Is WSOPE going just a WSOP afterparty?

The World Series of Poker Europe is fully underway with the Main Event going on and there is much excitement in the poker air.  Thousands of players have shown up in London and it has been a good event for the WSOP’s namesake.  Things are going especially well since a star player in Daniel Negreanu is leading the field after three full days.  In addition to this great storyline, Negreanu has a $200,000 prop bet going with Phil Ivey that he will win either a WSOP bracelet (which is already out) or a WSOPE bracelet (he’s down to his last chance).

Going beyond just the Daniel Negreanu thing, people may also notice that John Juanda, online star Justin “BoostedJ” Smith, Mike Matusow, Andy Bloch, and Erik Seidel are near the top of the leaderboards too.  But while there are plenty of good storylines going on, I have to wonder if the World Series of Poker Europe is really coming into its own or if it is just an expansion event trying to capitalize off of the popularity of a big name.

Now the WSOPE has definitely drawn some people to its now four tournament and one Doyle Brunson vs. Annette Obrestad one-on-one matchup extravaganza.  However, I’m really wondering how much bigger things will get.  Will it just be a failed experiment by Harrah’s to further expand their already popular event? 

I hope not but I also am not sure how long it will take for people to really catch the WSOPE fever.  After all, the 1,000,000 Pound top prize for the winner has already been trimmed down to 868,000 Pounds and I’m hoping that the future doesn’t see it falling any farther.  But even more so, I’m hoping that the WSOPE doesn’t end as badly as another European expansion where the NFL tried to extend their power into the continent with the NFL Europe.  Then again, I don’t think there’s any fear about that since nothing can go as badly as the NFL Europe did.

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