Effel clears up controversy over Stud event

Allen Kessler
What's going on here?

Controversy erupted last night at the WSOP when the first two levels of play of the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo World Championship event were played six-handed.

Allen Kessler and several other players repeatedly asked floor managers why there were only six players at each table instead of the standard eight. According to Kessler they weren't given a concrete answer for the change in procedure.

This morning WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel tried to clear up the confusion about why the change was made.

"We were finding that only a third of the field would actually show to play at 5 p.m. in the World Championship events," explained Effel. "We sometimes had to move players four or five times and people were starting to get upset about it."

In the end, Effel made the decision to move to six-handed play in an effort to minimize player movement.

"Basically we left two seats open at every table," said Effel. "At the end of the registration period we broke all the tables and consolidated them to eight-handed. This way it's fair to the players and to the staff."

Effel went on to say that there's no way to guarantee a full ring in any tournament as there are always going to be players who show up late and change the table dynamics.

"This is no different really," said Effel. "The only difference is they at least know they are going to be playing six-handed for the first two levels."

The players seemed to accept the rule for the most part and Tom Schneider mentioned it wasn't really a problem to him.

"It didn't bother me that much," said Schneider. "The open seats aren't that bad. I prefer it to the alternative."

Other players see a fundamental flaw with such a dramatic change to the first two hours of a tournament.

"The only thing I don't understand is if it's an eight-handed tournament, why do we play six-handed for the first two hours?" asked Mike Wattel.

"I understand it's to accommodate late registrations, but it still doesn't make sense to me."

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