5 Ways to Improve the World Series of Poker Online
The 2020 World Series of Poker Online recently wrapped up and was wildly successful. With any luck, the online version of the WSOP is a one-off event. The poker world is beginning to emerge from the pandemic, but there’s still a chance that things could take another turn for the worse. If that happens, we could be facing another year of alternative poker tournament events.
Now is a good time to look back at the 2020 WSOP Online and discuss what worked, and what didn’t. If such an event has to run in the future, maybe we will see some changes that will help to make the series an even bigger success.
Ditch the American Leg
This isn’t a popular opinion with my American readers, but the American leg of the WSOP Online needs to be scrapped. While the series drew strong numbers, the prize pools were much smaller than what you would expect for a true WSOP bracelet event.
An online bracelet in America is a novelty that is fine when it is run during the live WSOP. That’s because players at the WSOP can log in and play. Otherwise, it is a glorified online series with not much more meaning than your average online poker tournament series.
Expand the GGPoker version of the series and drop the American leg. I might revisit this opinion if Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia all go online by next year.
Add Mixed Games
This should have been the World Series of Flop Games Online instead of the World Series of Poker Online. Only Hold’em and Omaha poker was played during the series, effectively locking out all mixed game players.
I am not saying that you need to have every flavor of poker that you see at the WSOP, but at least add some Stud games and maybe some 2-7 Lowball. Hell, I’d settle for just Stud games. That would add three more variants and all for HORSE, HOSE, and OE mixed games.
Shorten the Main Event
Do you even know who won the WSOP Online Main Event? How many of you tuned out during the 23 starting flights. No, I am not exaggerating. There were 23 starting flights. That is ridiculous. Either raise the buy-in or do something to speed up the series. Sure, the even met its guarantee, but does anyone really care at this point?
Discontinue Delayed Final Tables
One of the things that drove me insane about this series was the number of delayed final tables. On the weekend, you’d get to a final table and have to wait a week or more to continue to play. The Main Event was of course the worst since you had to wait for the insane number of starting flights.
Delaying a final table until the next day is OK. That’s done in a lot of tournament series online. However, waiting a week doesn’t make a lot of sense. Just get the game over with. If you want to do a delay for the Main Event or the Poker Players Championship, that might work as it is a way to hype the largest events. Otherwise, it is just annoying.
No More Micro Bracelet Events
One thing that is supposed to separate the World Series of Poker from other events is that the events are supposed to bring out elite competition. It is supposed to be the richest poker event in the world. In the early days of the series, organizers would have laughed at running a $50 or $100 bracelet event. However, that’s what we got this year.
I can understand lowering the average buy-in for an online event. However, there comes a point where you’re making the event too cheap. Do we really consider the winner of the $50 or $100 bracelet event to be on par with Fedor Holz’s win? I don’t, and neither should you.
The cutoff for an online bracelet event should be $500, but I’d be OK with the occasional $300 event. Anything lower cheapens the bracelet even further.