Desperation To Host Main Events Has Sullied Brand

Published on December 24th, 2020 4:31 pm EST

The 2020 edition of the Big tournament has been a mess.Many people were surprised when the World Series of Poker announced their plan to push ahead with the main event in 2020.

The plan to host two main events online (domestic and international) raised eyebrows.

The plan to host two live final tables (one in Las Vegas and one in the Czech Republic) made people do a double-take and question the sanity of tournament organizers - after all, we are in a pandemic.

To make things even worse, the winner of the international event will now need to travel to Las Vegas, where they will square off against the domestic winner in a heads-up match worth an additional $1,000,000.

To many, this was a ludicrous idea at the start, and it has turned out roughly in line with those expectations.

In the middle of a pandemic, the winner of the international event will have travelled from South America to Europe to the United States and then back to South America.

A player from China couldn't make the international final table, so he was automatically eliminated in 9th place.

All in all, the tournaments seemed unnecessary.


On top of all of that, the two main events have, in my opinion, sullied the brand of the prestigious WSOP main event.

The WSOP main event is THE tournament in all of poker. Many thousands turn up to Las Vegas every year, including poker's best, celebrities, sports stars and more. The tournament will usually draw between 7,000-8,000 players.

This year, the combined total of the domestic and international main events came to just 1,379 players.

This year's main events seemed rushed and nothing more than a cash grab.

Tournament organizers also had the opportunity to get plenty of eyeballs if they hosted a livestream, though based on what I've read, no such stream is planned for the live final table in Las Vegas. That seems like a wasted opportunity.


The $5,000 WSOP main event on GGPoker in September was a complete success, with tens of millions of dollars getting paid out. The winner, Stoyan Madanzhiev, walked away with nearly $4 million.

In my opinion, the World Series of Poker should have stopped right there. They should have waited until the COVID-19 vaccine was widespread and international travel was back to normal, and then they could have had their usual World Series of Poker festival in Las Vegas.

Instead, the World Series of Poker decided to jam in two extra "main events", and, as a result, hurt their brand.


Filed Under: The World Series of Poker

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