Every year, countless poker tournaments take place across the world. Still, out of them all, few have the brand recognition and reach of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and European Poker Tour (EPT). Both the EPT and WSOP have their fair share of big name players who spend time at both. But the recent announcement of the WSOP Asia-Pacific 2014 schedule has the tournament conflicting with a popular EPT destination. Now many players will have to decide which big event they are going to miss out on.
WSOP Down Under
On October 2, the WSOP Asia-Pacific (APAC) goes to Melbourne, Australia for the tournament’s only 2014 international stop. Ten WSOP gold bracelets are on the line during the ten-event schedule which takes place at the Crown Melbourne Casino and concludes on October 18.
Along with the November Nine WSOP Championship Event, the WSOP APAC is the final chance for players to win a 2014 WSOP bracelet. It’s also the final opportunity for them to earn points towards the 2014 WSOP Player of the Year race. Events for the tournament have price points ranging from AUD$1,100-$25,000.
“Bigger and better is the best way to describe the 2014 WSOP Asia-Pacific,” said WSOP’s executive director Ty Stewart. “New events at modest price points like the Dealers Choice and Terminator No-Limit Hold’em, plus an expansion of overall events and a move to springtime in Melbourne is designed to encourage the North American and European contingent to make this a can’t miss event. Plus, we have secured the most comprehensive live television coverage in both the US and Australia for both the Main Event and High Roller.”
Variety of Events
Kicking off WSOP APAC will be the “Accumulator” event on Thursday, October 2. The AUD$1,100 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event has three starting days with players able to play all three Day Ones. The twist for the “Accumulator” is that only a players’ largest stack can move onto Day Two. Players can combine their stacks if they make it through one, two or all three days.
Event #2 starts on Saturday, October 4 as a standard AUD$2,200 No-Limit Hold’em tournament. The next day sees Event #3 as an AUD$1,650 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha event. Event #4 brings something new to the table on Monday, October 6. The AUD$1,650 “Terminator” event is played like a traditional No-Limit Hold’em except every player is a bounty. Each player entering the tournament is given an AUD$500 bounty chip—known as the terminator button–with the money coming from the prize pool. Successfully knocking out a player rewards you with the button. The buttons are kept no matter the placement in the tournament and can be cashed in at any time.
An eight-game Dealer’s Choice event brings a final touch of variation to the tournament. Whenever a player is on the button, they can select one of eight variants of poker to be played. The next player can change the game type or keep it the same. As Event #6, the Dealer’s Choice has a buy-in of AUD$1,650 and starts on Wednesday, October 8. The rest of WSOP APAC sees a Mixed Event, Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em event, and another Pot-Limit Omaha Event. The AUD$10,000 Main Event and AUD$25,000 3-day High Rollers’ tournament wrap things up.
Despite an exciting schedule for WSOP APAC, the one flaw in the scheduling is that it conflicts with the European Poker Tour’s stop in London. That part of the tournament is set to take place from October 8-18. While tournament schedules often conflict, the high-profile nature of both the EPT and WSOP means that poker pros known to attend both events will have a difficult choice to make.
Scheduling conflicts due to the overlap will mostly likely affect the strength of either tournament’s field of players. Inaugural WSOP APAC Main Event winner and 2013 WSOP Player of the Year Daniel Negreanu has already expressed his disappointment with the scheduling. Though sad that others will have to make the hard choice, Negreanu has already decided he will attend WSOP APAC.