Positive Changes Revealed in WSOP Conference Call
The WSOP Conference Call was yesterday. I actually sat out of the call due to the massive amount of coverage it gets (and I overslept). Looking at the live tweets and other articles released, there are a ton of positive changes in this year's events
When WSOP.com launched last year, I said that the 2014 WSOP would be an interesting one. The conference call confirmed what we expected in full integration with WSOP.com. Here are my thoughts on some of those items:
Rio WSOP.com Cage and Deposit Bonus - The first was a given and the second is a good move. Even if it doesn't encourage extra depositors, it could encourage some to deposit more money to take advantage of the bonus.
Grind Area - Nice touch. I like the concept for multiple reasons. First, you have a guaranteed spot at the Rio where you should be able to play online.
You're also near the live action if you decide you want to play. Need a break from a live game but want to play? Head to the grind room.
I can see several players living her during the WSOP. Next year I can see them installing a shower or two.
Satellites Galore Online- I saw this coming last year and am glad that they are planning on holding these for all events, not just the Main Event. I wonder how many degens will play live and online sats at the same time.
Live sats not running? Login and play some online. This is a good move that will boost numbers.
Hybrid Event - There have been discussions on this and they all but outright said they are coming and could pop up this summer.
My feeling is that they will wait a couple of weeks and make sure that there are no major glitches before going forward with any plans this year.
Realistically, I think that hybrid events will be introduced at the 2015 WSOP.
Now to some of the other highlights of the conference call:
Evening events start at 4 p.m. - Having played these in the past, I actually prefer the 5 p.m. start time but an hour isn't really going to hurt the players.
Mega Satellites for all bracelet events - This is great for those that prefer this type of satellite. I'm not a big fan of them but everyone has their preference. I like that they're not exclusive to $10k and up events.
Pre-event Promotions / Zip Line / etc - The first year that I went to the WSOP in 2006, the place was a zoo outside of the Amazon room with displays and booths from various online sites.
While this won't be on the same level, I applaud the WSOP for trying to bring more to the event than just a bunch of poker tournaments. In 2006, there were a lot of people that showed up just to check out the booths, get the SWAG, etc.
I still have all kinds of SWAG from that year and went around my last day in Vegas hitting all the booths. I had a wardrobe of free t-shirt. Say what you will about UltimateBet, but their t-shirts were awesome quality. It's still in good shape (and free embroidering).
This is shaping up to be one of the best WSOP's in recent memory and with the integration of WSOP.com, don't be surprised to see solid jumps in attendance.