Good For Poker, Bad For Poker - Cheating Scandals, WSOP Guarantee, and More
Believe it or not, I think the recent cheating scandals have been a good thing for poker. Below are a few other quick takes in my first installment of "Good for Poker, Bad for Poker."
Recent Cheating Scandals - Good
I'm sure I just raised a few eyebrows there, but I truly believe that the recent cheating scandals are good for the game.
First, it gives concrete evidence that tournament officials are keeping a close eye on events and ensuring a certain level of integrity in the game. Poker has been plagued in the past with cheating and unfortunately it will be a part of the game as long as the game is played.
The recent scandals will hopefully help convince some would be cheaters to think again before trying to run their scams.
Unlimited Rebuys in Super High Roller Events - Both
Simply stated, unlimited re-buys in major events like the $100K Challenge or $250K Challenge and select others will create insane prize pools and create elite fields that make for great TV.
On the flip side, they make the all-time money list obsolete and do detract from other events. Players like Daniel Negreanu can virtually buy their way to a final table, or so we are led to believe. Daniel is the exception to the rule in a lot of cases, not the norm. Come back to me when players consistently rebuy 5+ times in future events that.
WPT Alpha - Good But Scheduling Needs Work
When the WPT first announced their Alpha8 series last year, I was suspicious as whether it would work. I wasn't convinced that players would turn out to the venues to play and so far the results have been disappointing.
Alpha8 Florida - 18 unique players, 21 entries
Alpha8 London - 20 total entries
Alpha8 St. Kitts - 23 players, 28 entries
Alpha8 Johannesburg - 9 players, 10 entries
I like the overall concept of the Alpha8 but organizers may want to drop the exotic locales part of the concept. If you want players, schedule the events around a major poker series or make is more convenient to play.
2014 WSOP Main Event $10 Million Guarantee - Good
It is hard to fault the WSOP for making the Main Event even more attractive to the poker world, regardless of whether this is banner year for the event.
I've heard both sides of the argument whether the increased guarantee will result in larger numbers. Of course it will.
However, don't give all the credit this year to the $10 million increase when numbers go up. Keep in mind that we will have seats from WSOP.com in Nevada and New Jersey in the mix.