Five Big Stories for 2014 WSOP
The 2014 World Series of Poker is just around the corner and the poker pundits are busy trying to predict the players to watch and the stories to follow.
We decided to join them and give our picks for stories to watch for during the 2014 WSOP.
Who Will Become Poker's New "All-Time Money Winner?"
The $1 Million Big One for ONE DROP event returns to the 2014 WSOP and promises to award at least $20 Million to the winner.
Antonio Esfandiari took down the 2012 edition of this event and earned $18 million. He subsequently became poker's All-Time Money Winner.
Unless Esfandiari repeats or someone takes down the event with next to no career earnings, this year's ONE DROP winner will become the new All-Time Money Leader.
As of May 13 we know 33 seats have already been claimed by the likes of Phil Ivey, Jason Mercier, Erik Seidel, Sam Trickett and David Einhorn. A win by any of those players would easily make them the top dog in poker.
23 seats are still unclaimed but will likely be filled so we will know in the upcoming weeks who has the best shot to take the massive prize pool.
Hellmuth's Quest for #14
Whether you love or hate him you have to respect the 13 WSOP bracelets won by Phil Hellmuth.
Last year Hellmuth bricked the WSOP and failed to take down his 14th bracelet. He will certainly be on the hunt this year and trying to widen the gap between himself and Phil Ivey for the All-Time Bracelet lead.
Hellmuth has proven that he can play all games competently and that he can perform once he gets to the final table, so should he make a final it might be wise to bet on 13 becoming 14.
Phil Ivey's Quest for #10
You may have noticed that we said the gap for the bracelet lead was between Hellmuth and Phil Ivey despite the fact that Ivey only has nine.
Doyle Brunson is effectively retired from tournament poker and the odds of Johnny Chan winning more than one more bracelet for the remainder of his career are long.
On the other hand Phil Ivey is always a threat to take down a bracelet. He won his 9th bracelet at last year's WSOP-APAC but failed to take down #10. This could be the year he gets there.
The question will be whether Ivey can block out the other distractions in his life and perform. He was able to win the $250,000 Challenge at Aussie Millions but since then he has dropped $2 million online and is being sued by the Borgata over alleged edge sorting in Baccarat.
If he can block these distractions out we could see #10 and maybe even #11 happen in 2014. Otherwise, it could be a long summer for Ivey.
Numbers, Numbers, Numbers
The World Series of Poker likes to brag about record-setting numbers year after year but this year could promise to be the biggest yet.
Online poker is up and running in Nevada and New Jersey and this will have an impact on overall numbers, including the WSOP Main Event. How much of an impact remains to be seen.
As usual the WSOP continues to tweak the schedule to optimize player participation and this year is no exception. The Millionaire Maker returns this year and could again set a record for most players in a tournament outside of the Main Event.
There are multiple $1,000 events offered this year, including a $1,000 NL Turbo. Also, the $1,500 Dealer's Choice event is a neat feature that will certainly attract the mixed-game players.
Don't be surprised if the 2014 WSOP once against has a "record setting year"
Will Women Continue to Dominate?
One of the big questions heading into every WSOP is whether we will see strong performances from female players. Last year we saw Loni Harwood and Dana Castaneda take down two open-field events.
This year's WSOP could shape up to be a fantastic series for women. Vanessa Selbst has been performing strong in live events during 2014 and Vicky Coren-Mitchell just won her second EPT title.
Perhaps this is the year we finally get a woman into the November Nine.