WSOP: No $40k NLH, No Champions Invitational in 2010

by , Sep 2, 2009 | 4:13 pm


“Next year, you’re not going to have a Champions Invitational. You’re not going to have a $40K for the 40th-annual event,” said [WSOP Communications Director Seth] Palansky. “Both events probably come back 10 years from now, when we’re celebrating 50 years. We announced them and intended them as one-off specials.”

First off, I’m not sure I really understand the meaning of “one-off”. Have heard it bandied around for the past year and have even used it myself, but the above quote doesn’t fit in with my definition.

Secondly, wasn’t there talk — perhaps on Gary Wise’s radio show? — about there being a $41k next year, $42k the year following that, $43k, $44k … basically an event growing each year in accordance with an attached Super Bowl number?

Scrapping the Champions Invitational also seems an interesting move. I won’t miss it, to be sure, but interesting that they’ve apparently just decided to nix it all together instead of giving it a second made-for-TV go and trying to scrap it.

With these being two of the four televised events this year, ESPN clearly had to have some say in the matter.

9 Comments to “WSOP: No $40k NLH, No Champions Invitational in 2010”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    I think that was discussed with the Commish about possibly doing 41k, 42k, etc. events. The Champions Invitational doesn’t need to return every year. Doing the Tournament of Champions every year would seem a better fit, if someone else puts up the money.

    Seth Palansky also mentioned the following for 2010:

    As many as SIX $1k buyin events
    A bigger footprint for the WSOP, possibly using the PokerPalooza area to reduce the possibility of sellouts.
    The WSOP schedule coming out in the fall.

    An article up on Tuesday mentioned that the 50k HORSE event may return to ESPN next year. Palansky said that the PAC would have to make the final table NL holdem. The ESPN person quoted in the article mentioned that wasn’t necessarily the case, that it’s possible that it would remain HORSE the entire tournament.

  2. BJ Nemeth

    Unless I’m mistaken, the talk of continuing the $40K anniversary event in future years was done early in the WSOP. Notably, that talk was *before* the $50K HORSE event was widely seen as a failure for drawing fewer than 100 players.

    Basically, I don’t think the $40K is being dropped for drawing attention away from the Main Event (which would have eclipsed last year’s numbers if there was room on Day 1d), but for drawing attention (and players) away from $50K HORSE, which they dub the “Players’ Championship.”

    Personally, I think a high-buyin no-limit hold’em event fills an important niche at the WSOP. It creates a separate no-limit hold’em champion (comparable to the “world championship” events in stud, omaha, limit hold’em, etc.), while the WSOP Main Event awards its winner the traditional title of “World Champion of Poker.”

    The Champions Invitational, on the other hand, makes no sense as an annual event, which would dilute it and lessen what little grandeur it has. All along, WSOP insiders have been saying the Champions Invitational wouldn’t return until the WSOP’s 45th or 50th anniversaries, at best.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think ESPN has veto power or anything similar over the WSOP events schedule. They are consulted, certainly, when it comes to potentially televised events, but ESPN doesn’t dictate the schedule.

    Dan — In my experience, “one-off” has always meant that something is a one-time event. Not sure of the etymology though.

  3. DanM

    interesting … i will keep exploring proper usage of “one-off” — even though it’s right up there with “kerfuffle” as an over-used phrase that exploded to the point of cliche in 2008-2009. everything is a one-off kerfuffle these days … often involving retarded douchebags.

    i’m almost sure you are right that ESPN doesn’t have veto power over the schedule. my understanding is that the WSOP puts together a schedule … ships it to ESPN … ESPN comes up with a TV schedule … ship it back, and the WSOP might engage in some fine-tuning to that. or ESPN takes part in some pre-schedule convo, and when Jack and his (unofficial) PAC subcommittee are putting together the schedule, they are fully aware of needing to work in X, Y, and Z events around dates and times A, B, and C because of television concerns.

    not sure how i feel about the possibility of switching from HORSE to NLH for the final table. used to hate the notion of perverting such a high-dollar tourney … but now i see some storyline value to hey, these are the uber-serious players that put up some big bucks and fought through tough opponents in other games to get to this exciting, big-dollar NLH sit-n-go. they are all primed and ready for the gloves — and the betting limits — to come off!

  4. Kevin Mathers

    It seems like Dan forgot to finish his thought.

  5. DanM

    oops, yeah. it wasn’t worth finishing. since deleted. thx.

  6. sgtcyber

    Actually the correct phrase is “one-of” meaning “one of a kind” etc.

    If one is going to write articles, one needs to understand English.

    At least, that’s the way I see it!


  7. DanM

    though i disagree with your alternate spelling and usage, sarge, you are correct … i really need to understand Ingles mucho mas.

  8. BJ Nemeth

    Sarge — According to the online dictionaries I checked (including Merriam-Webster, below), “one-off” is a compound word that has been in use since the Great Depression. None of the dictionaries I searched had any entries for “one of” or “one-of.”

    Merriam Webster’s entry for “one-off”:

    “One of” as an abbreviation doesn’t make any sense. The implication is that it would be one of many, and not one of a kind.

  9. Jason B

    Stimulating, indeed!