2010 WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel - Interview by Compncards
His official title is Vice President, International Poker Operations and Director, World Series of Poker. As has always been the case in his career with Harrah's, Jack is always available and willing to assist poker players and fans alike.
Compncards: Jack, thank you for taking time out of your schedule to talk to us. For anyone that knows anything about the WSOP in recent years, they know that you have a huge role in running the WSOP. How did your role change after Jeffrey Pollack stepped down as WSOP Commissioner in November?
Jack Effel: My role is and always has been to execute the largest poker event on the planet. The WSOP team is grateful for Jeffrey's contributions to the WSOP, and he will be missed. That being said, the WSOP team has been working extremely hard on the upcoming WSOP just three and a half weeks away. We are positioned for a successful event this summer, and are feeling really good about our plans to execute the best WSOP to date!
Compncards: What changes to this year's WSOP are you most proud of?
Jack Effel: There are a couple of changes that I'm most proud of as they relate to the 2010 WSOP. First is our expanded footprint into the grand Pavilion Ballroom, which will allow us 100,000 sq feet of tournament space, the largest space ever to house a live poker event anywhere in the world. Second is the new location of the Poker Kitchen from the tent to the Miranda Ballroom, a nice indoor, climate-controlled space. This year's food offering will be expanded at the WSOP with lots of yummy healthy options
Compncards: Jack, tell our users a little about the World Series of Poker Circuit events that take place around the country.
Jack Effel: The WSOP Circuits are major poker events held at various Harrah's Entertainment properties across the United States. These events offer players who are unable to travel to Las Vegas for the annual WSOP an opportunity to compete in a major poker event, compete with some of the best players around, and have a shot at making poker history. Furthermore, the winner of the $5,000 Buy-In Championship Event at each stop is awarded a seat into the WSOP Main Event.
Compncards: The WSOP Circuit brand has been experiencing strong growth over the last couple of years. Do you see this brand possibly expanding even further over the next couple of years, and if so are there any potential new stops that Harrah's may be considering?
Jack Effel: Yes, the WSOP team is working diligently on creating the calendar for 2010/11 WSOP Circuit calendar as well as new improved offerings to our players. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements.
Compncards: What is your most memorable moment from your time working the World Series?
Jack Effel: There are too many to name. If I had to choose one, my most memorable moment at the WSOP would have to be when I met my beautiful wife, Elisha, who was working as a production manager for Image Masters in 2005. A close second would have to be when Johnny Chan won his 10th bracelet in 2005 in the $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em event. Remember Phil Laak freaking out to be heads up with Johnny. He was yelling "OMG, I can't believe I'm playing Johnny Chan." He was doing push ups and jumping up and down on the stage. I was laughing so hard, tears were falling. Nobody could keep a straight face.
Compncards: For those that may make the trip to the WSOP for the first time this year, what is the one piece of advice that you would give them?
Jack Effel: The one piece of advice I could give a first time player coming out to play the WSOP is create a plan for which events and games you would like to participate in, manage your bankroll, and stick to the plan. Most of all, good luck! You could become the next world champion of poker.
Compncards: Jack, thank you for taking the time to talk with the Poker Junkie nation. We look forward to a great 2010 World Series of Poker.
Jack Effel: Thanks, James. It was my pleasure, and I look forward to seeing everyone at the 2010 World Series of Poker!