The WSOP's decision to change the winner and payout structure of Single Table Satellites will dramatically effect the value of using satellite events to gain buy-in chips for featured events.
I am unsure if this is a change for the Rincon Event or if it is just sort of the advent of the impact that the anti-online gambling legislation is already starting to have on the World Series of Poker Brand. My gut feelings tell me this new program is the future
Now the standard level of play is to play down to the final 2 rather than going until there is a table winner. So now rather than playing to win, you are playing for position. A difficult feat due to the suck out factor and the small amount of starting chips.
In the first WSOP Circuit Event I attended, which was in Lake Tahoe last June, I was able to win about 1/3 of the Satellite Events I played which gave me a fairly good bankroll of event buy-in tokens. In other words, $1500 in buy-in chips cost me on average $400. Before when I won a $120 Single Table Satellite I won $1000 in buy-in chips and $100 cash. Under the new plan, first and second both earn 1 $500 buy-in chip and $50 cash. The same process was used for Single Table Satellites at the 2006 World Series of Poker and the September WSOP Circuit event in Lake Tahoe.
Under this new program winning one in 3 Satellite events as illustrated above earns exactly half as much as it did before. Simply making most single table satellite tournaments not a viable means for gaining featured event buy-in chips at WSOP Circuit Events.
The cash paid out to play the single table satellites, to gain chips just increased 100% thus making any featured event with a buy-in of under $1500, cheaper to just buy in to the event.
I won over $11,500 in buy-in chips from Single Table Satellite Events in 2006 between the June Lake Tahoe Circuit, The 2006 WSOP in Las Vegas and the September Lake Tahoe Circuit Event. My Total Cost $2600. This clearly illustrates the value of winning Single Table Satellites, before and their lack of value now. The same chips won would cost over twice as much starting cash outlay. Also simply the time to play that many satellite events to gain the chips is prohibitive at a Circuit Event as they only run for about 10 days and Single Table Tournaments due not run 24 hours a day.
I consider myself a fairly experienced Single Table Satellite Player with a proven success ratio and I believe this may be a terrible mistake for the continued success and growth of the WSOP Circuit Events.
All this being said, I had a great week of wins in other tournaments and cash games, so I can't say all was lost. Big Wins on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
I am also glad Harrah's Rincon has decided that Poker is not an after thought after all and has brought the Poker Room up to the standards of other Harrah's properties, something that they have taken years to do.
Watch for me on NBC early next month. The schedule will follow and be posted here as it becomes available and in upcoming commercials for online retailer XpressTech.
I am also in talks for a Poker based Reality Program on Satellite Radio. This Program will also be simulcast over the Internet and have some live call in contests. Details will follow when the contracts are inked and the promotions start.
I will also be promoting Sector Watches from Sector USA. If you see me, ask me for a Demo and I will give you a discount certificate off of your purchase of a Sector Watch from XpressTech. My Sector Watch is truly my favorite Poker Accessory.