Critics Lash Out At 2020 WSOP Hybrid Main Event And Call It A ‘Poor Joke’
The international leg of the 2020 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event recently concluded and Argentina’s Damian Salas won. He will face the victor in the domestic portion of this year’s biggest poker tournament in a special heads-up finale taking place on December 30 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The excitement is probably building up for a lot of WSOP players and fans around the globe, but for some, the 2020 hybrid event is falling below their expectations due to a number of factors.
Participants in the international portion of the event knew right from the start that the final table would take place live at King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. But since there are still travel restrictions in place between countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some players would find it difficult to attend a live finale.
This proved true for Chinese player Peiyuan Sun who decided not to take part in the final table action most likely due to travel issues. For this reason, he was automatically declared as the ninth-place finisher, winning $75,360.
However, poker pro Max Silver thinks Sun should have been given the chance to ladder by blinding him off rather than automatically giving him the last position. Dutch player Mark Roovers agrees, describing the 2020 WSOP Main Event as a “joke“.
Lack of Buzz
Some critics also pointed out that the 2020 hybrid event lacks the buzz and prestige the event is well-known for over the years. Traditionally, as soon as the WSOP Main Event begins, updates come every now and then via online forums and social media platforms. Fans are also able to catch the action through live streams.
But this year, the international finale at King’s Resort was not live streamed, something that American poker pro DJ MacKinnon describes as terrible decision. The US leg of the WSOP Main Event final table won’t be live streamed either. Instead, ESPN will only broadcast the highlights which of course will not be real-time.
Some still have not moved on from the fact that a second Main Event is being held despite crowning a champion earlier in Stoyan Madanzhiev, the player who won the 2020 WSOP Online Main Event which ran as part of the WSOP Online Bracelet Series on GGPoker.
While all of these criticisms are valid considering that the WSOP Main Event is held to high standards by a lot of players, let’s not forget that we are living in extraordinary times, and deciding to still push through with such a huge event amidst the pandemic will result in multiple issues.