Every article you've read has probably mentioned how this year is "The Year Of The Pro," but who were the real winners and losers over the course of the last few weeks?
Pros. It can't be denied that the big-name pros had an exceptional year. Erick Lindgren, David Singer, Kenny Tran, J.C Tran, David Benyamine and John Phan all picked up their first bracelets, while Daniel Negreanu, Mike Matusow, Layne Flack, Scotty Nguyen and Barry Greenstein all added to their haul.
And these were just the names that your reasonably knowledgeable poker fan would know; many more of the other bracelet winners were regular pros whom people are less liable to have heard of.
On top of this, you had a whole host of players make one of the top three places in many events, from Ted Forrest's second place in the Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Split event, to Chris "Jesus" Ferguson getting a third place in the first $1,500 event and then second in the $5,000 Stud-8 event.
Full Tilt and PokerStars. It's been a great series for two of the biggest online sites who've regularly been able to flash shots on their software of the beaming smiles of bracelet winners. Full Tilt made the early running with wins for Nenad Medic, Erick Lindgren and David Singer but PokerStars chipped in soon enough, with Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein and Dario Minieri all taking home a bracelet as well.
Both sites will be more than satisfied with how everything has gone so far, but no doubt they'll be hoping that one of their guys will take down the big one. The benefits to any poker site of one of their pros winning the Main Event would be huge.
People Making It Deep. Unlike last year's final, the additional levels that have been inserted later on in the tournament have really made a difference. The $5,000 Six-Handed event was a real battle this year, unlike in the previous year where Bill Edler won by realizing the final had to be played like a turbo sit-and-go.
People Who Like Hold'em. If you like Hold'em, this WSOP had enough for you. Around 60% of events this year were Hold'em, in a variety of forms.
People Who Found the Miranda Soup and Noodle Kitchen. Tucked in around the corner away from all the stands and business, the soup and noodle kitchen served the best food to the few people who managed to make the effort to find it.
The Germans. Three bracelets for the Germans this year and all-in non-Hold'em events - certainly not bad for a country with only a few established top-tier pros. Jens Voertmann, Sebastian Ruthenberg and Martin Klaser all added their names of a fairly short list of Deutschland-derived bracelet winners.
Players Who Like the Stud Games. If you're a Stud fan, you weren't going to find too many games this year. There was just one solitary Razz event this time, with only a couple of Stud Hi and Stud-8 events being played as well. If you preferred one specific version of Stud, you were going to be in trouble since there had been an increase of H.O.R.S.E. events, seemingly at the cost of Stud.
Internet Stars. Apart from Phil "OMGClayAitken" Galfond, the top tiers of Internet players like "durrrr" and "Gobboboy" have not managed to bag the bracelet during the Series, or even come that close. Scott "SCTrojans" Freeman came close in the second $1,000 Rebuy, but could only manage third. No doubt this failure will be met with a little bit of satisfaction from some of the live pros, who might well have feared the Internet kids usurping their territory. It seems that this year though, they've staved off the threat, for the moment.
People Playing the Smaller Events Only. With a smaller amount of chips, people playing the $1,500 and $2,000 side events are really not experiencing proper poker unless they make it deep into the event. And due to the size of these fields and the high amount of luck factored into them, this makes it hard to see most people getting their money's worth from the smaller events.
People at the Rio Wanting Food After 3 a.m. The Rio has to be one of the only casinos in Vegas where there is nowhere to get food between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. The Poker Kitchen shuts at 3 a.m., and then you're stuck with having to go across to the Gold Coast or ordering room service, with the latter usually taking an hour to be delivered. At least give us something next year for when that tournament or cash game finishes extra late ...