Sergio Castelluccio has won the first-ever World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Main Event, at the Casino Campione, prompting Lee Davy to evaluate whether the over saturation of the marketplace is a good or bad thing for the industry?
When we started playing our local home game the bar flies used to stare at us like we were some sort of occult phenomena.Look at all that money.
Those guys are gambling with more than I make in a week.
I think we all liked being the center of attention. There was something chivalrous about it. The bar flies placed their rain soaked umbrellas in the bucket, and we dropped off our blood soaked lances.
I used to write about it in my personal blog on Bluefire Poker back in the day, when Phil Galfond was finding his feet, and DrGiggy was one of the heroes of the online cash games.
It was called the Tuesday Night Home Game.
I was under rolled for it. My bankroll management was a little odd. When I won I would give 50% to my wife, and when I lost I would shake hands with the devil otherwise known as my very flexible friend.
There were some regs in the game who seemed to have a supermarket trolley filled with £50 notes. Money never seemed to be a problem for these guys. There was even a taxidermist in the game. I am sure he used to stuff dead animals with it.
So they created the Thursday Night Home Game.
I had to play in it.
I couldn’t miss out.
I didn’t just go to that Thursday Night Home Game because I suffered from FOMO. I felt an obligation to play, because without me the games longevity would suffer. We all had a role to play in terms of turning up and putting our money on the table. It was also my community. It’s where I mixed and socialized with my friends.
This was on my mind when I heard the news that Sergio Castelluccio banked €114,100 after topping a field of 612 players in the first-ever World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Main Event to be held on Italian soil.
Could the influx of tournament after tournament actually lead to a dystopian poker community, where only the richest of the rich survive, as the mere mortals burn through buy-ins like John Christie used to go through chloroform in 10 Rillington Place?
Speaking to Calvin Anderson about the WSOP’s ingress into Europe, I asked him if he had ever felt the need to play in event after event, and he confirmed that he did.
“Then I stopped caring as much,” said Anderson, “I didn’t want poker to take over my life.”
Marvin Rettenmaier had a similar opinion to that of Anderson.
“I used to have the state of mind that I couldn’t miss out on any tournaments, but that’s changed. I’m trying not to travel/play as much as I once did.”
I asked the two-time World Poker Tour (WPT) champion if the decision to stop playing so many events was a financial one?
“It’s less of a cost topic and more of an ‘I need a life besides poker’ topic. I don’t want to get burned out with all of the traveling.”
PKR sponsored pro Dan Callaghan believes it’s a good thing that the WSOP has moved into Europe.
“It’s the prestige.” Says Callaghan. “The chance to play in a prestigious event and the fame that it attracts is important for some people.”
Marko Neumann also believes that the move is a good one for poker overall.
“I like it. It promotes the game all over the world, and as far as I can see these events offer way cheaper tournaments for people on a lower budget, who are not playing on a regular basis. I never have the feeling of missing out. I think these events are important for the game and help Sportify poker.”
Alexander Dreyfus will concur I am sure.
The WSOPC has made a promising start. It will be attempting to repeat that feat when it visits the Kings Casino in the Czech Republic in October. It’s getting a little crowded through. The World Championships of Online Poker (WCOOP) has just taken three weeks of the regs lives, plus $50k-$100k in buy-ins, we have the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) around the corner, World Poker Tour (WPT) events and the mammoth European Poker Tour (EPT) festivals.
Whilst this may be a problem for prestige hunting grinders, the opportunities for locals to play in low buy-in events of a prestigious nature has never been higher. Just ask the thousands of players who competed in the nine WSOPC events that took place over a fortnights play at the Casino Campione.
It also provides people like me with more opportunity for work, and that can’t be a bad thing when you consider how much money I am handing to my friends every Tuesday and Thursday night.