As a prominent mixed games player and enthusiast it is good to see those games getting attention from Daniel Negreanu on Twitter.
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has made significant changes to the structure of the $10k Mixed Events, resulting in a more player-friendly experience. These alterations have been well received, as evidenced by an increase in player turnout and positive feedback from prominent poker players like Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth.
Increased Player Turnout
Compared to the previous year, the $10k Mixed Structures attracted a larger player field, with an impressive 44% increase in participation. While this surge cannot be solely attributed to the structural changes, it is clear that these modifications did not negatively impact turnout. Several players who refrained from participating last year due to the late 11 pm finish chose to play this time, highlighting the positive impact of the changes on player accessibility.
Enhanced Quality of Life
The alterations to the event structure have significantly improved the quality of life for players. Whether individuals have familial responsibilities or morning jobs, the adjusted schedule offers a more convenient and enjoyable experience. Over the course of the seven-week tournament grind, this change proves to be particularly valuable.
Key Changes and Their Impact
The WSOP made several adjustments to optimize the player experience. Firstly, the late event start times were shifted from 3 pm to 2 pm. Although either time slot could work, the 2 pm start with a 1 pm restart for subsequent days was deemed suitable.
Another change involved reducing the duration of the initial levels. The early levels, which held lesser significance, were shortened from 60 minutes to 40 minutes. This adjustment effectively shaved off two hours from the overall playing time, allowing players to conclude the day’s play by midnight instead of 2 am.
Late Registration and Day 2 Considerations
The WSOP recognizes the importance of accommodating late registrations and allowing players to enter on Day 2. While extending late registration even further was not desirable, there was a significant increase in the number of players choosing to enter on Day 2, demonstrating the positive impact of this flexibility. In the $10k Stud event, 20 players entered on Day 2 out of a total of 130 participants, with many of them opting not to play if forced to register by the previous 11 pm deadline.
Balancing Stake Levels and Event Conflicts
One potential concern raised regarding the adjusted structure is that late registrants entering at a later time would be subject to higher stakes than they would have faced in the previous year. To address this issue, a reasonable compromise would be to revert to the 3 pm starts and conclude the day’s play by midnight.
Furthermore, the potential conflicts with other events were taken into account during the scheduling process. The spread of mixed events is designed in a way that winning a $1500 Stud event, for example, does not conflict with timely registration for the $10k Stud event. Conflicting events are mostly NLH (No-Limit Hold’em) events, which generally attract a different player pool. Thus, players are not restricted from entering the $10k events due to scheduling conflicts.
Optimizing Day 2
Acknowledging the need to streamline the tournament further, the WSOP aims to reduce the duration of Day 2. A proposal for the following year suggests starting with four 90-minute levels to catch up on the fast-paced Day 1, followed by three 60-minute levels after the dinner break. This adjustment would effectively eliminate 90 minutes from the overall playing time on Day 2.