« Top Stories of 2005 - Part I -
Life of the Party(Gaming, this is...)
| Main | Top Stories of 2005 - Part III -
Poker = Mainstream »

Top Stories of 2005 - Part II -
The Real World Series


Witnessing it first hand, there is no greater sporting event on the planet than the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

The expansiveness of the WSOP makes baseball’s World Series or the NBA finals look like state high school championships.  It's not even close.  And it's not like the ratings are that much better either.

In 2005, the WSOP reached levels that were unthinkable just a decade ago, when "Action" Dan Harrington beat a field of 273. 

Which is almost as many people that played in this year's media/charity event. 

This year we saw record field after record fieldOver 23,000 players entered various events this year, over $52 million in prize money was given out in the Main Event, and around $109 million total during all events, all steep increases over the previous year.  And that trend is expected to continue. 

Of course, all of this creates endless storylines, action, and excitement...

If 2004 was the year of the young guns, then 2005 was the year the pros came storming back.  Brunson and Chan won their 10th braceletsSeidel won his seventhCloutier his sixthIvey his fifth.  Pros-pros like Cunningham and Seif gained a national rep. 

Hachemwins_3Dr. Pauly, who was at the WSOP from Event #1 until the last hand, put it well, “The WSOP was controlled chaos and I got to witness poker history get made every night.” 

Of course, all of the great storylines culminated with the Main Event.  This year’s ME didn’t disappoint, starting with the record 5,619 entrants.  You had big names like Ivey, Lederer, and Juanda going deep into the tourney.  You had defending champ Greg Raymer kicking ass and taking names to the almost unthinkable feat of going back-to-back.  Matusow earned redemptionDannenman earned status as the latest greatest poker everyman.  And Hachem earned $7.5 mil.

Poker's World Series proved to be a true world seriesThe international representation is sick.  The best (and the worst) from around the world show up to prove their wicked poker chops. 

With players from around the world expected to push the total number of entrants at the WSOP ME to around 8,000 next year, the frenzy and “controlled chaos” will only increase.  But should the buy-in?  $10,000 meant a lot more back in the ‘70’s when the tournament first started than it does now, especially with online sites running satellites where people are getting in for $2—making the WSOP ME like a crap-shoot lottery full of many-a-crappy-player. 

Is there a semblance of control that can be had here? Dr. Pauly thinks, “they should raise [the buy-in] because it was $10,000 back when it first started out. They are going to either have to cap it or raise the limit on the buy-in. That's the only way to keep the tournament manageable from a logistics standpoint. Man, is it worth it to have to play two plus weeks for one tournament and have 6 or 7 day ones? And three day twos? It seems possible at the rate of popularity that the WSOP happens to be exploding at.”

Wsop2Next year’s WSOP is also raising some criticism by casting off almost all of the non-hold’em games—turning it into the World Series of Hold’em. 

But if that’s what the public wants, then WSOP officials/ESPN will likely continue to feed the machine.  And why shouldn’t they?  Poker only stands to benefit from increasing the interest of the game and giving the public what it wants. 

And it’s not like a little controversy is a bad thing.  Look at what David Stern did with the NBA dress code.  He had everyone talking about the NBA right before the season began, upstaging baseball's "World Series" and the NFL.  So if nothing else, talk of increasing buy-ins, capping fields, and altering game formats will keep people talking. 

And that’s a good thing.

When it comes right down to it, the WSOP is totally unique to sporting events.  It's one month of pure poker absorption.  That's why the WSOP is one of the biggest poker stories of the year…and it will ALWAYS be one of the biggest poker stories every year.  How can it not?

Bookmark and Share


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Top Stories of 2005 - Part II -
The Real World Series



Amazing post. Thanks for including some of my quotes. Happy New Year guys!

The comments to this entry are closed.

WCP on Twitter

Girls on the Rail at 2008 WSOP


    Our photog at the 2008 WSOP is having a hard time focusing his lens on the pros at the table. We like him for that. Check out girls on the rail here.

Wicked Chops © 2005 - 2008

Protect Your Online Identity

Poker Camp


  • For what's happening in Vegas now, go here.


  • We're kind of digging the snorgtees girls. You should buy their shirts. Check 'em out.

Poker School

Wicked Chops Poker Awards

  • Click here to see which poker players, online sites and hotties we "honored" this year.

The Word on Wicked Chops Poker

  • "Wicked Chops Poker are nobodies, the site is garbage."
    - Anna Benson
  • "A sophisticated and creative blog that pokes rambunctious, irreverent and most of all sexy fun at the game of poker and everyone who is connected with it."
    - PokerMagazine.com
  • "You've made me so angry I wish I could reach into my screen and just pound your scummy worthless head in!!"
    - a Nickelback fan
  • "If you ask me, you should just go straight to Wicked Chops Poker instead. These guys are awesome."
    - Kajagugu Poker
  • "...el blog más irreverente de la blogocosa norteamericana..."
    - Poquer Red
  • "Wicked Chops is wickedly funny. And wickedly irreverent. And posts a lot of photos of wickedly attractive women. If that ain't poker, what is?"
    - TypePad

  • Hear what Jamie Gold has to say about WCP here
  • "If Jamie Gold’s a dickhead; Wicked Chops has to be a medusa head full of dicks."
    - Pokerdog.org

  • Find online poker reviews, news and strategies with bestpoker sites bonuses like party poker bonus code. Also visit for great slots and us poker sites and usa poker reviews.


Busted Tees