888poker, the official partner of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), is promising to boost this year’s Main Event jackpot to $10 million.
As part of its push to attract more players to qualify for the $10,000 Main Event via its online satellites, 888poker is offering to make up any amount to ensure the top prize hits $10 million.
According to the operator’s terms, any player that qualifies for the Big One using one of its qualifies will be guaranteed the joint second largest Main Event win since Jamie Gold banked $12 million back in 2006.
$10 Million Prize Divides Opinions
The last time the WSOP Main Event prize was a guaranteed $10 million it divided opinions across the community. One of the most vocal opponents of the 2014 move was Daniel Negreanu.
Dedicating a blog post to the topic, Negreanu insisted that the best way to combat flagging attendance figures (Main Event numbers were on a three-year skid) was pay more places.
Despite the WSOP arguing that a $10 million headlines sounds more appealing and, therefore, is more likely to attract players, Negreanu felt a flatter payout structure was the way to get more players in.
In the end, the WSOP may have been onto something as the 2014 Main Event attracted 6,683 entrants compared to 6,352 in 2013 and 6,420 in 2015. Although 888poker’s promotion is slightly different, it could still have a positive effect on the number of runners in this year’s $10,000 showdown.
Is the Industry Simply Back On the Up?
Last summer the Rio in Las Vegas welcomed 6,737 players for the Main Event, which was more than 2014’s total. This increase comes after the organizers decided to pay 15 percent of the field in 2015 and 2016.
This decision to pay more players could be the reason for an increase in participation. Equally, it could be that the poker industry is more buoyant than it’s been for a while.
If that’s the case, we could see the number of runners in the 2017 Main Event top the 7,000 mark through a combination of more payouts and more money up top.
Whatever the reason, the overall result should be a better result for anyone taking part in the tournament, moreover, the festival as a whole.
The promise of a lucrative Main Event is bound to attract more players to the series which, in turn, should see prizepools across the board remain strong this summer.