A while back I did some posts on great moments from early on in the WSOP. Well since there have been quite a few events since then, I’d like to sum up some of the positives and negatives that took place during the latest chapter to the WSOP story.
1. Major charitable contributions from Jimmy Shultz and especially Eric Brooks
Poker is a tough game and money is never guaranteed. That’s why it was so amazing when Eric Brooks and Jimmy Shultz decided to donate large portions of their winnings towards charity. In the case of Brooks, the large portion was 100% of his $415,856 winnings and he donated this money to the Decision Education Foundation. Shultz donated one-fifth of the $257,049 he won to the Charleston Fire Department which lost some men fighting a warehouse fire.
2. John Phan and Erick Lindgren coming through in big ways
Before the 2008 WSOP, John Phan and Erick Lindgren were simply known as great poker players who’d never won a bracelet. Things changed for John Phan when he won Event #29 of this year’s WSOP only to turn around again and win yet another event in the #40 which was a Triple Draw Lowball tournament. Lindgren not only won his first bracelet in a Mixed Limit/ No Limit Hold’em game but he also won the Player of the Year honors after making three different final tables and almost making a fourth.
3. Biggest prize pool ever
For those who worried about the overall health of the WSOP since 2007 was a little down, worry no more! That’s because this year’s WSOP had the most participants ever in 58,720 and the most money ever put in with $180,676,248.
1. Final table move means no closure in WSOP yet
The moving of the final table by the WSOP may be the greatest idea ever in terms of ratings and make poker more popular than ever in the long run. But for right now, all we can say is that it is delaying the results of the most hyped part of the WSOP by almost four months.
2. Who are these people at the Main Event final table?
As mentioned before, the WSOP Main Event is the most hyped part of the whole deal and it’s kind of sad when only hardcore poker fans know the people who are participating in the final leg of it.
3. Main Event champs performing horribly
Since there’s not much bad to say about the other 53 events that made this the biggest WSOP ever, I’ll just harp some more on Main Event-related topics. You’d think people like Jerry Yang, Jamie Gold, Joe Hachem, and Greg Raymer would have developed some real poker skill by now since they’ve been playing quite a bit after their big Main Event victories. But we’d all be wrong if we thought this as not a one of the four made any kind of splash in any event this year. The closest thing was when Raymer went crazy when he finally cashed for the first time in 24 WSOP events after his Main Event win in 04′.