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Hellmuth FTW: 2011 WSOP Predictions

26 May 2011, By:
Ready or not, the 2011 WSOP is just five days away.
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Ready or not, the 2011 WSOP is just five days away.

Last year, Poker Junkie blogger compncards nearly ran the table with his 2010 WSOP predictions and he's back with what to expect at this year's edition of the WSOP.

Anticipation is high as the 2011 WSOP is about to kick off. At the same time, there's a bit of trepidation across the industry and a state of uncertainty as a result of Black Friday.

Still, some things are a safer bet than others.

Prediction #1: Attendance Will Drop Across the Board

Those in charge of the WSOP are an optimistic bunch, and they'd obviously like to see participation numbers at least hold steady this year.

But they won't.

A lot of players still have their bankrolls tied up online. Others won't be willing to risk as much of their bankroll, if any of it, as they no longer have the same options to easily replenish it.

I think that in the early going at the 2011 WSOP, No-Limit Holdem events will see either miniscule drops or drops up to 10%.

As the series moves into the later events, expect drops up to 20% in the NL events.

Mixed games have the potential to really be hit hard by this. With many pro contracts either terminated or speculative at best, the extra buy-ins for these events are just not going to be there.

I'm going to set the number at a 30% drop in mixed events with some events possibly dropping as much as 50%.

Prediction #2: Erik Seidel Will Not Win a Bracelet This Year

I really hate saying this, but Erik Seidel's blazing 2011 run will not continue into the WSOP.

While Seiborg has been tearing up the high-stakes world so far this year, my gut tells me that that run good is just not going to translate into a bracelet.

Granted, I am a big fan of Erik's and I hope this one is wrong. But at some point he has to cool off.

Add to that these events will not be glorified two-table sit-and-gos and I think this spells a dry spot for Seidel.

Prediction #3: Phil Hellmuth is Due for Bracelet 12

One of the players that next to nobody is talking about this year is Phil Hellmuth.

I remember the last time that this happened in 2007. He then turned around and got heads-up in one event and won another one.

While many like to mock Hellmuth, he has consistently put up numbers at the WSOP and I think that the current poker climate may make the time right for him to take down bracelet #12.

Prediction #4: 5,387

You want to know the number of participants in the Main Event?

Originally, I said 4,825 players and I was going to stick to that. But my gut tells me Caesars is going to push extra hard to get more players in.

In the end, I don't think the extra push is going to be enough to get numbers near the 2010 levels, but it will break 5,000.

My final number for this year is 5,387 players.


The eternal optimists in the crowd will dismiss my predictions, but the poker world for many is too unstable to support the same turnout as last year.

Of course, I'm not going to be upset if these predictions turn out wrong.

In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the ride. Regardless of turnout, this promises to be a memorable WSOP.

Stay tuned to all summer as we bring you reports and coverage from the 2011 World Series of Poker.

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