The entrants in the World Poker Tournament have decreased this year, around 25% smaller than last year. But the WSOP tournaments says a bit different with 3 out 9 events sold out at present. It only means that people are interested to enter but oddly no more rooms to crammed them in.
Looking for evidence? Let’s check the WSOP statistics from 2003 till the previous year. Year 2003 mark the win of Moneymaker and the WSOP only had 839 players. In 2004, the number of players have gone to 2,576, about three times more than the previous year. And then the jump to 5,619 in 2005 and 8,773 in 2006. WSOP series in 2007 and 2008 got 6,358 and 6,844 players respectively.
The sudden decrease in number from 2006 can be simply blamed into the passage of the UIGEA which eventually earmark the withdrawal of vital poker sites from the US market. And this event causes the decrease of people who are enthusiastically playing online and also a decrease in satellite chances in order to get an opportunity to play in major competitions.
Though the government had made issues concerning online gambling and doubled their efforts in order to smashed this recreation, the numbers of entries following the UIGEA passage can’t lie. It means that a lot of people are really drawn to poker online that they can’t be stopped.
One testament would be the huge success of the $1,000 NLHE tournament, also called the “Stimulus Special” by the WSOP brass. This poker comp holds the largest stat in a non-Main Event history of WSOP with more than 6,000 entrants. But the large number of players did not stop poker pro Steve sung to bag the title and win his first ever WSOP bracelet.
There will be no question that the number of players in the Main Event this year will reach at 6,000. Even though there is an influx of bad events recently such as the swine flu scare, the economic recession and the UIGEA bill there is a clear prediction that the Main Event this year will garner a lot of entrants.
When the numbers on the WSOP will increase, it only means one thing. And that would be for the government to consider legalizing and legislating online poker. Hope the UIGEA will be repelled and let’s play!