Where Will The World Series Of Poker Go?

While I was writing up rumor of Penn National’s purchase of the Rio in Las Vegas, I saw a tweet wondering where the World Series of Poker (WSOP) will move.

Harrah’s owns the hosting rights to the location of the WSOP.  If this deal is put into motion quickly location will likely be moved from the Rio, unless that is part of the deal Penn National makes with Harrah’s.

Let’s assume that this deal happens quickly and rights remain with Harrah’s and the WSOP moves.  Where does the WSOP go?

Most people, and my initial thought, is that the WSOP is a natural to move to Caesars Palace.  Caesars Palace is the flagship casino for Harrah’s in Las Vegas.

However, there may be a thought to use the WSOP to raise the visibility of another property.  Here are some possibilities.

Planet Hollywood isn’t much of a poker oriented casino, but it’s a coo, hip spot and the bright and shiny star of the Harrah’s empire.  It’s also been set up to host special events such as movie premiers and TV events.  Going to Planet Hollywood would also allow for Caesars Palace to keep their Heads Up Poker/NBC alignment.

Paris (and Bally’s) is another option.  Paris is just down the list of Harrah’s property priority scale.  Barry Manilow and Pussy Cat Dolls are possibly going to add a little life to the property.  Adding the WSOP would add even more shine on Paris.  Because it’s connected with Bally’s you have a very large selection of rooms attached to one area.

I think Caesars Palace is top of the list to get the WSOP from Harrah’s, but I could see it going somewhere else as leverage to bring people to other properties.  I’m a little past my poker prime, but I’m a marketing guy and curious to see what happens here.

World Series Of Poker 2010 Plans

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) for 2010 will take place between May 27 and July 17 and once again will be held at the Rio All-Suite Casino & Hotel in Las Vegas.  There will be a few additions to the WSOP this year, including a low-limit buy-in tournament.

…Another first at the WSOP this year, the first 5 weekends of the series will feature $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournaments with two starting flights.  May 29-30, June 5-6, June 12-13, June 19-20 and June 26-27 will offer No-Limit Hold’em players from the weekend warrior to the most advanced player the opportunity to compete in some of the largest fields of the year for huge prize pools and a gold bracelet.  A sixth event on July 1-2, will also offer the same event at the same buy-in level, just days before the Main Event commences.

Visit WSOP’s site for full information

A Statistical Look at Professional Poker

I don’t play casino poker because I don’t find it fun and don’t like to commit myself to sitting at a table for a long period of time.  I keep my poker playing to taking my friends money.  I find that to be much more fun.  For this reason I don’t find too many stories about poker too interesting.  Today, I found something of interest.

Professional poker player, Daniel Negreanu, broke down statistics from that were recently published by the World Poker Tour (WPT).  He states that players need to make about $20,000 per tournament they play with entry fee being $10,000 and travel being another $10,000.  $10,000 for travel seems a bit high, but I guess when you travel with others and travel big it all adds up.

Of the 176 poker professionals Negreanu noted that only 56 of them reach that $20,000 mark.  That is just over 1/3rd of professional poker players that average break even.  I’m surprised that the number is so low.

Check out Poker News Daily for the full story.

ESPN To Broadcast World Series of Poker until 2017

ESPN extended their deal to broadcast the World Series of Poker (WSOP) through 2017.

ESPN has aired the WSOP since 2003. The current contract runs through next year. The new deal begins in 2011. ESPN will pay a rights fee. Terms were not disclosed.

Taped coverage of the World Series airs on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPN International and more.

With ratings down slightly this year some may see this extension as a surprise, but poker still has plenty of 18-24 male viewers which is a key demographic for advertisers.  This essentially gives ESPN a stranglehold on the largest poker event on TV until popularity wanes.

I’ve mentioned here that I’ve moved on from watching poker on TV, but I’m not the average person.  I usually adopt before the average person and move on before that same person.  2017 seems like the right time for the guy in Iowa to be tired of poker on TV.

World Series of Poker Ratings Fall 8%

ESPN’s ratings for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) are down 8% for the first two broadcasts this year compared to 2008 according to Poker News Daily.

Poker News Daily has learned that ESPN’s coverage of the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) has experienced an 8% dip in television ratings through two weeks to 0.72. Last year, the mark was 0.78.

In addition to ratings seeing an 8% slide, household impressions also fell, albeit a modest 5%. The total number of household impressions through two weeks of the 2009 WSOP was 714,904, compared with last year’s tally of 750,315. Four one-hour episodes have aired so far, with 26 more comprising coverage of the Ante Up for Africa charity tournament and the prestigious $10,000 buy-in Main Event.

Things look bad, but the news isn’t “fall off the table” bad.

Figures released after the July 28th kickoff telecast revealed that viewers were up 2% among men age 18 to 34. The number of viewers age 25 to 54 was up a commanding 16% after the first episode of the 2009 WSOP debuted on ESPN and the number of viewers age 18 to 49 was on par with the 2008 broadcast. The first telecast of the 2009 WSOP on ESPN featured the $40,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament commemorating the 40th running of the WSOP. In the end, Vitaly Lunkin dominated the 201 player field en route to a $1.9 million first place prize. He defeated Isaac Haxton heads-up in a star-studded final table that also included Greg Raymer, Ted Forrest, Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo, and Alec “traheho” Torelli.

I’ve been watching poker on television for about 6-7 years now.  This is the first year in that time that I haven’t watched the WSOP.  There’s a lot of competition for my attention on TV, internet and real life.  Additionally, poker is on a wide array of TV channels, which dilutes the marketplace and lowers desire for many to watch.

I’m not very different then the rest of America in that my attention span is short.  I’m not watching many TV shows that I watched 5 years ago – if any.  ESPN noticed this was coming and changed the format of the WSOP last year and added a celebrity event this year.  They’re doing what they can to hold on to their viewers.  I’m just not one of them.

World Series Of Poker (WSOP) Turns People Away!

World Series Of Poker Logo
World Series Of Poker

For the first time ever the World Series of Poker (WSOP) sold out.  Yesterday’s “Event 4” was sold out and forced Harrah’s to turn away people who traveled from all over the world to compete in the event.  ESPN covers both the poker and the upset non-contestants.

Obviously Harrah’s expected to see a decrease in attendance this year with the hurting economy but there have been more people visiting for the WSOP.  I’m sure “A chip and a chair”, “A dollar and a dream”, and other clichés are on people’s minds right now.  This is tough for anyone that spent the time and money to make the trip out there.  If there were a lot of people turned away I’m sure that an extra day could have been added.  I would guess that there weren’t many effected.  The negative PR by a few won’t dissuade the masses.  Still – this is lame.

World Series of Poker Starts Today!

The 40th annual World Series of Poker begins today at the Rio in Las Vegas, Nevada.  I don’t play casino poker because it bores me.  I play with friends and that’s all.  Here are some links for you to get more information.

There is a schedule of every World Series of Poker event here

ESPN television schedule for the World Series of Poker here.

I won’t likely read the news of the even but I’ll watch the TV coverage.  If something interests me, I’ll share it as usual.