In the last six years running of the Poker Online World Series of Poker, the amateurs have been emerging victorious in the Main Event, whisking away the prizes from under the noses of the pros. This has been the longest stretch of successive wins since WSOP was initiated in 1970. This year, however, in the WSOP at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, the pros seem determined to show the world who the experts really are.
So far, in the 25 out of a total of 55 WSOP tournaments, nineteen pros have prevailed. In fact, most of the final tables have been dominated by the professional poker players. Old hands like Barry Greenstein, Poker Online David Singer, Daniel Negreanu, Mike ‘The Mouth’ Matusow, Erick Lindgren, Nenad Medic and John Phan have secured prizes already.
This year seems to be geared towards pros, with a ‘filled with skill’ format. This means that the longer the tournament, the greater the skill involved. The WSOP slot online tournaments in this series have been structured by the Players Advisory Committee, who have allocated more time to the back end than the front end. So that when the stakes are really high, there’s a chance for the best players to showcase their skills, since hard skill is needed towards the end of the series.
Phil Hellmuth Poker Online has been at it this week, burning the midnight oil in several games. He’s been having trouble with ‘bubbling’, a phenomenon where a player narrowly misses a win. Phil felt he was playing well in the $1,500 buy-in Limit Hold’em tournament, but was disappointed to wind up 48th, when 45 players earned money. The next day, in the $2,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em game, Phil just missed winning again. That, he says, was “frustrating to say the least.”
But his luck changed at last, when he entered the $5,000 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha event with unlimited re-buys at $5,000. Daniel Negreanu spent $85,000 in re-buys at this tournament, but Hellmuth made his 64th WSOP win, and made it to his 40th WSOP final table, with just one buy-in – a record. Phil is proudest, though, of his amazing eleven WSOP gold bracelets.