Bracelet caliber: Does the WSOPE measure up?


All that glitters is not gold … or so the saying goes. The same may apply to the various bracelets being tossed around like hotcakes these days in the poker world.

With 55 events at this year's World Series in Las Vegas, there's a lot of bling already adorning plenty of wrists this year. With six $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em events among the 55, there's already some debate as to how seriously a bracelet win should be taken.

Is a player who won one of the six bracelets for the very same event less of a champion than someone who won a bracelet in an event that wasn't duplicated over and over and over again in the same year? Then again, with the money that also came with those bracelets, I doubt the people wearing them are all that concerned about whether it's only one-sixth as good as the others.

Nearly the same debate was brought up during the 2006 Jerry Yang had plenty of faith that helped him become the champion in a playing field of more than 6,000 players, but he may not be happy finding out he'll have to share the prestigious title with a player who only had to defeat a field of 362 players to achieve the same status.

Size doesn't matter in the world of WSOP bracelets though. The championship bracelet of today holds the same amount of weight as one earned back when Doyle Brunson was first strapping his on against thousands fewer players.

Back then the bracelets were an even bigger indicator of actual skill anyway as only the best of the best could afford the $10,000 buy-in. In that respect, the European event is much the same way. Because the event is fairly new, and the buy-in is pretty high for the average poker fan, the event is chock-full of some of the best players from all over the world, with a lot fewer "dead money" players cramming in making it more about luck than about skill to weed through the playing field.

In the end, everyone will have their own opinion. Some will equate the WSOPE bracelets to a circuit event win because it's not the true series that plays in Las Vegas. Others will say a bracelet is a bracelet and call it good.

Harrah's will eventually have to make the choice themselves if they want to make it official. It would save the rest of us a lot of confusion, and Jerry Yang a lot of stress over wondering if someone new is about to usurp his throne way earlier than he thought they would.

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