SBD/Issue 48/Events & Attractions

WSOP Sees Another Record-Setting Year In '09, Looks Ahead To '10

WSOP Main Event Sees Less Entrants, But
Cheaper Events See Big Rise In Participation
While World Series of Poker (WSOP) officials expected the economic downturn to "decrease registration numbers in 2009, the tournament enjoyed another record-setting year," according to Case Keefer of the LAS VEGAS SUN. A total of 60,875 players participated in 57 events, which is an "increase of more than 2,000 registrations from a year ago -- and nearly 57,000 more than competed only nine years ago." WSOP Dir of Communications Seth Palansky said of next year's WSOP, "We expect to find a way to increase participation. But I don't think you'll see the record growth you have since 2000."  While the numbers this year "dropped for higher buy-in events -- such as the $10,000 Main Event -- they exploded for the cheaper events." The $1,000 No Limit Hold 'Em event "drew more than 6,000 entrants," and Palansky said that next year's schedule "would reflect the success of the lower buy-in events." Also, the Main Event "continues to draw strong ratings, as 2.1 million viewers watched this year's final table" on tape delay on ESPN. Meanwhile, Keefer notes the WSOP staff is "moving forward with its plans without Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack, who resigned last week." The tournament "will now revert back to operating without a commissioner." Palansky: "There's no plans to replace the commissioner role, nor do we feel that there's a void there" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 11/18).

COUNTING HIS CHIPS: '09 WSOP Main Event champion Joe Cada appeared on CBS' "Late Show" last night. CBS' David Letterman asked the 21-year-old Cada how long he has been playing poker and when he answered four years, Letterman exclaimed, "Four years!? Really!? I would have thought it was like 10, 20 years or something. But you're just a kid. That wouldn't work." After Cada said he lost $100,000 in one day while playing poker, Letterman said, "You should just get a job. Why don't you just get a job? Make some real money." Cada: "Sounds like my mom." Letterman: "All of a sudden poker is everywhere and in my mind, the winner of a big pot they find dead in a rental car. That doesn't happen anymore, right?" Cada: "It's not like you see in the movies or anything and it's not like those backdoor games that you play in where people have guns. It's a fun thing to do socially." Cada was not wearing any poker-sponsored apparel during his appearance ("Late Show," CBS, 11/17).

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