In an earlier report I discussed the downswing the WPT has taken in attendance. To prove this is not a decline in poker's popularity, look no further than the Pokerstars' EPT San Remo event.
Pokerstars' EPT San Remo garnered 1,178 entrants, compared to the WPT Bellagio's 338. The sceptics can cite the lower buy-in -$25,000 to $6,269-, but never before has a European event outdrawn a concurrent United States WPT event. Not to mention the margin is nearing 4 to 1.
I think this is a telling sign of the power of online qualifiers (Pokerstars being the sponsor of the event), and the grip online and land-based poker has taken in Europe.
The online qualifier allows players to compete for a seat in the event, and travel expenses are often included. Not only can you play in a major tournament, but a free trip to Italy in April!
The WPT may want to look into exclusive sponsors for it's tournaments; I think this would boost the entries from online qualifiers.
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April 23rd, 2009 #1
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Is the WPT's loss, the EPT's gain?
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