WSOP Knockoffs Thrive/Struggle

by , Jun 22, 2008 | 11:31 am

The Venetian was on to something when they created their Deep Stack Extravaganza series of tournaments. Not so shockingly, the low-stakes masses flocked to these events where you could compete against sizable fields will skill-rewarding starting stacks for hundreds, as opposed to thousands, of dollars.

This year, several casinos with an obvious love for poker tried something similar … but not all have found the same results. In fact, the Venetian itself was apparently struggling to fill their tables earlier this WSOP. A sign that, damn, poker really is waning? Not exactly …

The Caesar’s Palace MegaStack tournament series was giving more chips per dollar-buy-in than the Venetian … and lo and behold they took all their players. So the Venetian has reportedly responded by adding 2,500 more chips to their own Deep Stacks … and lo and behold, the players returned.

Meanwhile, downtown, the two big tournament series (they apparently call a series of tourneys “festivals” in Europe … I like that!) are the Grand Series of Poker at the Golden Nugget, and the Binion’s Poker Classic. Upon a quick spot-check at Binion’s $110 Seniors event yesterday, they seem to be doing fine. They are in their second year of doing this, of course, whereas the Golden Nugget is in their first … and struggling (with or without Montel Williams). Apparently several of their megasatellites have had less than two tables worth of runners, and don’t make … and a far cry from true “sit n gos” … even the single-table satellites are taking upwards of three hours to fill.

I don’t have full numbers on any of these events … but that’s the basic gist on summertime mini-WSOP’s:

Caesar’s — kick-ass according to all reports
Venetian — maybe not as good as before, but still pretty sweet
Binion’s — Binion’s is Binion’s; there’s always good tournament action even if some players steer clear of the high likelihood of an opponent spitting on the floor
Golden Nugget — tiny fields=tiny payouts; better luck next year?

2+2 has a great thread running down the daily Las Vegas tourney schedule all summer long.

4 Comments to “WSOP Knockoffs Thrive/Struggle”

  1. olivert

    Completely expected outcome:

    1. Caesars had an advantage in “location” over the Venetian so Caesars was able to siphon off the deep stack crowd.

    2. The Golden Nugget, due to its downtown location, is simply going after the wrong clientele. Downtown is for LOW rollers, not MID rollers or HIGH rollers.

    3. Binions had the right formula in 2007 (by stealing the idea from The Bike in LA) and simply improved upon the formula for 2008. The Binions tournies are unofficial multi-table satellites for the WSOP bracelet events. Binions have been so successful that The Bike in LA had to change the name of its “Mini Series” to “SoCal 20/30”.

  2. DanM

    SoCal 20/30? What’s the 20/30 for?

  3. Kevin Mathers

    Starting stacks 20x the buyin, 30 minute levels.

  4. DanM

    Ooh, I like! Great concept. I mean the way they’ve named it, not just the deep stacks in general.