World Series of Poker Europe

Is It Time for Pot-Limit Hold'em To Be Replaced On the WSOP Schedule?

Is It Time for Pot-Limit Hold'em To Be Replaced On the WSOP Schedule? 0001
  • Is it time for the World Series of Poker to move on from pot-limit hold'em?

The World Series of Poker is poker's most storied tournament festival, dating back to 1970 and the focal point of the game each year. Many different tournaments have taken place at the WSOP each summer, and in 1992 a new format of Texas hold'em was played with pot-limit hold'em hitting the schedule for the first time.

At least one pot-limit hold'em event has been on the WSOP schedule every year since. In fact, only 1999 had just one pot-limit tournament. Every other year there were two or three. This year, there are once again two on the schedule — the $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em and the $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em Championship. The first of those two is currently taking place and today marks Day 3 of the event that attracted 639 runners. The second, bigger buy-in, championship version kicks off Thursday.

Over the years, various other buy-in levels have been played in pot-limit hold'em, with events taking place that $1,500, $2,000, $2,500, $3,000, and $5,000 to enter.

Rumblings around the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino can often be heard about the game of pot-limit hold'em and how much the players despise the variant, but it still remains a part of the WSOP.

"It's tragic, but I guess I like it because it's a winnable bracelet," said Greg Merson when asked what he thought of the variant. "It's like one big, long cash game. The $10K only gets 150-200 players, so it's winnable."

The $10,000 buy-in pot-limit hold'em events Merson is referring to first took place in 2008 and it attracted 352 entries that year. But, each year since the numbers have declined. On the other end of the buy-in spectrum, the $1,500 pot-limit hold'em events have remained rather steady for almost a decade now. Prior to the steadiness in the field size, the $1,500 pot-limit hold'em events in 2005 and 2006 attracted a big 1,071 and 1,102 entries, respectively, but it doesn't look this it's going to be returning to those heights anytime soon.

High-stakes player Brian Hastings suggested other, more popular games replace it.

"Don't see much logic in having pot-limit hold'em, but no badugi, badeucey, or badacey, which are played infinitely more," Hastings said.

Like Hastings, Ryan Laplante and Darryll Fish offered replacement options.

"Should make it a big antes instead," Laplante said.

"Either six-max pot-limit Omaha or pot-limit hold'em/pot-limit Omaha split seem like much better options to me," suggested Fish.

Some players, though, don't mind the game, like Jeremy Ausmus and Justin Pechie.

"One of my favorite events," commented Pechie via Twitter.

"Variety is good, keep it," said Ausmus.

Kevin O'Donnell also said that he liked the event.

Looking at the numbers of entries each year, here's what we have:


From this data, it seems to tell us that the low buy-in pot-limit hold'em tournaments may want to stay on the WSOP schedule, but then again if it was replaced with another option, the field size could grow to 1,000 or more. As the higher buy-in events, the numbers have been lackluster and all signs point to a smaller field of 150-200 again this year for Thursday's $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em Championship.

With so many other games become more widely played than pot-limit hold'em, this could really be the year things change based on the number of entries the $10,000 event gets. The $1,500 version will likely stay after seeing an increased field size, but many of the high-stakes players sound like they would prefer another option for a $10,000 event.

What do you think? Let us know by taking the poll below.

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