Ways to Improve the 2020 British Poker Open
The inaugural British Poker Open is almost completed and you’ll probably hear mixed reactions as to whether the event was a success. Overall, the event drew well until the £25k events were reached. The attendance for the closing events, including the Main Event, was disappointing to say the least.
Today, I will take a look at a few ways that organizers could consider improving the British Poker Open to try and keep it an annual event.
Mix Up the Schedule More
One thing I saw as a drawback to the British Poker Open schedule was the variety in the schedule. There were two £10k NL Hold’em Events and three £25k NL Hold’em Events. Amazingly, the schedule only saw a single Short Deck event offered.
I like what they did for the PL Omaha Events. They had a £10k and a £25k event. That was a nice mix. They should have done that for the other events. Have a £10k and £25k NL Hold’em and a £10k and £25k NL Hold’em. You could still offer a £50k and a £100k NL if you’d like, but let’s cut back on the glut of NL events.
Next, let’s consider putting in at least one mixed game event. Even a £10k Mixed Game would have been preferable to skipping it entirely. If it were me, I’d put in a Mixed Game or Dealer’s Choice game and then a Big Bet event with a mix of NL Hold’em, PLO, and maybe even Big O.
Eliminate the £50k Event
By the time we got through the £25k events, it was clear that most of the players were done. The attendance dropped so much that Event #8 ended up being a single-day event that wasn’t event streamed. That alone should have been a clue that they need to readjust the schedule.
Consider dropping the £25k Event and replacing it with a lower buy-in event. The £10k events proved viable, so why not drop the £50k event for a smaller event.
Personally, I would drop the £50k and at least two of the £25k events to a £10k buy-in to allow more players to take a shot at the event.
Move Event to Earlier in the Year
I was not the biggest fan of holding this event in September as it comes after a long stretch of high stakes events in Las Vegas and elsewhere. This seems like an event that would be much more appropriate to hold somewhere around March.
Putting this earlier in the year would put it at a time before the big glut of summer events, and make it more likely that some players would make the trip. By September, a lot of players are worn out from the summer of poker or they simply don’t have the bankroll to play.
Reduce the Schedule to 8
While you never want to see shrinkage in a poker event, that may be the best course of action for the British Poker Open. It is clear that the second half of the schedule struggled to perform, so why not shorten it.
Get rid of the £50k event and one of the £25k events entirely and focus on an eight game schedule. Two NL Hold’em, two PLO, two Short Deck, and a Mixed Game event prior to the Main Event would be an awesome schedule.
If you plan to hold the Super High Roller Bowl London following the BPO in the future, this would be a great buildup and I believe attendance would be steady across all events. Sure, there will be a dropoff at the £100k Main Event, but at least it wouldn’t be half of the schedule suffering.
The British Poker Open is a great idea, but some tweaks are made to improve attendance. Otherwise, we will see it become a defunct event such as the World Series of Poker Asia Pacific.