Overall Impression of 2020 WSOP Online at WSOP.com
The 2020 World Series of Poker Online at WSOP.com is now concluded. Of course, the series continues over at GGPoker until September. We can now take a look back at the WSOP.com leg of the series and see what went right and what went wrong.
The big question now is whether we will see a live WSOP in the fall or if the online version is going to be this year’s series.
Fewer Big Name Winners Than Expected
The first thing anyone will notice when looking at the winners at the WSOP.com leg of the 2020 WSOP online is that there are few “big name” players. Frankly, I was expecting a few more big names to take down bracelets considering the format of the series.
Some big names did take down a title. Joe McKeehen, Tony Dunst, Alan Goehring, and Nick Binger took down titles. Some lesser-known pros such as Ron McMillen and Pat Lyons also won titles. However, some of the biggest names in the game failed to take down a US title. I honestly expected a Daniel Negreanu or Phil Hellmuth caliber of player to take down an event, but it didn’t happen – at least in the US.
Smaller Winner Prizes
One thing that I mentioned previously is how that the winner prizes for this series were a lot smaller than your standard WSOP event. That’s primarily because the WSOP.com series features low buy-ins across the board.
— WSOP (@WSOP) July 7, 2020
Only a handful of events cracked the $1,000 buy-in plateau. Then you had PLO and low buy-in Turbo events which further knocked down prizes. The GGPoker version is already doing better in this regard, which is to be expected.
Field Sizes Were Great
I was generally impressed with the field size of many of the events for this series. I was expecting the series to struggle to consistently draw over 1,000 entries. That wasn’t the case. For the primary NL Hold’em events, the field size was regularly above 1,000 with a number of events going over 2,000.
The top event in terms of field sizes was Event #19, $400 NL Hold’em. That drew 2,545 players. The $1,000 Championship drew 2,126 players, more than double what I thought the number would be.
Just imagine what this series would be if West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan were added to the field. Maybe we will find out in the future.
World Series of Flop Games
While everything went about as well as can be expected, this still didn’t really feel like the World Series of Poker. When I think if the WSOP, I think about all of the different variants of poker I can play. In fact, I have only played a couple of NL Hold’em events in my life at the WSOP.
Normally, I play Limit Hold’em, HORSE, Stud 8 or Better, Seven Card Stud, and maybe the occasional Omaha Hi-Lo Event. I’ve even played Razz, but I don’t talk about that endeavor much.
This year, the WSOP feels like the World Series of Flop Games. It could be worse of course. It could have been all NL Hold’em. Still, mixed game players were left out this year.
Some will argue that mixed games would not have drawn well, and maybe that is the case. However, a true World Series has all forms of poker, not just flop games.
Canceling the Live WSOP Will Not Be as Rough
Despite my gripes regarding mixed games, the WSOP online has gone better than anyone could have hoped. The fields were solid for the US and the series produced some quality champions. As such, the now likely cancellation of the live version of the 2020 WSOP will not be so bad.
Yes, I think the live version will be canceled. That seems to be the general consensus. There are also rumblings that the WSOP Europe will be moved online. Once that is announced, you can expect the live WSOP to be canceled.
Fortunately, players still had a chance to play for bracelets in 2020. It may not be what we wanted, but it still worked out in the end.