The 2014 World Series of Poker is officially underway which means we are about to get our first look at what is possible in terms of online and live poker cross-promotions, as the WSOP and the Rio are going all-in with their marketing efforts to spread the word about their online poker product WSOP.com.
In this installment of the Nevada Online Poker Review we’ll take a look at the early happenings at the 2014 WSOP and see if we can extrapolate anything from this small sample size, both for the WSOP itself and for WSOP.com.
We’ll also update you on the latest Nevada online poker revenue data that was just released by the state; take a look at a very disturbing story that is developing regarding thefts at the Rio hotel; and as always go over the latest traffic data and tournament results from the Nevada online poker market.
Nevada Revenue Drops like a stone
The Nevada online poker revenue numbers for April are in, and they’re not very good.
According to the state’s numbers, Nevada’s online poker industry dipped nearly 15% month-over-month, as revenue dropped from $926k to $784k from March to April.
The dip comes after a nice increase from February to March where revenue jumped from $824k to $926k, which makes April’s revenue numbers all the more troubling considering February with its 28 days outperformed April with its 30 days by some $50,000.
WSOP off to a very strong start
Heading into the first weekend (when the action really picks up) the 2014 World Series of Poker has already produced a number of interesting stories, and judging by the opening events this could very well be one of the most successful WSOP’s of all time.
In Event #2, we have Vanessa Selbst playing heads-up for her third WSOP bracelet. Selbst is already the most decorated female player in the game’s history and a third bracelet (all in open events by the way) would cement her legacy as the greatest female poker player of all time, and one of, if not the best tournament players in the game, male or female.
In Event #3 the WSOP was able to break the previous record for the largest non-Holdem field in WSOP history, when the $1,000 PLO event’s registration hit 1,128 players. This is a good indication of the types of fields we can expect this year in my opinion, with a lot of the thanks going to the online satellites and of course the near $100 million the Garden City Group has sent out to former Full Tilt Poker players in the past few months.
In Event #5, the $10,000 2-7 Championship, all the big names and poker legends came out, including Doyle Brunson. Doyle originally said he was retiring from tournament play, but it seems the allure of the 2-7 Championship was too much for him… Doyle did make Day 2 of the tournament, but will need some help to make Day 3 as he is sitting on one of the smaller stacks in play.
And of course, for the first time, players can hop on WSOP.com and play legal, real-money online poker while they’re in Vegas, and can even plat at the WSOP’s custom table in the Grind Room.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t been all positive for the WSOP and the Rio thus far, as you’ll see at the end of this column.
Weekly Guaranteed Tournaments in Nevada
WSOP.com Sunday $15K Guaranteed
The turnout was way down in WSOP.com’s $15k guaranteed week-over-week, as just 85 players registered for the event, a far cry from the 105 players the tournament attracted last week. Still, the tournament easily surpassed its guarantee, with a final prize-pool tally of $17k.
We also had a high-profile player sighting at the final table as Christina Lindley (lindeyloo at WSOP.com) finished in 3rd place.
Here is a look at the complete final table payouts from this past week’s tournament:
- zentrain $4,845
- CindrllaMan $2,805
- lindeyloo $1,700
- legum $1,360
- Guypie $1,173
- FMyWife $1,003
- allprowi $833
- ship_ou $578
- ValueBet $459
WSOP Main Event Satellite
No overlay this time around as 53 players competed for yet another 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event seat at WSOP.com this past Sunday, which was eventually won by “Who_Is_Ivey” after he defeated “Guypie” in heads-up play.
While $600 is a far cry from a shot at $10 million in the WSOP Main Event “Guypie” is only the second player from these satellites to receive any type of consolation prize.
- Who_Is_Ivey – 2014 WSOP Main Event Seat
- Guypie – $600
The $10K Guarantee tournament at Ultimate Poker
Ultimate Poker also saw a sharp decline in attendance, as their $10k guaranteed Sunday Major drew just 90 players after exceeding 100 (101 to be precise) last week. The smaller turnout also meant a larger overlay, as UP had to kick-in $1,890 to the prize-pool.
Here are the final table payouts from the tournament:
- MattZman $2,500.68
- Upay4MyHJs $1,750.48
- TheOtherDave $1,200.30
- RedMike99 $900.20
- Wealthy360 $700.14
- DatDude $550.08
- GrnSmoothie $450.06
- PottyTrainMe $350.04
- Kristin $248.02
Traffic trends in Nevada
Average traffic hasn’t moved in either direction over the past week, with Ultimate Poker still at 55 average cash game players and WSOP.com sitting at about 110 according to www.pokerscout.com‘s data, but it looks like both sites might soon be trending upward thanks to the WSOP.
The reason I say this is, while average traffic hasn’t moved yet (pokerscout.com uses a 7-day rolling average and the WSOP has only been in town for a couple days) peak traffic has certainly increased, especially at WSOP.com, which had peak traffic of 289 players on Thursday.
It will be interesting to see just how many of the visiting players sign-up and play at the site, and I expect tournament traffic on Sunday’s to be the biggest beneficiaries.
The word on the street
Thefts at the Rio
As mentioned above, there has been a bit of early controversy at the 2014 WSOP, but it has nothing to do with the tournaments. According to at least three poker players, their rooms at the Rio were broken into and cash and computers were stolen.
The details of these stories are strange to say the least, and while nothing has been confirmed or sorted out every poker player in town should take great care in safeguarding their money and valuables.
As WSOP tournament director Jack Effel told PokerNews.com:
We take these allegations very seriously and are meeting with security/hotel management this morning to have a comprehensive discussion. We will report back to everyone soon. Thank you.