The global poker market continues to grow slowly but surely with every passing year. We take a look at what poker players and fans can expect in the next 12 months.
Lesser-Known Player Will Win 2020 WSOP POY
The 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Player of the Year race turned out to be controversial when a glitch in the scoring system placed Daniel Negreanu at the top of the leaderboard, resulting in him being wrongly announced as the winner. After a recalculation of points, the final standings saw Australian Robert Campbell officially declared as the 2020 WSOP POY, with Shaun Deeb at No. 2, and Negreanu slipping down to No. 3.
The debacle opened up fresh discussions on the issue of unlimited re-entries, which many believed messed up the entire essence of the race. Players chasing the title tend to take advantage of re-entry options in a bid to score more points. Those who can afford taking multiple shots obviously get some sort of unfair advantage over other players who had to make the most out of their limited bankroll. The highly-coveted title supposedly should go to the player with the best performance in any event, not those whose main focus is to accumulate points.
This year, we are likely to see changes in the POY landscape. The WSOP schedule is now packed with “value menu” events featuring buy-ins at $1,000 or less. The traditional single-entry format is also set to make a comeback, and re-entry options will be limited.
This could indicate changes to the formula and points system for the WSOP POY race, with smaller events now likely to be included in the equation. As the brand strives to bring back that enormous respect for the WSOP POY, someone who is not as popular as Negreanu, Deeb or Hellmuth, could win this year’s title.
Poker In Asia Will Get Stronger
One of the reasons why the global poker market will continue to grow is because poker will become even more popular in the Asian continent. Poker markets in the Philippines, India, Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia will grow bigger as more land based and online poker tournaments make their way into these countries.
India has a massive poker market but because of legalization issues the full potential of the poker market is yet to be recognized. A number of states are discussing poker legalization in 2020 and this is a positive sign for the Asian poker market.
WSOP Main Event Will Continue to Grow While PSPC Fades
The WSOP Main Event has continued to grow over the last five years, with the 2019 edition becoming the second-biggest in the event’s history. That trend is set to continue this year, with the potential to attract a record-breaking number of entries. Last year, the Main Event drew 8,569; this year, the figures could go well beyond that.
While the future looks certainly bright for the WSOP Main Event, the same thing can’t be said about the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC). The hype and marketing for the second edition of the festival is not as strong as last year.
PokerStars also has yet to indicate the total prize pool for the tournament, and also has not thrown around any figures with regards to the number of Platinum Passes set to be awarded. This being said, we can expect a dip in attendance in the 2020 PSPC.
Another Tough Year for Phil Ivey
Borgata will continue to chase after Phil Ivey’s assets this year and his every move will be monitored by the casino, which is looking to recoup over $10 million, amassed by Ivey using the so-called “edge-sorting” technique.
Not only will Ivey continue to deal with legal action arising from his previous baccarat sessions – he will also likely to drop out of the All Time Money list spot he’s currently in.
Since it will be best for him to avoid laying in Nevada, Ivey will lose some huge opportunities to earn massive cash. He will also most likely not participate in as many high-stakes games and live tournaments given the negative publicity he has to deal with these past few years.
It will only be a matter of time before a new name replaces Ivey’s spot in the all-time money list. We will wait for that.