Entrants in the World Poker Tournament have decreased this year with at least 25% less entrants compared to last year. But you can see the numbers at the World Series of Poker which sold out 3 out of 9 events that have taken place this year. It only signifies that more people wanted to enter however rooms aren’t enough.
Looking for evidence? Let’s check the WSOP statistics from 2003 till the previous year. Year 2003 mark the win of Moneymaker and the WSOP only had 839 players. In 2004, the number of players have gone to 2,576, about three times more than the previous year. And then the jump to 5,619 in 2005 and 8,773 in 2006. WSOP series in 2007 and 2008 got 6,358 and 6,844 players respectively.
The sudden decrease in number from 2006 can be simply blamed into the passage of the UIGEA which eventually earmark the withdrawal of vital poker sites from the US market. And this event causes the decrease of people who are enthusiastically playing online and also a decrease in satellite chances in order to get an opportunity to play in major competitions.
Though the government really tried to pursue closing down all poker sites online, just check out the statistics. More than 6000 players since the year after the UIGEA was passed signifies that a lot of people wanted to play online poker!
One testament would be the huge success of the $1,000 NLHE tournament, also called the “Stimulus Special” by the WSOP brass. This poker comp holds the largest stat in a non-Main Event history of WSOP with more than 6,000 entrants. But the large number of players did not stop poker pro Steve sung to bag the title and win his first ever WSOP bracelet.
It will be hard to say if the players this year can reach 6,000 because of all the hinders such as the recession, swine flu and more UIGEA forces. But as the number in the preliminaries are big, maybe the Main event this present year will turnout to be one of the largest so far.
If everything turn out right this year and there would be an influx of entrants then it will be another sign for the government to legislate and legalize poker in the Internet. Well, let’s just pray that the government will repel the UIGEA and then think of more creative ways to play poker online.