WSOP Attendance Predictions

May 18, 2011

Despite the foreshadowing of low traffic at the WSOP due to the events of April 15th, otherwise known as Black Friday in the online poker realm when the Department of Justice and the FBI seized the websites of the biggest three online poker sites in the industry, WSOP organizers aren’t worried.

Because numerous online poker players can’t acccess their bankrolls because they are tied up in their player accounts at the online poker rooms under attack by the FBI, Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, Absolute Poker, and, many fear that the players just won’t have enough cash to buy into the tournament. Though PokerStars has refunded $100 million, any refunds from the other two companies are yet to be seen, and now there is fear that Absolute Poker and will file bankruptcy. There are even rumors that Full Tilt Poker is having trouble coming up with funds to repay players and has even offered up a partial company sale for $200 million. This is only a rumor though as of now.

According to a post he made on Twitter, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, 24, online poker pro, believes that the WSOP Main Event, which saw a 7,319-player field in 2010, may be diminished by as many as 2,000 players.

However, WSOP officials are staying positive. WSOP executive director Ty Stewart says, “this is the year when everyone sees evidence of just how big poker has become around the world.” He also said, “this is the year where people see and recognize what a juggernaut the modern World Series of Poker has become.”

The 42nd edition of the WSOP begins May 31st and will run for eight weeks and award 58 bracelets. Despite all the negative opinions, tournament direct Jack Effel believes last year’s record of 72,966 entrants will be broken. Effel is “planning for more, regardless of any outside factors.”

Stewart says, “the hotel rooms booked is a truer benchmark; we are marginally up.” He also adds, “if you’re a poker player with any bankroll, you’ll be in Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker.” Let’s hope he’s right.


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