What Will Black Friday Mean for 2011 WSOP?
Nobody knows the full effect Black Friday will have on the 2011 WSOP, but poker industry veteran and PokerJunkie blogger James "compncards" Guill has a few thoughts.
The April 15th indictments have obviously had serious repercussions across the entire poker world, and as the initial shock wears off speculation has now turned towards the upcoming World Series of Poker.
With action just over a month away, I figured I would take a few minutes and discuss how I think Black Friday will affect the 2011 WSOP.
One Last Shot
For a lot of players that had the biggest portion of their bankrolls online, especially on Full Tilt Poker, UB or Absolute, this WSOP will be a last ditch effort to try and rebuild a live bankroll.
I think you'll see a lot fewer players being backed in this year's WSOP as well. Many players try to repay their live tournament makeup via online poker, and the lack of games now will make many backers shy away.
Satellites should be hopping during the WSOP though as people try and win seats in the events for a fraction of the cost.
Sit-n-go hustlers may find it tougher to hustle this year due to the fact that the games will have better players than is normally the case.
Don't be surprised if you see several smaller names in the game fade away for a while following the WSOP.
Smaller NL Events Shrink 10-20%
Overall, I predict a shrinkage in field sizes for all the smaller No-Limit Holdem events.
The early NL events I think will remain somewhat flat or see a small reduction of up to 10%, but as the series winds on you'll see these numbers approach the 20% mark.
I recently spoke with Kevmath (noted 2+2 forum moderator) on this issue, and he thinks I am off on my numbers.
However, history has proven that the earlier events in the WSOP, including the NL events, produce stronger numbers and trail off a bit as the series winds onward.
The reason behind this is that many players either come in with a small bankroll for the WSOP and blow it early or they come in for one or two events.
The early events get all of this action, and the later-event numbers shrink.
Add the fact that many players will not have access to their bankrolls, and you have a recipe for shrinkage.
Poker Players Championship and 10k Events See Significant Drops
This is the one point that I seem to have the most consensus on.
Since online poker sites will not be shelling out the money for sponsored pros, and many mid-level sponsored pros will likely losing their contracts, the numbers for the 10k preliminary events will drop.
The 10k events will be lucky to make 70% of last year's field size even, and I may be generous with this number.
I will be surprised to see the $50,000 Poker Players Championship break 60 players.
Main Event Numbers Drop Dramatically
Even the eternal optimists in the game are saying that the numbers for the 2011 Main Event will drop drastically.
The line set by many is a number around 5,000. Personally, I have a different number, but I will save that for my predictions article in May.
I will say that the line is somewhat accurate.
The two largest feeders into the Main Event (PokerStars and Full Tilt) will no longer be sending players from the US and there just aren't going to be enough live satellites run to fill the gaps.
Note: The above opinions are based on the current climate in online poker.
The WSOP has had a history of being resilient despite the economy, but this time I believe the deck is too stacked against the WSOP to avoid a bad year.