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Polishing the Bracelets: Striving for Perfection with the WSOP

by Katie Dozier |  Published: Jun 03, '12


In a recent interview with Agent Marco on QuadJacks, Jack Effel said, “If we don’t continue to strive for perfection, we’re never ever going to get close.” In that same vein, I’d like to bring up a few issues that have come up so far this series, and my imperfect suggestions for how to improve upon them.

After Jon Aguiar tweeted a few complaints about how his final table was run, primarily about the new announce every action policy at final tables @WSOP official twitter retweeted the following:

Endorsing a customer being called a nasty word is unacceptable. Furthermore, WSOP’s retweet of this reflects poorly on the poker industry as a whole—that the holy grail of our profession can hurl a sophomoric insult when a person complains.

Suggested Fix:

Unretweeting the tweet was a good first step. Have someone high up in the company personally apologize to Aguiar, and have the WSOP account also tweet the apology and that they’re interested in hearing ways to improve the series for players. Inact a firm policy for the WSOP twitter account, including the effort to respond to all criticisms politely, even if this requires additional staff. This suggested solution will help players keep their comments more constructive and less angry about any errors in the future.

Big names tweeting that they are unhappy with things in the series is likely to hurt the turnout—which is just another reason why it’s imperative that the WSOP handles complaints well, and continually looks to improve the series. I don’t think anyone expects a tournament series of this scope to be perfect, but everyone wants to feel that their complaint was noted and that the WSOP is striving for perfection.

Back to the issue behind the controversial retweet: the policy of having to announce every action, including folding at final tables. Jack Eiffel explained in the above interview that the reason for the new policy was to make actions clear and for the live stream, and that they will continue to encourage players to verbalize actions but not issue penalties for failure to do so.

Suggested Fix:

Apply more effort into making a solid live stream, with higher video quality and more cameras that make it easier to see the action. For novices watching at home, this additional expense could easily pay for itself in terms of more players coming to play at the WSOP, and growing the game as a whole.

Another complaint for the WSOP that bears mentioning centers around the quality of the dealers. Hiring new and inexperienced dealers is bad for both the players and the dealers. One female dealer I had in the $1,500 on Monday, said she had never dealt a tournament before. She kept making small mistakes, and though I was frustrated by the tiny number of hands we were able to see during her time at our table, I also felt horrible for her. She was clearly out of her element and miserable. It isn’t fun for someone that’s hired for a job that they aren’t yet prepared for.

Suggested Fix:

Institute higher try-out and experience requirements for dealers. Also, create a WSOP dealer leaderboard, in which players vote for their favorite dealer in the series, and the top 10 receive bonuses that escalate up to the top spot. Taking this amount from the dealer pool would amount to a very small percentage devoted to the leaderboard overall, yet would create an incentive (both in terms of money and prestige) for being the best dealer.

As the series goes on, I hope that both players and the WSOP can remember that we have the same common goal of trying to grow the game of poker —and we can best accomplish this by working together.

Katie “hotjenny314” Dozier is a lead coach for Team Moshman and one of the Grindettes. An accomplished super-turbo and MTT player, she makes videos for Drag The Bar and PokerStrategy . Dozier, co-authored Pro Poker Strategy: The Top Skills and The Superuser. She posts more frequent updates on Twitter.

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of


almost 10 years ago

The dealer challenge stems from how well dealers are paid. It use to be that the WSOP was the best gig a dealer could get and they would travel in to work the six weeks. With the growing number of deepstacks and other tourneys in town the dealer pool is spread thin. With mediocre pay, long hours and working daily with players who can be pretty unpleasant, sometimes new dealers are the only ones you can get to deal with that.


almost 10 years ago

And old saying you get what you pay for. If the pay and working conditions were better you would get better dealers. Players are always going to whine. The WSOP you are talking about 60+ events where 90% of players in each event are losers. It's actually worse then that when you consider 50% of the money in each event goes to the top 4 or 5 players and a majority of the cashers are getting little more then their money back. This is not like the internet where a player can put up that same money and enter a large # of events and hope to win 1 in 20 to make money. This is 1 and done each day for many players who cannot afford to lose what they do.


almost 10 years ago

Well put Clunker..........


almost 10 years ago

nothing is going to hurt the turnout at the wsop. tweeting out players customers or not is part of poker and keeps it hot like a soap opera. Just play and stop looking to be right all the time


almost 10 years ago

Not to pile on but poker players need to understand that they do not "own" the WSOP. It seems people that consider themselves to be "important" in the poker world think that a buy in somehow gives them a management stake. To me Aguiar, Fricke and anyone else that "offers their services" to the WSOP are diluted. The WSOP is a business and you are a customer (you aren't even a stock holder). If you do not like a policy... don't play. The WSOP helped create this issue with their so called "Poker Player Advisory Panel". This was nothing more than a publicity stunt and the panel had no real power. This tournament series is operated by Harrahs and is their sole property. If they feel it's necessary to insert random rules.... that's their prerogative. If the "customers" don't like they can complain and if that doesn't work... they can not play. These so called "pros" are not going to tell a billion dollar corporation how to run its business just because they pay an entry fee. The whole notion of these guys "offering their services" is absurd.

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