Though there are concerns about how the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) will affect online qualifiers for the 2007 WSOP, there are several sites already offering ways for players to win a seat to the Main Event online.
For example, Full Tilt Poker issued a statement on its Web site blog this week stating that players can still qualify at the poker room for various live poker tournaments in the United States including World Poker Tour events and the WSOP.
Thompson said that the registration policy for the WSOP wasn't changed by the enactment of the UIGEA.
"There has been no change in our registration policy," he said. "We do not accept third-party registrations from online pay-to-play poker sites that do business with U.S. residents. We didn't do that in 2005 or 2006 either."
Despite the policy, approximately 75% of the players in the 2006 Main Event were sponsored by online poker sites. Generally, players who qualify online are registered and paid for by officials at the site where they won. It's unclear on how this occurs and isn't considered a third-party registration.
Thompson said he was unable to go into any further details about the policy. However, he did add, "We continuously review our registration policy as part of our planning, and if any changes are made, we will make the appropriate announcements."
The WSOP has set records in attendance and prize month the past two years, with the policy in place, and the WSOP organizers are expecting continued growth in 2007 as well.
"We expect the 2007 WSOP to be the best ever," Thompson said.