Every year the poker world descends on Las Vegas to participate in the spectacle that is the World Series of Poker, and every year they are welcomed by Caesars, the Rio, and the WSOP staff.
This year they were also welcomed by WSOP.com, Caesars’ online poker room in Nevada, and the company is hoping the WSOP can revitalize the sluggish online poker industry in the state.
So far so good, as traffic is up significantly since the WSOP began last week.
In this week’s Nevada Online Poker Review we’ll take a look at the WSOP’s impact on the online poker numbers in the state, we’ll rundown the biggest stories of the past week at the Rio, we’ll let you know who is “winning” in the federal online gambling fight according to one reporter; and a whole lot more.
WSOP Boosting Online Traffic
Caesars decision to cross-promote the WSOP and their WSOP.com online poker room in Nevada has seemingly breathed some much needed life into the site. This is due mostly to the fact that average cash game traffic is up significantly after just one week of WSOP action.
As good as the results have been there is still a lot of room for even more growth. If Caesars can iron out a few nuisance issues players have encountered (such as a lack of IP addresses at the Rio) the results will keep rising.
Furthermore, as we have seen historically, the more players a site has the more players it attracts. I expect WSOP.com’s traffic to continue its upward climb as the WSOP plods along.
Traffic at WSOP.com is already up nearly 20% since the World Series kicked off (more on the traffic trends in Nevada can be found below). If the company could somehow manage to launch a mobile app at some point during the WSOP traffic would likely skyrocket.
Hellmuth Denied, Parker Wins Third, and More from WSOP
Last week it was the Vanessa Selbst show at the Rio as she kicked-off the 2014 WSOP in style, booking a win in the prestigious $25k Mix-Max event, and picking up her 3rd WSOP bracelet in the process. Since then, several players /events have tried to dethrone her as the early star of the WSOP, including Phil Hellmuth and the Millionaire Maker tournament.
Hellmuth Denied #14
Phil Hellmuth may have put Doyle and Johnny “F’ing” Chan in his rearview mirror, but he does have some young guns starting to breathe down his neck on the all-time bracelet list. As most of you know, the all-time bracelet lead is the most important poker metric in Phil Hellmuth’s eyes.
When you’ve accomplished as much as Phil has, it’s the close calls (the near-hits) that probably sting the most. That’s precisely what happened to Hellmuth when he lost heads-up for the bracelet in the $1,500 Razz tournament to Ted Forrest.
#14 is still on hold, and we’ll have to see if Hellmuth can make good on his goal of getting to 25 before he calls it a career.
Parker wins #3
While Phil couldn’t book #14, Brock Parker did win his third bracelet in the $10k Limit Omaha 8 Championship. Parker, known as one of the best limit hold’em players in tournament poker (won his first two bracelets back in 2009), recently won the 6-max limit and no-limit tournaments.
Milly Maker Nearly a Record Maker
Ho-hum, Event #8 was just your average 7,970 player field, falling short of the 8,773 runners the 2006 WSOP Main Event delivered. The Millionaire Maker did beat every other Main Event, and also became the largest non-Main Event tournament in WSOP history.
Kudos to the WSOP staff for pulling this tournament off considering both starting flights happened on the same day.
Weekly Guaranteed Tournaments in Nevada
WSOP.com Sunday $15K Guaranteed
This tournament is on a temporary hiatus as WSOP.com hosted several smaller events over the first weekend of the 2014 World Series of Poker. From here on out (during the WSOP that is) the weekly guarantee will be accompanied by a number of different tournaments from the WSOP.com Online Championships. Those results will be posted by us as well.
WSOP Main Event Satellite
Despite the World Series of Poker being underway, the turnout for the WSOP Main Event seat this past Sunday featured one of its worst turnouts to date as just 36 players registered for the satellite tournament.
Just a week after exceeding the one-seat guarantee and awarding a small second-place prize, WSOP.com had to juice the pot to the tune of a $2,800 overlay this week.
But I’m sure “PongPong” doesn’t mind!
- PongPong – 2014 WSOP Main Event seat
The $10K Guarantee tournament at Ultimate Poker
Another slight dip for Ultimate Poker as the $10k guarantee attracted just 86 runners (down 4 from last week) forcing UP to pony up over $2,000 towards the prize-pool.
You may recognize the 4th place finisher as the player who had some harsh words for Ultimate poker Willaim Reynolds earlier this year when Reynolds messed around with the site’s “Draw for the Button” policy to needle “money beets.”
Here are the final table payouts from the tournament:
- m1a1tank19k $2,900
- Ranney $2,000
- cyanever $1,500
- Money Beets $1,000
- Shadowman $800
- THORDOG $600
- aironie1 $500
- JP $400
- lvlioness $300
Traffic trends in Nevada
WSOP.com has moved the needle considerably thanks to the WSOP jumping from average traffic of 110 cash-game players to 130 cash-game players in the last week, according to www.pokerscout.com. Peak traffic is up even more: WSOP.com Nevada is now nipping on the hells of Party /Borgata in New Jersey as the largest licensed online poker provider in the US.
The traffic spike hasn’t reached Ultimate Poker at this point, with cash-game traffic in the 50 player range.
The Word On the Street
Forbes Nathan Vardi Says Adelson is “Winning”
Forbes’ Nathan Vardi “made his poker bones” during Black Friday when his coverage was must read material. Vardi was considered one of the few mainstream journalists who got the industry and did online poker justice in his coverage.
So when Nathan pens an article that reads “Sheldon Adelson Is Winning His War Against Online Gambling” I, of course, got very nervous and raced over to read it.
Fortunately the headline had a minor case of hyperbole as Vardi detailed the gains Adelson has made in derailing online gambling expansion (prominently giving the AGA’s recent decision to back out of the fight a level of importance I for one do not feel it deserves). However, he neglected to mention that his proposed ban has barely gotten a mention since it was introduced.