The events that took place on Black Friday have had far reaching effects. Even the World Series of Poker might be affected but the extent of these effects will not be known until the players get their money back from the indicted US poker sites and have enough money to enter into the WSOP.
Executive Director for the WSOP, Ty Stewart said that there was a growing concern regarding the entry fees into the tournament being too high for the US poker players to buy-in. If US poker players are unable to cash out their funds then they will not be able to afford buy-ins ranging from $1000 to $50000. WSOP has 58 tournaments starting from the 31st of May. Last year, the WSOP, saw 7319 entries in its Texas Hold ‘Em no-limit poker game, which was won by Jonathan Duhamel for $8.9 million.
PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker also lost their sponsorship deals with ESPN, which provides complete coverage of the main event of WSOP.
The number of US poker players, who enter WSOP through satellite tournaments on different poker sites that offer prizes enough to buy-in to the WSOP, is also unknown.
Recreational players, like Brian Pedersen, who try and enter the WSOP through satellite tournaments with many players that just cost $10 each, are now trying to raise $1000 to buy-in directly into the tournament by playing cash games at live casinos. The WSOP does not allow US poker sites that are not affiliated with Caesars(which owns the WSOP), to allow players to directly buy-in, and the US poker sites have to award cash to their players so that they can enter the event themselves. These US poker sites and their satellite tournaments are just enablers for the WSOP, and with the top three US poker major enablers being shut down, it is still too early to second guess the effects of the indictments.
Spokesman for the WSOP, Seth Palansky, said that live satellites at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino was where the series is held and that and other Caesars properties generate most of the entries accounting for almost 15% of the tournament buy-ins throughout the series.
Jack Effel, the series’ tournament director said that as of now, the WSOP is not planning to alter its structure in terms of tournament capacity, but the plan is to include more cash game tables which might balance out the effects of the entries that might decrease due to the indictments.