5 Things We learned About the 2020 WSOP Online
Now that the 2020 WSOP Online is in the books, we can take a look back and see what worked and what didn’t. The coronavirus pandemic forced WSOP officials to put the WSOP, and there is a good chance we will not see a live version of the series in 2020.
The good news is that the series was successful overall but it wasn’t without hiccups. Let’s take a look at 5 things we learned during the 2020 WSOP Online.
Poker Pros Took the WSOP Online Seriously
There was some concern about whether the global poker community would embrace playing for bracelets online. All you needed to do is see how many pros were playing. Poker pros came out in force to try their hand at winning online bracelets.
In the money in the Beat the Pros, 33rd cash of the summer hahaha.
Still have zero bounties won, but got an average stack with less than 300 players left so I might as well win it. @GGPokerOfficial
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) September 5, 2020
The results spoke for themselves. Fedor Holz, Kristen Bicknell, Eoghan O’Dea, David Peters, Michael Gathy, Nick Binger, Joe McKeehen, and Tony Dunst all took down bracelets. While there were plenty of first-time winners, there were plenty of established pros winning bracelets to give this series some legitimacy.
Prize Pools Exceeded Expectations
The prize pools for both the American leg of the 2020 WSOP Online and the GGPoker version of the series far exceeded expectations. First place prizes for the American leg regularly exceeded $100k. Prizes for the international version were more in line with Vegas events.
The WSOP Online Main Event set a record for the largest prize pool for a single WSOP and awarded the largest first-place prize in online poker history. All event guarantees were met or shattered. Players are proving that online poker is not dead.
23 Starting Flights Should Not Be For Main Events
The WSOP Online Main Event cracked its guarantee of $25 million. Although, it took until the final two flights to get there. We aren’t talking 5 or 10 flights, but 23. This isn’t the first time a WSOP has employed over a dozen starting flights for an event. However, it is the first time for the Main Event.
Shall I start writing my ‘Alex Foxen wins WSOP online Main Event on 20th bullet’ story now?
— Barry Carter (@Barry_Carter) June 26, 2020
The starting flights took so long that many people lost interest. Even PokerNews didn’t report on many of the later flights. Overall, the Main Event took too damn long to play out.
No Reason to Delay Final Tables
One of the most annoying parts of the series was the delayed final tables for weekend events. The weekday events all played out in a single day, but many of the weekend events were two-day events with that second day coming a week later.
While this was done to try and hype up the final table, this became old quickly. If they had done this for the Main Event, the Poker Players Championship, or High Rollers, that would make more sense. Next year, fewer delayed final tables would be better.
The Poker Community Does Not Back the Online Version of the WSOP
Players came out in force to support the WSOP Online. However, the same is not true for fans and the general poker community. By and large, the WSOP Online was ignored unless a major name took down an event. Even then, the win was quickly forgotten.
Melissa Burr may have best summed it up on Twitter:
I've never seen a community collectively care so little for their MAIN EVENT as poker just did this week.
— Melissa Burr (@burrrrrberry) September 6, 2020
She is right. The poker community did not really care about the Main Event winner. There’s a good chance that the winner of the 2020 WSOP Online will become a forgotten champion in years to come. The lack of hype around the event coupled with the excessively long tournament led to most people tuning out.
The 2020 WSOP Online was a necessary evil due to the pandemic. Hopefully, things will return to normal by next summer so that a standard series will run. While not ideal, the 2020 WSOP Online was very successful and a great alternative to canceling the series.
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