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$1k Event Falls Short of Record
Registration for the first of six $1k No-Limit Hold'em events closed Sunday and with 4,345 players the tournament fell 1,700 players short of last year's record-setting field.
The large gap in the registration totals could suggest that the economy is still in dire straights, but a more likely explanation is that Harrah's only hosted one $1k event last year and it has never begun prior to Memorial Day weekend.
"They're kind of diluting the $1k event," said UB poker pro Adam Levy. "It being Memorial Day weekend can be a good thing for attendance, but it could also take away from things."
Seth Palansky, Communications Director for the World Series of Poker, agreed with Levy regarding the influence of the holiday on attendance.
"We knew a lot of people had other plans and commitments and weren't going to show up now," said Palansky.
Yesterday, it seemed almost inevitable to many that last year's attendance record would be broken. With 2,601 players taking their seats on Day 1a, poker pundits speculated that Day 1b could potentially be even bigger.
Consequently, the additional events added to this year's schedule have stirred up a few prop bets. Mohsin Charania was one player who made a bet based on an over-under line of 6,000 players.
However, there could have been some confusion because the numbers shown on the tournament floor combined both days' total registrants. Yesterday, during Level 1 it appeared to many that 3,722 players had already registered for day one alone.
Despite the outcome it's clear the $1k events are still popular with players.
"The additional $1k events were scheduled to meet the demands of the marketplace," said Palansky.
Palansky wasn't sure if last year's record would have been broken today without the addition $1k events and he wasn't disappointed by the 4,345-player-turnout.
"We look at it as if, at the end the Summer, those six events attract 20,000 people then we increased it by 14,000 people."
Harrah's is apparently trying to accommodate as many players as possible. There will be a total of five more $1k events scheduled in the upcoming Saturdays.
"We just want to make every weekend for the folks who can't dedicate their weeks to the World Series of Poker, you know - the weekend warriors," said Palansky.