The World Series of Poker accidentally posted a working draft of the 2014 schedule of events on WSOP.com over the weekend – and the major news is that the $10,000 Main Event looks to be guaranteeing the winner a huge $10,000,000 first prize this year.
Seth Palansky, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Caesars Entertainment (which owns the WSOP brand), had this to say to igaming.org when contacted about the leak: ‘Nothing is finalized yet. We’re still working through some things on the schedule and nothing should be taken as final.’
While not 100% confirmed, the idea of a $10m guaranteed first prize for the WSOP Main Event looks to be a fantastic one that will bring a lot of mainstream attention to this year’s event. Only once before in WSOP history – in 2006 when Jamie Gold won the Main Event for $12m – has $10m or more been awarded at the world’s most important poker tournament. Having a $10m guarantee on the event is likely to drive a bigger field to play, and the WSOP could potentially see the biggest numbers since Black Friday. A $10m first prize will also ensure lots of media attention from outside traditional poker circles. After all, it’s a lot sexier to write that ‘a poker player won $10m this weekend’ than it is to say ‘a poker player won $8.23m’.
The one downside is that if the WSOP Main Event doesn’t show an increased field size the payout structure of the tournament will have to be skewed significantly to reward the overall winner at the expense of the rest of the field. Despite this risk, we feel it’s a gamble that the WSOP should take to restore importance and glamour to the year’s most exciting event.
The full 2014 WSOP schedule should be released soon (on purpose this time!) and, while the $10m guaranteed Main Event is not confirmed, it will now be hard for the organisers to rescind their plans due to this leaking news. Let’s hope the early draft stays as it is and we have a summer of poker like no other to look forward to soon.
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