Where Have all the HORSEs Gone

by Lou on July 2, 2009

With record and near-record participation during the early stages of this year’s WSOP, what’s the story with the $50,000 HORSE event, which attracted only 95 entrants, significantly less than last year?

Other events at this year’s WSOP fared better. In fact, the $1,500 Omaha/8 tournament was the largest Omaha/8 event in WSOP history with 918 participants. One of the “Stimulus Special” events—referred to euphemistically by many players as the “donk-fest”—became the largest ever WSOP tournament outside of the main event.

A couple of reasons for the decline in HORSE participation come to mind. First and foremost, perhaps the WSOP’s one-off, $40,000 buy in event early on the calendar punctured the bankrolls of many players who ponied up their own money but were unable to cash.

A second reason seems to be the economy itself. With money tight, finding a backer is a bit more difficult now than it used to be, and players without the jack to pay their own way into the HORSE event won’t have any way to play if their backers have disappeared along with the easy money of past years.

We are fast approaching the main event. Last year it attracted 6,844 players. The high water mark was in 2006—back when online sites could register satellite winners—and the field that year was a whopping 8,773 players.
I’m guessing the main event attracts about 6,500 players. But I’m far from confident in my prediction, so don’t bet on it!

{ 1 comment }

Short-Stacked Shamus July 4, 2009 at 4:44 am

The $40K event & the struggling economy certainly affected the $50K H.O.R.S.E. turnout. Additionally, the fact that ESPN decided not to televise it might've been the biggest reason why the number of entrants slipped so far.

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