loosely based on the WSOP Circuit’s points system.

The most significant change is that bracelet wins are weighted much more heavily than they have been. In examples given in a press release, the points awarded for a win ranged from 3.25 to 8.16 times the points awarded for a min-cash. This year, the winner of an event will usually win around 20 times the points of someone who min-cashes.

According to the WSOP, Chris Ferguson still would have been Player of the Year last year, so the changes aren’t that good. Interestingly, the article the WSOP put out about the new formula did not mention Ferguson by name, just referring to him as the “winner.” Could be a coincidence, but I choose to believe it was done purposely.

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Shot Clock, Big Blind Ante Coming to 2018 WSOP in Limited Trial

 Shot Clock, Big Blind Ante Coming to 2018 WSOP in Limited Trial

The World Series of Poker announced a couple of procedural additions to the 2018 WSOP: a shot clock and a big blind ante. WSOP social media manager Kevin Mathers originally tweeted that the shot clock would be for the $ 1 million Big One for One Drop event, though a few minutes later, the official WSOP Twitter account clarified that the shot clock will be implemented in $ 50,000 and $ 100,000 buy-in events, as well.

A poker shot clock has become more popular in recent years as players have pushed for faster pace of play in tournaments. Nobody begrudges another player for taking time to consider a tough or important decision, but what people don’t like is multi-minute tanking or unnecessarily long thought processes for actions that should be relatively straight forward. As such, like we see in online poker, the WSOP will put a timer on players, limiting how long they can consider their actions.

The World Poker Tour introduced the Action Clock last year, which is implemented when a tournament is one table away from the money bubble. The Action Clock gives players 30 seconds to act before being forced to check or fold. All players receive a limited number of time extension chips that provide an additional 30 seconds if needed.

The World Series of Poker has not provided details of exactly how the shot clock will work, but obviously will give more information as the WSOP draws nearer.

The big blind ante is also a potential time saver. This feature is simple: when the tournament reaches the point where antes are required the big blind pays all of the antes for the table instead of having each player pay their own individually.

What this does is help avoid situations where players forget to ante-up and then have to be reminded to do so or, importantly, situations where there is confusion as to whether or not everyone has paid their ante. In those cases, there can be arguments and time wasted while things get sorted out. The big blind ante just makes things easier.

The reason these things are only being introduced during high roller-type tournaments is likely for testing reasons. These are things that can really only be tested in live tournament conditions, but it is risky to roll them out to the entire WSOP right away. The shot clock and big blind ante aren’t absolutely necessary additions, so there is no rush for a wide introduction. Test them out in smaller-field events, so how everything goes, and then make plans for next year.

Last year, the World Series of Poker announced rule changes in May. We don’t know if that’s when rule changes will be announced this year, but it was just about three weeks from the start of the WSOP, so we’re guessing the time frame will be similar in 2018. It is at that time that would expect the full shot clock and big blind ante rules to be made public.

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2018 WSOP Schedule Released

 2018 WSOP Schedule Released

The 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP) schedule was released Tuesday, unveiling a slate that will run May 29th through July 17th. There will be 78 gold bracelet events, an increase of four from this year.

$ 10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship, best known as the Main Event, will begin Monday, July 2nd with the first of three starting flights. Like this year, when the tournament gets to Day 3 with a merged field (there will be multiple Day 2 flights, as usual), it will continue to run every day until its conclusion without a break. In previous years, the tournament paused when the nine-handed final table was determined, reconvening in November with the “November Nine.” This year was the first time in a decade that the November Nine format was discarded.

Historically, the Main Event has been the final tournament of the World Series of Poker, though sometimes there are some final, lesser events running simultaneous to the Main Event. In 2018, a dozen tournaments will actually begin after the start of the Main Event, including the Little One for One Drop and the Big One for One Drop.

Like this year, ESPN and PokerGO will provide live coverage, the former broadcasting on television, the latter online. The complete broadcast schedule will be released at a later date; we would expect the live final table (with a 30-minute delay) will be shown in its entirety on the ESPN family of networks as well as the WatchESPN app, but just as things changed last year with the partnership of PokerGO, you never know if there will be a surprise in store for 2018.

There are nine new events in 2018 and five events have been deleted from the schedule (thus creating the net-four difference from 2017). In a press release, the WSOP listed those additions, with removals noted:

1. $ 10,000 Super Turbo Bounty No-Limit Hold’em (replaces the $ 10k Tag Team)
2. $ 100,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em (new addition)
3. $ 365 PLO GIANT (replaces a $ 1,000 No-Limit Hold’em)
4. $ 1,000 DOUBLE STACK No-Limit Hold’em (10,000 starting chips) (replaces a $ 1,000 No-Limit Hold’em)
5. $ 565 WSOP.com ONLINE Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed (new addition)
6. $ 1,500 BOUNTY Pot-Limit Omaha (replaces a $ 1,500 No-Limit Hold’em)
7. $ 1,000 DOUBLE-STACK No-Limit Hold’em (30-minute levels) (replaces a $ 1,500 No-Limit Hold’em)
8. $ 1,500 THE CLOSER No-Limit Hold’em (15,000 starting chips, 30-minute levels) (new addition)
9. $ 50,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em (new addition)

The million-dollar buy-in Big One for One Drop is the final event on the WSOP schedule, running July 15th through July 17th. If you want to see a bunch of rich people play poker – or really good poker players who know some rich people – that’s the place to be.

There will be four online bracelet events, played in their entirety on WSOP.com Nevada. There were three last year; the addition is a six-handed Pot-Limit Omaha event.

While the schedule has been released, the WSOP has not published the tournament structures yet. Tournament organizers advise Main Event players to be sure to check the tournament structure each day of the event, as times may be altered to make for a better television/internet broadcast.

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2017 WSOP Europe Main Event Day 3 – Robert Bickley Vaults to Chip Lead on Final Hand of Day

 2017 WSOP Europe Main Event Day 3 – Robert Bickley Vaults to Chip Lead on Final Hand of Day

Just 46 players remain of the original 529 entries in the 2017 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Europe Main Event after Day 3 of action at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. Sitting atop the standings is the UK’s Robert Bickley with 1.431 million chips

It can be interesting to see how the standings change day to day in a large tournament. Going into Day 3, Vishal Maini was in first place with 651,000 chips and nobody was close to him, on a relative scale, as he had nearly 200,000 more chips than the second place player. Maini is still among the leaders, but he was unable to amass many chips on Tuesday, finishing the day with only 790,000, about half of what Bickley has.

Whereas Maini had a substantial lead at the end of Monday, the top of the leader board is much more congested (again, looking at the chip stacks in a relative sense) after Day 3. Following Bickley is Jack Salter with 1.396 million chips, then two players – Rainer Kempe and Michal Mrakes – have 1.254 million and 1.245 million chips, respectively. Two more players have over a million: Kristen Bicknell (1.085 million) and Vlad Darie (1.045 million).

Bickley rose to the chip lead through strong play throughout the day, obviously, but the very last hand of the night was what allowed him to leapfrog into the pole position. According to the WSOP.com live report, Philipp Gruissem bet 23,000 pre-flop and Bickley re-raised to 63,000. Gruissem then moved all-in for 256,000 more and Bickley quickly called.

Gruissem was being bold with just K-T, perhaps feeling he needed to make his stand or perhaps thinking Bickley was just bullying him. Either way, he was in trouble against Bickley’s A-K suited. It was largely academic when an Ace flopped and officially locked up when another hit on the turn, eliminated Gruissem and elevating Bickley into the chip lead.

According to TheHendonMob.com, Robert Bickley has $ 75,871 in live tournament earnings, most of which came in a single cash this summer, when he finished second in a $ 1,100 No-Limit Hold’em event at the Deepstack Extravaganza III for $ 56,037. He is guaranteed about one-third of his lifetime total already, even if he is the first to bust out on Wednesday, so not a bad week for Robert!

Normally, we could tell you exactly what the schedule would be for Day 4, but it is a little up in the air. Either six or seven 90-minute levels will be played with 20 minute breaks in between each. After the fourth level played, there will be a dinner break which will last an hour or an hour and a half. It all probably just depends on how things are going. Either way, Day 4 should end with the final table nearly determined.

2017 World Series of Poker Main Event – Day 3 Chip Leaders

1. Robert Bickley – 1,431,000
2. Jack Salter – 1,396,000
3. Rainer Kempe – 1,254,000
4. Michal Mrakes – 1,245,000
5. Kristen Bicknell – 1,085,000
6. Vlad Darie – 1,045,000
7. Marc MacDonnell – 895,000
8. Vishal Maini – 790,000
9. Niall Farrell – 745,000
10. Chi Zhang – 699,000

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2017 WSOP Europe Main Event Day 2 – Vishal Maini Puts Gap Between Himself and Field

 2017 WSOP Europe Main Event Day 2 – Vishal Maini Puts Gap Between Himself and Field

With the two Day 1 starting flights wrapped up, Monday was the time for the survivors of each – plus anyone who wanted to fire one final bullet or register for the first time – to come together in a single, unified field for Day 2 at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Europe Main Event at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. Vishal Maini emerged from yesterday’s action as the overwhelming chip leader with 651,500 chips.

After Maini, the next largest chip stack belongs to Milad Oghabian. His 463,500 is significant, but it is also nearly 200,000 fewer chips than the total belonging to Maini. After Oghabian, the top of the leader board is pretty packed, with the next five chip stacks ranging from 408,500 to 424,000 chips.

Maini has just $ 73,532 in lifetime live tournament earnings (I would LOVE to have that success!), but he isn’t quite in uncharted waters. Maini did finish sixth in the 2017 C$ 10,000 + 300 No Limit Hold’em High Roller event at the Playground Poker Spring Classic and tenth in the partypoker WPT Caribbean Main Event, so he has gone deep in some non-trivial tournaments. But neither of those is the World Series of Poker Europe.

Registration for the WSOP Europe Main Event was open until the beginning of Day 2; as a re-entry event, players who were eliminated on Day 1 could still take one more shot on Monday. When the final registration tallies were made, there were 529 entries, allowing the prize pool to just barely eclipse the guarantee of €5,000,500. Of the €5,025,500, €1,115,207 will go to the winner. 80 players will make the money with a minimum cash of €15,131.

Some notables of the 134 who moved on to Day 3 of the WSOP Europe Main Event were Mike Leah, David Peters, Philipp Gruissem, Anatoly Filatov, Pierre Neuville, Anthony Zinno, Mustapha Kanit, Antoine Saout, Kevin MacPhee, Davidi Kitai, Eugene Katchalov, Maria Ho, and Dominik Nitsche.

Ryan Riess, John Racener, Phil Hellmuth, Chris Ferguson, and Chris Moorman who among those who were eliminated on Day 2. Unfortunately, Racener’s ouster on Monday at the WSOP Europe also means that Chris Ferguson has won the 2017 World Series of Poker Player of the Year. Yes, that’s right. A man who was partly responsible for the theft of millions of dollars from Full Tilt Poker customers will now be celebrated as the Player of the Year. What’s next? Are we going to elect a grifter who doesn’t pay contractors President of the United States?

2017 World Series of Poker Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1. Vishal Maini – 651,500
2. Milad Oghabian – 463,500
3. Alexander Lakhov – 424,000
4. Jens Lübbe – 419,000
5. Roman Herold – 412,000
6. Gianluca Speranza – 408,500
7. Michael Mrakes – 408,500
8. Stoyan Obreshkov – 386,000
9. Goran Mandic – 377,500
10. Anatoliy Zyrin – 376,000

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