How About a $1,000,000 Buy-In WSOP Event in 2010?

by Lou on February 28, 2009

Last Thursday, Seth Palansky, Communications Director for Harrah’s Entertainment and the World Series of Poker, was my guest on Keep Flopping Aces, my internet radio show that webcasts every Thursday at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on

During a part of our conversation where we discussed new innovations for the WSOP that might crop up in future years, I suggested a tournament with a $1,000,000 buy-in. I’m sure the idea was driven by The Challenge, the online event in which Tom “durrrr” Dwan offered $1.5 million to any player who beats him over 50,000 hands at four simultaneous heads-up online tables at stakes of $200-$400 or higher, in either pot-limit Omaha or no-limit Texas hold’em.

Finnish poker player Patrik Antonius is Dwan’s first taker, but he’s not the only high-stakes player eager to gamble at that level. Next up are Phil Ivey and David Benyamine, and there may be others too.

With punters willing to play that big, think how much publicity the WSOP would garner by adding a feature event with a $1,000,000 buy-in. Sure, there probably won’t be more than three tables for an event with a m illion-dollar buy-in—and one table seems like a more prudent expectation—but the publicity the WSOP would generate around the world in the poker media and the mainstream media too, would be worth its weight in gold.

Harrah’s might just help things along too, by adding a $1,000,000 overlay for each table. So while a three table event with nine players per table would produce $27 million in buy-ins, it would yield a prize pool of $30 million from the million dollars Harrah’s would add for each and every table that begins the event.

ESPN should love the idea. After all, it’s more TV programming for them, and with the attendant publicity surrounding the astronomical buy-in for this event, their viewership numbers ought to go through the roof.

It’s a winner all the way around. Or so it seemed to me. And to Seth Palansky too. We even talked about naming the event after me. So if you see the Lou Krieger $1,000,000 Buy-in WSOP No-Limit Hold’em Tournament at the WSOP some year soon, remember—you read it here first. Better yet (if you dream at all, why not dream big?), if Harrah’s decides to pay my buy-in, I’ll be able to afford to play in an event that carries my name.

What’s your opinion? Do you think a WSOP event with a $1,000,000 buy-in sounds like a good thing? And if you do, how many entrants do you think the WSOP can expect for the first year?
Send me your thoughts and I’ll publish the best of them in a week or so.


Beijing Bui March 9, 2009 at 10:30 am

seems like a big leap. wouldn’t a 500K buyin achieve similar results, or do you think the marketing power of the 1M mark is crucial to the success of such an event?

Anonymous August 25, 2009 at 7:03 pm

it would be cool because with that kind of pay in we would get to see a full table of pros right off the start not like now how its 2 pros and 7 donkeys

Anonymous October 13, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Although it would be a sure bet for ratings I think it would diminsh the 10k WSP event and therfore possibly have a negative overall impact in the long run.

alan October 27, 2009 at 4:45 am

Yeah I think overall it would effect the ratings in a bad way. I mean part of the fun of watching the WSOP is to see new faces of nobodys competing with pros. Everyone likes an underdog. Just to watch a few tables of pros? Why not watch poker after dark?

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