Daniel Negreanu Rails Against $10 Million First Place Prize in WSOP Main Event

5 years ago
Daniel Negreanu Rails Against $10 Million First Place Prize in WSOP Main Event
30 Dec

The main marketing point of this year’s World Series of Poker Main Event was the $10 million prize guaranteed for the winner. Right after the announcement of the huge cash prize was made, quite a few pros voiced their concerns about how it would create a huge disparity between first and second place, effectively creating a heads-up match worth about $5 million.

The Main Event has come and gone, Martin Jacobson took home that $10 million first prize, but the debate is still very much alive. WSOP plans to repeat the first place $10 million guarantee in 2015. A couple of days ago, it was Daniel ‘KidPoker’ Negreanu who raised his concerns about the payout structure via Twitter. Negreanu stated that, for an average Joe, the allure of winning $10 million after beating thousands of people may not be as big as one might imagine.

Pay more players, make more millionaires!

Do people come to Las Vegas and pay the $10k buy-in because of the money or because of the experience? In reality, it is probably a mix of both to a degree, but the experience is probably a bit more important for the recreational players who are often there to meet their heroes.

That is not to say that people are not interested in winning money, of course they are! But $8 million would probably have a similar appeal to someone who is not already a millionaire. With that in mind, the fact that for many players out there, playing the Main Event could be a once in a lifetime experience. Negreanu suggests that increasing the number of ITM players would perhaps be a bigger draw.

While WSOP organizers probably know what they are doing and where they are going with their marketing plans, considering the overall reactions from the community and the logic applied, it does seem that the $10m first place prize (effectively lowering the other payments) is not what anybody is really looking for.

Another suggestion that ‘KidPoker’ makes is to advertise the Main Event as creating nine new millionaires, which would have much greater appeal and it follows in line with what was stated above – for an average person, making a million or more is already huge. From a marketing perspective, the number that precedes it may not be as important.

Daniel Negreanu has been facing some heat from the community lately due to changes at PokerStars, but that aside, he’s always had a great feel for how the live poker community lives and breathes. He helped create tournament structures for numerous live events, and on this particular issue, he does make some really good points.

So many out there are complaining how poker is losing traction, some are even saying that it is dying. If we want to really bring it up, we need to do things that will attract more new blood to the felt. If that means that some changes need to be introduced in the most popular poker tournament on the planet, then it is really a no-brainer.

Pay more spots, create more millionaires, do whatever it takes. People need to enjoy poker. The more they enjoy playing, the more they will come back to play again.

Make the dreams come alive again!

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Ivan Potocki is the editor in chief and one of the lead news writers for PokerTube. His natural flair and enthusiasm for journalism combined with a deep poker knowledge make him an exciting contributor for PokerTube.The experience garnered playing poker professionally for several years and the knowl...Read more


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