Poker fans are eagerly awaiting poker’s biggest annual poker fest which is 2016 World Series of Poker (WSOP) scheduled to begin on May 31 at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
As a preliminary event, the WSOP held a town hall on Twitch to announce major changes slated to be introduced this year and to hear from the general public. Four senior executives from the WSOP participated in the town hall. They were WSOP Senior VP and Executive Director Ty Stewart, Head of Online Poker Bill Rini, Tournament Direct Jack Effel and WSOP.com Editor-In- Chief Seth Palansky.
Questions accompanied with the hashtag #askasuitwerereceived live via a Twitch chat from viewers who were registered with the platform in addition to the questions submitted ahead of time on WSOP’s twitter account. Palansky put the questions received to the WSOP team throughout the program.
Stewart started the session sharing impressive player statistics from the 2015 WSOP tournament, stating that over 100,000 entrants had participated in 68 events. This year’s edition has a total of 69 events scheduled and could see an increase in the number of player registrations.
Effel responded to numerous queries related to the Colossus II tournament and its registration process. The event was one of the most popular ones in 2015 with over 22,000 players registering and thereby setting a new record in the number of players participating in a live poker tournament. However it was marred by many complaints regarding the registration process, the payout process and the availability of taxis after the event.
In order to mitigate these issues, a number of changes have been introduced which were explained by Effel. Players now can register online for events where the buy-in is less than $1,500 and use their credit card to do so. This will cut down the queues at the Rio casino.
Players will continue to have the option of registering on location but will need to pay cash. Those registered online will need to come in with the required ID proof and proof of payment. The WSOP has opened a number of new kiosks at the Rio to help with the registration process.
Stewart also mentioned that WSOP has tied up with Uber this year to make it easy for players to avail transportation. Stewart and Effel were amused by questions asked about the possible return of the discredited Full Tilt founder Howard Lederer to the poker scene. There has been wide-spread speculation that Lederer was intending to participate in his first WSOP tournament this year after 2011 FTP fiasco. They didn’t respond in detail to the question although they did not deny the possibility of him attending the WSOP.