Thoughts About the 2006 WSOP, and a schedule of events

by Lou on October 27, 2005

This is a rather long post – one that includes the schedule for the 2006 World Series of Poker, along with my thoughts about the schedule and the event.

Harrah’s announced their 2006 World Series of Poker schedule just a few days ago. It begins on June 26 and concludes on August 10. That’s seven weeks of tournament poker, held at the Rio, which was the site of last year’s event. The Rio will also host the Second Annual World Series of Poker Lifestyle Show July 27 through July 30, which highlights a broad array of new poker products, websites, books and clothing.

The main event begins on July 28 and runs for 14 days. Day One will be played in four heats, and Day Two will be played in two heats. All of the contestants will not be in the same room at the same time until Day Three, which is actually seven calendar days later, on August 4.

Two weeks is, in my opinion, an incredibly long period for a single poker event. While it’s not a problem for poker pros, many of the rank and file poker players, who take time off from their jobs to play in the WSOP’s main event each year, might not be able to get away for a fortnight in order to play.

Having said that, I certainly don’t have an alternative to Harrah’s scheduling because I don’t know of a venue in which 8,000 players could be accommodated on 800 tables at the same time. Even if that could be done, I’m not sure where 800 dealers would come from. Maybe it can be done; I’m just not sure how. But if you could round up 800 or so dealers to cover all the play on day one, you’d only need 400 dealers, give or take a few, for the second day. This means that many dealers would be onsite for only one day of play, and that’s a money loser for any dealer who travels from any distance at all to pitch cards at the WSOP.

If you read down through the schedule of events, you’ll see how Texas hold’em has come to elbow aside all other forms of poker at the WSOP. There are five Omaha events, and just one event each for seven-card stud, 7-stud/8, razz, and deuce-to-seven lowball. Everything else is Texas hold’em.

I understand that the World Series of Poker is responding to their perceptions of market demand, and hold’em is by far the most popular form of poker played today. However, the WSOP is also a large enough force to exert some leadership and move that market in whichever direction it wishes.

If I had my druthers, I’d like to see the World Series of Poker be more than just the World Series of Hold’em. I’d like to see some mix games added – and if the truth be told, I would prefer a mix game to determine the annual World Champion. But I’m not naïve, and I don’t think that stands a chance in hell of happening. Still, I liken this to the Olympics, where the Decathlon winner is generally regarded as the “world’s greatest athlete.” In my opinion, a mix game would be a much better way of determining poker’s world champion than just hold’em. I wouldn’t care which mix game was used. Go with HORSE, CHORSE, CHORSE-L, or any other grab bag of games, but go with one of them.

Even if they continued to use the $10,000 buy-in no limit hold’em tournament to determine the world champion, but were to add a selection of HORSE-type games at a variety of buy-ins, the WSOP would at least provide an opportunity to players who play all games well to demonstrate their skill at the tables.

Between now and June, I’m hoping that Harrah’s will address many of the issues that plagued last year’s event. The number of restrooms was woefully inadequate for the short period of time allotted for bathroom breaks. The aisles were so crowded that it made media coverage virtually impossible, especially during the early days when the room was filled with players at all tables and you literally could not see from one end of the room to another.

The pressroom was great – at least it was up until the main event. Then media from all over the world descended on the Rio and the pressroom was not adequate at all. Maybe this year the entire convention center can be given over to the WSOP, and some of the area where other groups were gathering during last year’s WSOP (there was a cheerleading convention – I think – that was taking up much of the rest of the convention center) could be used for WSOP related activities.

Another difficulty is that it’s tough to eat during the dinner breaks. There are literally thousands of players all looking to grab some food at the same time, and it’s more than the adjacent restaurants can handle. While I realize that Harrah’s can’t provide bathrooms and food facilities sufficient to handle this kind of crush of players, something has to be done so that people can eat and go to the bathroom in an orderly fashion, and do so without missing out on part of their events.

If this sounds like I’m dissing Harrah’s, I’m not. Considering that last year was their first year, the Rio did a great job, but logistical issues increase significantly as you add more players to the tournament field. With a year’s worth of experience under their belt, I’m assuming they will have made some progress on these issues by the time the WSOP rolls around. We’ll see…………

26-Jun-06 Monday 12 noon
1 Casino Employee No-Limit $500.00

27-Jun-06 Tuesday 12 noon
2 No-Limit Hold’em $1,500.00

28-Jun-06 Wednesday 12 noon
3 Pot-Limit Hold’em $1,500.00

29-Jun-06 Thursday 12 noon
4 Limit Hold’em $1,500.00

30-Jun-06 Friday 12 noon
5 Short Handed (6/table) $2,500.00 No-Limit Hold’em

1-Jul-06 Saturday 12 noon
6 No-Limit Hold’em $2,000.00

2-Jul-06 Sunday 12 noon
7 Limit Hold’em $3,000.00

3-Jul-06 Monday 12 noon
8 Omaha Hi-low Split $2,000.00

4-Jul-06 Tuesday 12 noon
9 No-Limit Hold’em $5,000.00

5-Jul-06 Wednesday 12 noon
10 Seven Card Stud $1,500.00

6-Jul-06 Thursday 12 noon
11 Limit Hold’em $1,500.00

6-Jul-06 Thursday 2:00 PM
12 Omaha Hi-low Split $5,000.00

7-Jul-06 Friday 12 noon
13 No-Limit Hold’em $2,500.00

8-Jul-06 Saturday 12 noon
14 No-Limit Hold’em $1,000.00 w/re-buys

9-Jul-06 Sunday 11:00 AM
15 Ladies Event No-Limit $1,000.00 Hold’em 1 day event

9-Jul-06 Sunday 12 noon
16 Pot-Limit Omaha $10,000.00

10-Jul-06 Monday 12 noon
17 No-Limit Hold’em $1,000.00

11-Jul-06 Tuesday 12 noon
18 Pot-Limit Hold’em $2,000.00

12-Jul-06 Wednesday 11:00 AM
19 Seniors No-Limit $1,000.00 Hold’em 1 day event

12-Jul-06 Wednesday 12 noon
20 No-Limit 2-7 Draw $5,000.00 w/rebuys

13-Jul-06 Thursday 12 noon
21 No-Limit Hold’em- $2,500.00 Short handed 6/table

14-Jul-06 Friday 12 noon
22 No-Limit Hold’em $2,000.00

15-Jul-06 Saturday 12 noon
23 Limit Hold’em $3,000.00

15-Jul-06 Saturday 2:00 PM
24 Omaha Hi-low Split $3,000.00

16-Jul-06 Sunday 12 noon
25 No-Limit Hold’em $2,000.00 Shootout

17-Jul-06 Monday 12 noon
26 Pot-Limit Omaha $1,500.00

18-Jul-06 Tuesday 12 noon
27 No-Limit Hold’em $1,500.00

19-Jul-06 Wednesday
12 noon
28 Seven Card Stud $5,000.00

19-Jul-06 Wednesday 2:00 PM
29 Pot-Limit Hold’em $2,500.00

20-Jul-06 Thursday 12 noon
30 No-Limit Hold’em- $5,000.00 Short handed 6/table

21-Jul-06 Friday 12 noon
31 No-Limit Hold’em $2,000.00

22-Jul-06 Saturday 12 noon
32 Pot-Limit Hold’em $5,000.00

22-Jul-06 Saturday 2:00 PM
33 Seven Card Razz $1,500.00

23-Jul-06 Sunday 12 noon
34 No-Limit Hold’em $1,000.00 w/re-buys

24-Jul-06 Monday 12 noon
35 Seven Card Hi Low Split $1,000.00

24-Jul-06 Monday 2:00 PM
36 Limit Hold’em $1,500.00 Shootout

25-Jul-06 Tuesday 12 noon
37 No-Limit Hold’em $1,500.00

26-Jul-06 Wednesday Satellite Day

27-Jul-06 Thursday Media/Celebrity Event and Satellite Day

28-Jul-06 Friday
38 No-Limit Texas Hold’em $10,000.00 World Championship
28-Jul-06 Friday 12 Noon Day 1A 2000 play down to 800
29-Jul-06 Saturday 12 Noon Day 1B 2000 play down to 800
30-Jul-06 Sunday 12 Noon Day 1C 2000 play down to 800
31-Jul-06 Monday 12 Noon Day 1D 2000 play down to 800

1-Aug-06 Tuesday 12 noon A + B 1600 to 700
2-Aug-06 Wednesday 12 noon C + D 1600 to 700

3-Aug-06 Thursday Day off for main event

3-Aug-06 Thursday 10:00 AM
39 No-Limit Hold’em $1,000.00 1 day event

4-Aug-06 Friday 12 noon ABCD Play 1400 down to 600

5-Aug-06 Saturday 12 noon Play 600 down to 300

5-Aug-06 Saturday 10:00 AM
40 No-Limit Hold’em $1,500.00

6-Aug-06 Sunday 12 noon Play 300 down to 150

6-Aug-06 Sunday 10:00 AM
41 No-Limit Hold’em $1,500.00

7-Aug-06 Monday 12 noon Play 150 down to 60

7-Aug-06 Monday 10:00 AM
42 No-Limit Hold’em $1,500.00

8-Aug-06 Tuesday 12 noon Play 60 down to 27

8-Aug-06 Tuesday 10:00 AM
43 No-Limit Hold’em $1,500.00

9-Aug-06 Wednesday 12 noon Play 27 down to 9

9-Aug-06 Wednesday 10:00 AM
44 No-Limit Hold’em $1,500.00

10-Aug-06 Thursday 12 noon Final Table

General Information:

Super Satellite Schedule:
$230 buy-in Super Satellites will take place daily at 3 p.m.

$1060 buy-in Mega Super Satellites will take place nightly at 7 p.m.

Super Satellite Days on July 26 and July 27: $230 buy-in Super Satellite will take place at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

$1060 buy-in Mega Super Satellite will take place at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Second Chance Tournament: $540 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournaments will take place daily at 5 p.m. $225 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournaments will take place nightly at 11 p.m.

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