It happens but once a year.
Caesars puts the call out to all the various media outlets in the poker industry and gives us one final preview of the upcoming WSOP.
The WSOP already provided the official media guide, which offered a few tidbits, like the fact the November Nine will be played over three days this year from Nov. 8-10, 2015.
The guide also introduces a $1,500 Extended Play No-Limit Hold’em event with 90-minute levels.
Despite the guide the WSOP always seems to save a couple surprises for the media call and they also take questions from the media.
Today we’re going to do things a little differently and try to live blog the entire media call as fast as we can type it. Check below to see how it all unfolds:
11:31AM: Thus ends the 2015 WSOP Conference call. See you again next year.
11:30AM: Seth Palansky thanks everyone for joining the conference call.
11:25AM: Nick from the Sun-Sentinel asks if there are any hard numbers for pre-reg.
Seth Palansky says the WSOP doesn't like to give out numbers since it's all relative but right now they trending to 5X more pre-reg than in previous years. "It's going to be huge."
11:20AM: Tim from Bluff asks the logistics of transporting players who live in remote areas of Nevada who make the final table of the online event to the Rio. Bill Rini says there is a special off day to accommodate such players and the WSOP will be contacting and providing assistance to such players.
11:17AM: Kevin Mathers of Bluff brings up the deal-making issue and asks if they've discussed allowing it.
Stewart: We certainly have had discussions. We respect our players as customers. That said, this isn’t a $75 nightly. This is the World Championships of Poker.
The general public doesn’t want to see skill-based games played that way. ESPN doesn’t want it.
Certainly there is a small and vocal minority in favor of deals. We have to think about the big picture. Many amateurs don’t know about these things. We don’t want people to have buyer’s remorse. We’re not here to stand in judgement of other events that do allow it.
We continue to stand by our policies of not facilitating of chops or deals.
11:15AM: Another question from the Las Vegas Review-Journal about the switch to a three-day November Nine.
Jack Effel: It’s about exposing the game to a broader audience. We have a much better prime-time window with three days. We want to avoid really late nights. We do great ratings at our peak times. The long-running time is not conducive to ratings.
11:13AM: David from Las Vegas Review-Journal: There’s a clear push to market things for the recreational players. Why the change? What’s the pros response?
Stewart: Absolutely we are aiming to get a more recreational player involved. We believe the poker customer at large is a value-based player.
We are definitely trying to reflect that. At the same time, a player can have choices.
Pros can just skip the massive field events. I think they understand and applaud our efforts to promote the game and get new players. It’s a very symbiotic relationship between rec players and pros.
We want to have something for everything.
11:11AM: Dan Cypra from PocketFives asks what will be allowed with patches. Ty Stewart answers there's been absolutely no change to how they handle patches on players.
11:10AM: Hanna from CardsChat asks a question about whether players can bet on the WSOP via the Sportsbook.
Jack Effel: The Sportsbook is allowed to put up a line. We aren’t doing it though. At least for the regular events. Expect it for the Main Event though.
11:05AM: Q&A begins with a question from Aaron Todd of CasinoCityNews asking about starting the WSOP with the massive Colossus.
Stewart: We put a lot of thought into it. We feel we’re ready to have our biggest event. We believe it’s our responsibility. Bring as many new players as early as possible. There is a lot of poetry in book-ending like this.
Follow up from Todd: You’re expecting the biggest ever?
Stewart: I believe, even at this point, it may already be the biggest event ever just with pre-reg. We expect that to be smashed.
We want anyone who knows hand-rankings to play this. Players who didn’t think the WSOP was for them. This is for them.
I will go on record and say that I expect it to be the largest poker tournament ever held. If it’s not the largest I would be a disappointed.
11:00AM: Moving on to a Q&A session.
10:55AM: Note from Seth Palansky about the WSOP streaming the majority of final tables on WSOP.com.
10:51AM: Bill Rini: The WSOP has always tried to reflect the ever-changing face of poker. Online event seems like the next step in this evolution. This will address players demands for an online event. We worked closely with Jack Effel to merge both the online and live event. In keeping with the long tradition of players needing to be in Nevada to play the WSOP it will obviously be the same for the online event.
10:50AM: Bill Rini: We are very excited this is the first year that we have the software on mobile devices. The WSOP software is avalable for both iOS and Android and there are more deposit options than ever.
10:48AM: We're now on to WSOP.com Poker's Bill Rini
10:46AM: Jack Effel: Colossus is off the charts for pre-reg.
10:45AM: Jack Effel now talking about the Super Seniors event, which will be limited to players 65 and above. Event was added after fantastic attendance in Seniors event.
10:44AM: Jack Effel talking about various multipliers for starting stacks. Pointed out that Colossus and Monster Stack will both get 10X multi-pliers.
10:42AM: Moving on to TD Jack Effel now.
10:41AM: Stewart: GPI is title sponsor of POY award this year.
10:40AM: Stewart: New Modiano playing cards for the WSOP. I think you’ll feel an immediate difference. Thickest, heaviest 100% plastic cards in the world. We need a lot of cards. Very fortunate to have 50,000+ decks.
10:39AM: Stewart: Talking about sponsors. 888poker will send more than 100 players to Main Event. Canada's PlayNow.ca sending more than 100 to Monster Stack. Winamax also sending numerous Europeans to WSOP.
10:38AM: Stewart: It’s not easy to find poker on TV. We’re very happy to continue with ESPN. Excited to announce this year will expand coverage to two hours on Sunday.
10:37AM: Stewart: We’re not concerned about making news. We hope we already did that with our most diverse and ambitious schedule ever.
10:34AM: Record pre-reg according to Ty Stewart: "We've never seen response like this."
10:33AM: Ty Stewart starting us off.
10:32AM: Here we go.
10:27AM: Smooth elevator music is doing it for us.
10:00AM: Ready for everything to get started.