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Poker Year in Review -- Attendance at Major Poker Tournament Tours (Latest News About Casino, Poker, Baccarat in Philippines)

Poker Year in Review -- Attendance at Major Poker Tournament Tours
Article ID 00042652
Author Ryan Lucchesi
Date JULY 27 2022
The past year has been a tough one for many industries in America and all over the world. The poor state of the economy has affected the majority of businesses, and big buy-in tournament poker is certainly included in the dilemma. Tournament poker at the highest buy-in levels took a hit in 2009. The $10,000 world championship events at the World Series of Poker , aside from the main event, saw their attendances drop 13 percent, down to a combined total of 1,786 entrants from the 2,053 entrants the year before. The attendance at North American World Poker Tour events in 2009 dropped to a combined 4,489 entrants at 11 events, down from the 6,025 entrants who attended 14 events in 2008, a 25 percent decrease. While tournament attendance numbers were down in $10,000 buy-in events, the news hasn’t been all doom and gloom. Some attendance numbers were up, and the overall trend shows that while interest at the highest buy-in amounts took a hit overall, live tournament poker is still popular. The WSOP set an overall attendance record with 60,875 players in 2009, an increase of 4.5 percent over 2008. The European Poker Tour also grew in 2009. There were a combined 7,847 players who entered 12 EPT main events in 2009, which was up from the 6,443 players that entered 11 EPT main events in 2008, an 18 percent growth rate. Adjusting Buy-Ins The tournaments that adjusted buy-ins downward for the poor economy were the major success stories of the year. The two that stand out were the $1,000 no-limit hold’em Stimulus Special event at the WSOP and the WPT Borgata Poker Open $3,500 no-limit hold’em championship event. The first small buy-in no-limit hold’em event at the WSOP has always drawn a large field. In 2008, that event was a $1,500 no-limit hold’em event that drew 3,929 players, and it created a prize pool worth $5,363,085. At the time, it was the largest non-main event field in live poker history. The $1,000 no-limit hold’em Stimulus Special smashed that record in 2009. The event attracted 6,012 players, and even with the reduction in buy-in it still created a prize pool worth $5,410,800. The WPT Borgata Poker Open made an even larger adjustment to their tournament buy-in in 2009. They lowered the buy-in for the championship event to $3,500. The year before, the buy-in was $10,000 and the size of the field was 516 players. The smaller buy-in for 2009 attracted 1,018 players, almost doubling the number of entrants year-over-year. Tour Report Cards Let’s take a closer look at how each major poker tour performed in terms of attendance in 2009. World Series of Poker As mentioned above, the $10,000 world championship events at the WSOP saw their attendance drop down to 1,786 from 2,053 players the year before. This was even with the addition of the $10,000 no-limit draw lowball event. The eight WSOP world championship events averaged 257 players in 2008 and the average for the nine WSOP world championship events in 2009 dropped to 198. The $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. world championship was another victim of the times. In 2008, the H.O.R.S.E world championship drew 148 players, and that number was down to 95 in 2009. The $40,000 no-limit hold’em event, which was new for 2009, drew 201 players, a respectable field that may show some player’s preference for their strongest game when playing for the highest stakes. The $10,000 no-limit hold’em main event shrunk to 6,494 players, down from the 6,844 who entered in 2008, but this was due to the fact that players were locked out of registration on day 1D of the 2009 main event. Some estimates would put the main event field for 2009 well above 7,000 players if everyone who had wanted to attend had been allowed to register. Overall, the WSOP performed well, with total attendance increasing to 60,875 in 2009 from 58,720 in 2008. This was partially due to the addition of two bracelet events to bring the total up to 57 in 2009 from 55 in 2008, but the averages are very close. The 2009 WSOP averaged 1,067.98 players per event and the 2008 WSOP averaged 1,067.64 players per event. World Poker Tour Attendance at WPT North American events fell the most in 2009, down to 4,489 at 11 events. There were 6,025 players who attended 14 events in 2008. The averages dropped, as well, with 430 players attending events in 2008 and 408 attending in 2009. The World Poker Open , Borgata Winter Open , World Poker Challenge , and North American Poker Championship were not a part of the WPT schedule in 2009. The Southern Poker Championship was added, and it drew 283 players. Only three WPT events experienced growth in 2009, and they were the aforementioned Borgata Poker Open , the L.A. Poker Classic (696 vs. 665), and the Bay 101 Shooting Star (391 vs. 376). All other WPT events were down in 2009. The four Las Vegas events saw their combined attendance drop 35 percent, while the two Foxwoods events saw attendance drop by 19 percent. The Legends of Poker saw attendance fall from 373 in 2008 to 279 in 2009. The most alarming fall in attendance came at the WPT Championship in April. The marquee event on the WPT schedule fell to 338 players in 2009, down from 545 players the year before. The $25,000 buy-in was probably the main factor, but the prestige of this tour championship was tarnished a little bit by the low turnout. There might be some good news on the horizon for the WPT outside of the U.S. The Tour expanded aggressively in the international market in 2009, and WPT events took place in Venice, Barcelona, Slovakia, Cyprus, and Marrakech. The five international tournaments drew 1,254 players, an average of 251 per event. Time will tell if these tournaments will be included on the schedule once again in 2010, and if their attendance will grow. European Poker Tour If there was a success story to be found in major live tournament poker in 2009 the PokerStars EPT was the most consistent performer. The 7,847 players that entered 12 EPT main events in 2009 represented impressive growth over the 6,443 players that entered 11 EPT main events in 2008. Average _EPT main event attendance grew from 585 payers in 2008 to 654 players in 2009. There were a few bumps in the road, though. New main events were added in Kiev, Ukraine, and Vilamoura, Portugal, in 2009, but they did not perform as well as established EPT stops. The Kiev main event drew 296 players, and Vilamoura drew 322 players. One EPT stop was canceled in 2009, and that was the main event in Budapest, Hungary. Two events saw their attendance numbers shrink in 2009. The EPT Warsaw event that takes place in the fall fell from 217 players in 2008 to 203 players in 2009. The other event that shrunk came as a surprise. The EPT Barcelona main event numbers fell to 478 players in 2009, down from 619 players in 2008. The EPT Deauville main event in France was reincarnated in 2009, and it drew a strong field of 645 players. Strong growth was found at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (16 percent), EPT Dortmund (38 percent), EPT London (18 percent), and EPT San Remo (40 percent). The EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo grew by 10 percent, even with a handsome buy-in of €10,000. Looking Ahead The WSOP will offer 57 bracelet events in 2010. There will be nine, $10,000 buy-in world championship events in addition to the main event, and the H.O.R.S.E. world championship is now included at the $10,000 buy-in level. The $50,000 Player’s Championship will now feature limit hold’em, Omaha eight-or-better, seven-card razz, seven-card stud, seven-card stud eight-or-better, no-limit hold’em, pot-limit Omaha, and deuce-to-seven triple draw lowball. Another new addition at the WSOP in 2010 will be a $25,000 six-handed no-limit hold’em event. The $1,000 no-limit hold’em event is once again included on the schedule and it will take place during the first weekend of the Series , beginning on Saturday, May 29. The WPT will feature five events in the U.S. during the first half of 2010, which is the same number of events that were offered during the first half of 2009. The only difference is that the Foxwoods Poker Classic has been replaced by the Hollywood Poker Open that will take place in Indiana on March 20-24. International WPT events will include the new WPT Bucharest , which takes place in Romania in late March, and the WPT Grand Prix de Paris , which will return in 2010 and takes place in late May. The EPT has seven events scheduled for the first half of 2010. There were six EPT events on the first half of the 2009 schedule. The EPT stop in Dortmund has been replaced by one in Berlin and the new EPT Snowfest event will take place at the ski resort Saalbach/Hinterglemm in Austria. The EPT has also expanded on their “Festival of Poker” tour stops. The PCA will feature 34 events in all and the Grand Final in Monte Carlo will also feature a large selection of preliminary events.

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