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World Series Of Poker, Guy Laliberté Firm On Cap For $1 Million Buy-in Event

High-Stakes Cash Game Pro Sam Trickett Tells Card Player He Will Play

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Photo Credit: WSOPThe most expensive open buy-in tournament in the history of poker has a 48-player cap, and despite some criticism from the game’s community, the World Series of Poker and the event’s organizer, Guy Laliberté, aren’t budging.

The $1 million buy-in charity event is scheduled for nationwide TV exposure, and drama is good for ratings and interest in the cause.

“It’s every show producer’s dream to always leave at least one person at the door, unable to buy a ticket,” Laliberté told Card Player. “That’s how you know you have a really great show. It’s a fundamental principle of marketing. I remember when a special edition Ferrari came out. They calculated that there were 350 people in the world who would buy it, which is why they only made 349.”

As the 2012 festival nears, some of the game’s best are fixated on the tournament that will award as much as $15 million to the winner. Over his 24-year career, poker pro Erik Seidel has accumulated $16.9 million in earnings — good for the top spot on the all-time money list.

The WSOP took to Twitter on Tuesday to maintain that the cap will stay at 48. So far, about 40 players have confirmed their participation. A month ago, the list was at 30.

Poker pro Jason Somerville Tweeted that he wanted to know if the WSOP will actually turn people away if they “show up with a wheelbarrow of [money] the day of the event.”

Veteran grinder Cliff Josephy chimed into the conversation: “I suspect the cap is to entice [players] to [register] while the field is soft, but they’ll kill the cap when 48 is hit.”

Guy LalibertéLaliberté prefers the mix of professional and amateur players.

“It’s kind of like a red corner versus blue corner,” he said. “It’s almost even for both sides. By keeping the event at that number, the luck factor says that anybody can win.”

High-stakes terror Sam Trickett, who confirmed to Card Player that he will be playing, said that it seems “strange” to have a cap on such an event, and it would be better for him not to have one. Trickett is accustomed to seven-figure cash game pots.

“I actually believe we will hit the cap at this point,” WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart said in a Tuesday conference call. “There’s a lot of activity of players trying to find their way in.”

For Laliberté, who has played in some of the largest cash games around and five years ago made a final table at the World Poker Tour Championship, it’s also about fairness.

“By capping the field size, we allow these players to know what they are getting themselves into. Permitting more players after the fact would be unfair.”

Stewart added that it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event, but Laliberté has said there is a market for it to happen annually. “It’s too early to tell,” Stewart said.

Julio Rodriguez contributed to this story.

Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus

 
 
 
 

Comments

dencho
9 years ago

Ok, I can understand dropping $10k for a chance to win over $8 million (even if the odds are 6000 plus to one- all things being equal which of course they are not). The difference is a life changing amount.
BUT, WHY would you risk $1 million for a 47 -1 chance to win "only" $15 million???? If you can afford to wager $1 million in the first place, then $15 million doesn't cut it. Not even close. This is just stupid.

 
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MNNU83
9 years ago

Because you are not just gambling on a 47-1 shot on winning $15mil. The event will pay the top 7ish players. So if everyone is equally skilled, you are gambling $1mil on a 47-7 shot on winning more than you invested. The math is the same as every other poker tournament, it is worth the investment if the EV you have in the event is greater than the cost of entry (assuming your bankroll can afford the risk, of course). You are making it sound like they are putting down $1mil on one number on a roulette table and are receiving poor odds on the wager which isn't the case at all.

 
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dencho
9 years ago

I understand that you "only" get a 10% chance to get paid in the main event, but you also get a chance to get 800 times your initial investment. In the case of the main event, it would a life changing difference. It becomes more reasonable to take on the long shot odds.

If what you are saying is true, then the payout in this event is "flatter" than the typical structure where only top 10% get paid.
If seven get paid out of 48 then its more like 15% (give or take). So you are wagering $1 million for only a 15% chance of getting your money back or more. BUT- and this is the key difference- In this event you only have the chance to get AT MOST 15 times your money. It simply doesn't make sense to wager that sum of money (1 million)for a 2% chance of getting 15 times your money which is not a life changing amount. It simply not worth it.

 
 

laserguy2020
almost 9 years ago

1) They are paying 20% of the field. You don't have to win to make A LOT of money in the event.

2) Most people are pieced out so they are gambling MUCH LESS than $1million

3) Any pro is much better than 47-1 to win/cash because of their skill level versus much of the rest of the field

By your logic, if all you care about is what % of ROI you are getting for your risk, then people should just scrap poker and all buy lottery tickets instead, which is pretty much what the Main Event is.

 
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higonp
9 years ago

Think turning away 1 hundred and 11 thousand dollars straight to charity per entry is not only a bad decision it is a disgrace.

 
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WPS22
9 years ago

Yes, but you have to read between the lines of Guy's comments. He is trying to say that w/o the cap, a lot of the rich businessmen wouldn't have signed up to play. He says the cap aloud them to "know what they were getting into".

Idk if he's right or not, but he seems to feel a lot of these guys wouldn't have reg'd if there was no cap. If none of them registered, we'd be looking at just 20 top pros and no one else would even want to enter.

He did a lot of work to put this thing on. His goal is obviously to raise as much money as possible for One Drop. Whatever he is doing is most likely what he thinks is the best way to achieve that. I think the fact that we are even talking about more than 48 ppl wanting to buy in to a million dollar tourney w/ a huge charity rake attests to the job he's done.

 
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Tony4
9 years ago

Yeah I agree with higon, it does not seem very intelligent to turn away extra donations to the charity seeing as it is set up as a charitable tournament for the 1 drop foundation. Poker is a game where if you have the money to pony up for the buy in then you should be able to enter. If that's not the case, and they want only a certain number of pros to keep an even field, then why don't they just hold the event privately instead of running it at the WSOP.

 
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BryceFox
9 years ago

I think it's great that you can min-cash an event and win about 600k

 
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oliveras19
9 years ago

I AM GOING TO WAIT FOR NEXT YEAR'S BILLION DOLLAR ENTRY TOURNAMENT. THIS WAY I CAN WIPE OUT TRUMP, ZUCKERBERG, ETC. ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

 
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clunker
9 years ago

15 million prize for Mr. Laiberte who is a multi billionaire is just pocket change.. Many of the people entering this tournament are in the same boat and there is probably some tax write off involved because of the charity aspect. The only people who if they won would be life changing aspect would be the pros who owe millions. They can get out of debt as long as they don't sell more then 100% of themselves.

 
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LancyHoward
9 years ago

Is it, or should it be, a bracelet event?

 
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iambobby
9 years ago

another example of the sleazy people who run poker. maybe howard and russ were not so bad.

 
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