When the World Series of Poker Europe first started in 2007, I wondered how long it would last. After all, an expansion on the main product of the WSOP overseas didn’t seem like a lasting business venture. And if you need a good example of major poker organizations failing by trying to expand too much, just look at the WPT and its online poker site experiment.
But it seems like the WSOPE is definitely here to stay since they have added another bracelet event, and are backed by a huge ESPN TV deal. For the second straight year, ESPN will be covering the WSOPE, which means there is a long-term deal in effect. This year’s coverage of Europe’s WSOP will start on January 31st and end on February 28th. Some of the events will be receiving live coverage too which will be extremely exciting to watch!
In addition to the ESPN coverage, and the bracelet event expansion, many of poker’s biggest stars will be in attendance at the WSOPE. Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, Gus Hansen, Jennifer Harman, Daniel Negraneu, and Phil Hellmuth are just a few of the big names that will playing in these tournaments. The fact the stars of this caliber are willing to turn out every year is a definite sign that the WSOPE is huge.
The only thing that doesn’t seem to be expanding in regards to this event is the Main Event. Last year’s champion, Barry Shulman, won the Main Event and earned a little over 800,000 pounds for his victory. And while this is definitely a huge sum of money, it is nothing in comparison to what the inaugural Main Event champion Annette Obrestad made in 2007; she earned 1,000,000 pounds for her victory. Other than this though, the WSOPE is well on its way to becoming a classic.