Mike “The Mouth” Matusow wants to put an end to maximum late registration because it’s ruining the integrity of tournament poker. The American poker pro recently took to social media to express his disappointment at the structure of this year’s World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, wherein players are allowed to max late reg. Matusow thinks this gives them an unfair advantage over those who register on time.
Late Reg Benefits the Rich
Players choose to late register into a tournament for one primary reason – to avoid playing the full Day 1 session and get a shorter route to the final table. When you max late reg, you will play with a short starting stack. But you will also be dealing with fewer opponents as a portion of the field is already out as you begin to play. This brings you closer to the money. Usually, you only need to double up once to get there.
Max late reg sounds like a nice strategy for those who want to boost their chances of making the final table, but Matusow thinks this only works for the rich players who can afford to gamble and fire off late bullets. Those with small bankroll won’t be able to do that, hence they are put at a disadvantage. For the sake of maintaining a level playing field in tournament poker, Matusow thinks max late reg should be eliminated once and for all.
WSOP Main Event Max Late Reg A “Disgrace”
In his tweet, Matusow has hit out at the WSOP for allowing players to max late reg and buy in two levels of Day 2 in the 2021 WSOP Main Event, describing it as the biggest disgrace in the history of tournament poker.
Players taking advantage of this structure play with 50 big blinds while around 30% of the field is already out. Those who register on time need to play a full seven days to get to the final table, but players who max late reg can get there within a shorter period. They can even make the money in less than two days, as the money bubble in the Main Event typically bursts late on Day 3.
Mixed Reaction from the Poker Community
Matusow said max late reg has completely destroyed the integrity of tournament poker, accusing those who support the practice as being “selfish”. But some pros disagree with him.
Matt Berkey, the founder of Solve for Why, doesn’t think there’s a lot of edge attached to the practice, a view shared by partypoker ambassador Patrick Leonard. One commenter also pointed out that late registration is actually a good thing for players as it increases the prize pool, contrary to freeze-outs.
Another player also said that the Main Event actually has the shortest late registration period out of all tournaments at the WSOP, except for the shootout and flips.
While many are at odds with Matusow’s opinion, some members of the poker community agree that max late reg should be removed in tournaments. One user thinks those with huge bankroll are usually the ones benefiting from it because players with limited funds can’t afford to do it. And that’s what makes it unfair.
Matusow, who is included in the list of finalists for the 2021 Poker Hall of Fame, has vowed to use his platform to eliminate max late reg and Day 2 reg at all cost. He said tournament poker should provide an equal playing field for everyone, adding that tournament poker is better off without max late reg in the long term.