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The World Series of Poker Circuit is Back

WSOP

When the World Series of Poker decided to revamp its Circuit tour, there was a lot of buzz around the industry because people felt the WSOP Circuit desperately needed a change to help bring itself back to life. PokerNews took a look at how the WSOP Circuit had performed over the years and you can clearly see how much the numbers declined year by year. With the numbers falling, so did the prize pools, so the big name players sought out different tours to make their big money.

Many say change is good and if you're the WSOP Circuit, change is certainly good, and it has proven to be for the better so far this season. Attendance is back up and the prize pools are growing. The National Championship points system is a great addition to the Circuit and has really garnered some great feedback from the players. Now, let's get into the numbers and see the growth.

If you take a look at the table below, you can see that the numbers only saw a nice increase after the buy-ins were cut essentially in half. More players could afford the tournaments and more came out. Sure, you couldn’t win as much money, but you could win even more buy-ins for the one you put up, making the tour have better value. Last season, the Circuit saw an average field size of 125.6 players and the average buy-ins won for first place was 33.13. Already this season, the numbers look much, much better.

In Council Bluffs, Iowa, for the first stop on this season’s tour, the Main Event drew 251 entrants. Yes, the buy-in was cut to $1,500, but there were still over 59 buy-ins won for first place by Blair Hinkle. Doing some math, it looks like the average first-place prize could be estimated at about $87,000 for all of the stops on tour this season. The $88,555 that Hinkle won already surpassed that, making for a positive start.

Here’s a table showing how the numbers came out over the past seasons along the WSOP Circuit.

SeasonAvg. FieldAvg. Buy-inAvg. PrizeAvg. Buy-ins Won
2004-2005222.4$10,000$692,30169.23
2005-2006142.2$9,925$467,52147.11
2006-2007234.5$4,982$358,68272
2007-2008186$5,258$298,18656.71
2008-2009144.8$5,150$199,85038.81
2009-2010125.6$5,158$170,87633.13

Moving forward to the Circuit event that’s currently going on at Horseshoe Southern Indiana, 289 players came out for that Main Event and first place is worth $99,878. That’s also above the projected amount of $87,000 by a good margin. That number may not be as high as the average of $170,876 that winners were taking home last season, but 66.59 buy-ins isn’t too shabby at all. In fact, it’s over double the average buy-ins won last year at each event (33.13).

As it stands right now, it looks like the changes the WSOP made to the Circuit have worked out and they’re making leaps and bounds from last season. There may never be the same numbers that the poker boom caused, but building upon previous years is always a solid outcome and something the WSOP should be very proud of. Looking forward to the next stop in Hammond, the numbers are expected to be very big. That area has been booming with poker in the recent year or two and should only continue to grow. With both a $1,500 Main Event and a $10,000 Regional Championship on the schedule, you can bet that the big names will be out to play.

Be sure to stay posted to all the coverage PokerNews brings you from the 2010-2011 WSOP Circuit to make sure whether or not the numbers stay up or start to decline at all. By the looks of it, the WSOP Circuit is back and only going to get better from here.

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