Four Big Questions Looming Over 2012 WSOP
The 2012 World Series of Poker is less than three weeks away and every year there are numerous questions lingering in the air heading into the big dance.
After a surprising record year for the WSOP in 2011, many are wondering what's in store for this year's edition.
Below are four questions we have for the upcoming WSOP.
1) Will Phil Ivey Play?
Phil Ivey sat out the entire 2011 World Series of Poker due to the circumstances surrounding Black Friday and the Full Tilt debacle. He's kept a low profile in the poker world since, only emerging for a few tournaments late last year and this past month..
With the recent news that PokerStars is working to buy Full Tilt, many wonder whether Ivey will return and add to his bracelet total.
Ivey is always a threat to take a bracelet, especially in a HORSE or Seven-Card Stud event. Should he return and remain focused, he may inch closer to Phil Hellmuth's record this year.
2) Will Phil Hellmuth Win Bracelet #12?
Speaking of Hellmuth, last year he proved that he indeed has game in something other than No-Limit Hold'em.
Unfortunately for him, he had to suffer through multiple second-place finishes and fell short of bracelet #12 for a second straight year.
Hellmuth was able to win an 8-Game event at the LA Poker Classic in February, but has been pretty quiet since.
The question is now whether he used up his run good last year or if he can get the monkey off his back for #12.
3) Will Overall Attendance Rise Yet Again?
Last year, the poker world beat the odds by turning out record crowds for the 2011 WSOP.
Many thought that the WSOP would drop in numbers due to Black Friday, but the opposite held true.
Now that 2012 has rolled around, some are suggesting that this year is the true litmus test for the WSOP as players have had a full year to adjust to the new poker climate minus the big three in the US.
Some think that the WSOP will see a noticeable drop off in numbers this year despite increased capacity.
What do you forecas - boom or bust?
4) Can Ratings Rebound for ESPN?
The big question, and maybe most important for televised poker, is whether or not ratings for the WSOP broadcasts on ESPN will rebound from last year.
WSOP officials have admitted that the edited shows took a big hit due to the live coverage last year and only the final table of the Main Event will be broadcast live this year.
Another year of sliding ratings could prove disastrous for the deal between the WSOP and ESPN. However, don't be surprised if the ratings rebound "just enough" to make ESPN happy.