Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Future Of Tournament Poker?

I received an email recently from William Hill exhorting me to enter the satellites for the following competition:

The William Hill Poker Grand Prix is the tournament for poker enthusiasts who want to take on the very best the world of poker has to offer.

This televised tournament has a fantastic prize pool of £450,000 - of which William Hill are adding £114,000. The tournament will feature a mixture of specially invited professional players and only 8 qualifiers from the William Hill Poker Room - so you haven't got any time to waste!

There's more detail on this competition on the Blonde Poker site here.

This looks interesting for a number of reasons.

The most eye catching thing is the sweetened pot. William Hill are adding $200,000 to a (roughly) $10,000 buy-in tournament. Or put another way, almost $4000 per player.

I know this has been a bone of contention in the past in 'sponsored' tournaments.

Secondly, the players can wear any sponsored clothes and logos. This is a very generous approach when the event sponsor is adding $200,000.

So, the pros who are buying in are getting a very good deal for their money.

Additionally, the tournament is being structured with slow blinds, and the online qualification is limited to 8 of 56 players. This should mean better poker - no all-in frenzy - and probably a final table with more pros.

As a viewer, this sounds attractive to me. If I want to see diabolical poker, I can log into Party Poker any time. When I settle down with Doritos and beer to watch poker on TV, I want to not only be entertained, but educated.

The double-shootout format worked well at the British Poker Open, which was televised live on The Poker Channel. This tournament seems to build on that success.

If it goes as well as I expect it to, the Poker 425 viewing figures should be good.

I'm sure many people will be hoping this event sets a precedent.


Felicia :) said...

I'm going to write Marcel and get his opinion. He is probably the foremost European who is looking for a change in tourneys.

Div said...

Hi Felicia, thanks for dropping by.

Feel free to point Marcel at my site, I'm sure he could pick up a few useful tips from me ;o)

Hope you are doing well today.