WSOP Responds to Mike Sexton’s Criticisms

wsopLast week poker pro Mike Sexton used his blog to make comments about the World Series of Poker, stating why he thinks the brand is doing wrong in the poker industry. Sexton won a WSOP bracelet in 1989 and currently works with the World Poker Tour. In his blog, Sexton stated that while he has love and respect for the WSOP, there are things he wishes would change. Sexton mentioned several areas that he takes issue with, including the November Nine, the number of WSOP bracelets awarded each year as well as the criteria that pertains to the WSOP Player of the Year contest.

On the November Nine, Sexton stated that the idea to delay the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event until the month of November was ‘admirable’ but is basically keeping the player’s money for four months and allowing players to train for the additional time frame until the final table takes place. He also mentioned it is a waste of time and money for those who are based internationally to fly to Las Vegas in the summer months to then have to return for the November final table. Sexton stated that simply put, the November Nine does not place players first.

Speaking on the number of bracelet events the WSOP provides, Sexton stated that he is more in favor of fewer bracelet events. Sexton says the WSOP is diluting their product, the value of the bracelet, by offering too many bracelet events. To win a WSOP bracelet is a dream of poker players but to continue to hand them out more and more each year will hurt this view of the prize, in his opinion.

On the subject of the WSOP Player of the Year race, Sexton has respect for the award but feels international events should not count towards the award since many players would not be able to travel abroad. Sexton feels WSOP bracelets should be awarded in the US only and obviously feels the same about the Player of the Year contest.

The full blog post can be read here and in the comment section you will find a full replay by Ty Stewart, the Executive Director of the WSOP. Stewart defended the November Nine by calling the final table the ‘biggest window we have to celebrate the game’. Also covered in his comments was how the WSOP takes measures to protect the funds of players as well as lessen the burden of travel to the event. 9th place receives money as soon as the final table is reached, and the remaining amount is set in an interest bearing account with interest earned paid to players. Business class travel is provided for players to come back to Las Vegas so there is no cost to return and compete in the November Nine.

On the subject of WSOP bracelets, Stewart stated that the WSOP is trying to bring the game of poker to the greatest number of people with every offering. He feels as though the brand is doing a great job to bring the opportunity to earn a bracelet to players at every price level and that to win a WSOP bracelet is still a worthy accomplishment.



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