WSOP Seniors' Event Hosts Biggest, Softest Field Ever

David Sklansky
David Sklansky was eliminated on day one of the seniors' event.

This year’s WSOP Seniors’ Event—which is open to players 50 and older—set a record for the largest live tournament to ever seat at the same time.

A whopping 3,142 entrants turned out and put up the $1k buy in for a chance to win 487x their investment and a coveted WSOP bracelet.

Whether you believe it or not, there seems to be a perception that the 50 and older crowd makes for a softer tournament field than the typical open event.

"There is a lot of old, dead money in this field," said L.S. Love, an amateur player who traveled from Santa Fe, New Mexico for this event.

Most of the people we spoke to expressed a desire to play without all of the players who have cut their teeth playing online poker.

"There are no young internet kids three and four betting all the time," said Jim Stephens, explaining why he prefers the seniors' event to other WSOP fields.

"You have to play tighter because there isn't as much bluffing going on," said Stephens. "But you also don't see players going all in and then instantly mucking their hand when they're called because they tried to bluff into a made hand."

Darren Miller of Montreal, Canada, said he identifies with both the older and younger generations. "I just turned 50 and I came up playing online, but I also played old school poker, so it's fun to bridge that gap and see both styles."

Miller said he has noticed a few areas where the older field provides him more opportunities. In addition to the toned down aggression he said that the players' tells are easier to pick up on. "If they hit their card then they're waving flags and if they miss, then you see them make a little sad face," said Miller. "It's much easier to pick up on."

Still, not everything is predictable with this field. "I have a guy at my table who limp calls everything," said Stephens. "Not because he's slow-rolling, that's just the only way he knows how to play."

Clearly there are a number of ways to capitalize on this field if you're a savvy enough player. Just don't try to go to the food court or the restroom during dinner break. Take our word for it.

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