What the WSOP 2016 taught about the game’s future

Posted on: January 29, 2017

Poker has had its ups and downs since it was first developed in New Orleans in the 1800s. Today you’ll hear many say poker is dying as online poker becomes more regulated. However, the World Series of Poker Main Event of 2016 proved to all its spectators that poker is doing fine and does not plan on going anywhere, anytime soon.

The WSOP Main Event took Place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in November of 2016. The world’s most esteemed poker tournament had its most players join since 2011. 6,737 people came to participate from 79 different countries.

The Main Event brought the top nine players together at the table in the ultimate face-off for a shot at the $63,327,800 prize pool with a $10,000 buy in. Qui Nguyen, a Las Vegas native, walked away with $8,005,310 as reigning World Poker Champion. This happened to be Nguyen’s first WSOP bracelet and his first championship victory.

The WSOP Main Event has the largest buy-in and the most prize money at it is the deciding event for the World Poker Champion. However, for those who do not have a spare $10,000, there are lower cost events as part of the World Series of Poker.

In 2015, the Series introduced the first-ever Colossus event, which required a $565 buy-in. This particular tournament ended up setting a world record for most entrants in a live poker tournament with 22,374 participants. Even though they were pleased with those numbers, WSOP executives expected even more players to turn up for Colossus II this past year. Unfortunately, 2015’s total just could not be matched, but the 21,613 players registered was still quite an impressive amount.

The Colossus is a no-limit hold’em tournament that became the least-expensive WSOP event in history with its reasonably set $565 buy in. These lower buy-in tournaments are actually a sign of progress and growth in the future because they are helping the WSOP attract a larger customer base. In year’s past, nearly every event had at least a $1,500 or higher buy-in. Now, there are options that meet the needs of a much wider market.

Interesting statistics from the 2016 WSOP events are that women still are not as much a part of the game as many have hoped to see. Of those 6,737 Main Event participants, only 252 were women, which comes to only about 3.7%. With that said, it does not mean that females can not compete with the men at the highest levels of poker playing. In fact, Cate Hall and Vanessa Selbst are two examples of very successful women who you might not want to find at your poker table.

Based on all the exciting occurrences this year at the World Series, the future of the game of poker is looking bright and lively—definitely far from dead.

Along with watching exciting tournaments and poker series, games at Capitol Casino are as vigorous as ever and they will remain that way for many years to come. Do not wait to come in and practice your poker face.