WSOP Europe and WSOP APAC taking place in alternating years
The World Series of Poker is the biggest poker tournament series of the year. There were three major stages in the schedule this year as the inaugural WSOP Asia-Pacific took place in April. The event brought some of the best players in the game to the Crown casino in Melbourne, Australia with the highlight of the stop being the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event. Daniel Negreanu went on to win the tournament and so he began the run that would eventually land him the WSOP Player of the Year title for the second time in his career.
After the traditional WSOP summer in Las Vegas, WSOP Europe was held for the seventh time during October this year, before the traditional final table of the WSOP Main Event. While there were some changes made to the WSOP Europe schedule throughout the years, most of them were regarding the venues and the European leg of the WSOP became one of the most popular poker series of the year, with the Main Event awarding a nice €1 million payday to Adrian Mateos this year.
Despite the success that both the APAC and the Europe parts of the WSOP had in 2013, officials have announced that things will be different starting from next year. The schedule will only have one of the two extra series to go with the Las Vegas summer and they will change every year. This means that in 2014, the WSOP APAC will be moved to October and the WSOP Europe will take its place in 2015. The series will then alternate years for the near future of the WSOP.
The Executive Director of WSOP, Ty Stewart, stated that the reasons for this change are based around the WSOP standard being bigger and better. By only having one of the two international series each year, he hopes to allow organizations to better market the events and thus attract more players in the respective region.
Is it better for the players?
The response from the poker community regarding this change was mixed. On one hand, it puts a bigger emphasis on the series which is taking place that year and should increase the exposure that the casinos get. However, since it is on a bi-annual basis, the marketing efforts will have to be bigger when they happen.
The biggest drawback is that it basically eliminates a big series from the year and the players which are not able to travel to take part in the other one, will just have to wait an additional year. There is also the fact that the World Series of Poker was expected to increase its reach and make the “World” part of the name mean more than just Las Vegas. The addition of Europe several years ago and the Asia-Pacific region in 2013 looked like a great way for the series to cover more parts of the world but the new schedule changes make for a significant step backwards in that regard.
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