There will be some amazing poker events in 2020, but which ones will really grab the audience’s attention and refuse to let go? What events are the ones we’ll look back on in 12 months’ time and talk about with our mates? Let’s take a look at the most plausible yet pulsating possibilities we can conjure.
A British Player Wins the World Series Main Event
It’s not outside the realms of possibility, but it does require a healthy use of your imagination to picture the image of a British Player winning the World Series of Poker’s flagship poker tournament. That’s mainly because no British-born poker player has ever won the WSOP Main Event, and although Iranian-born Mansour Matloubi resided in London, no-one has event done that since 1990.
Why is that the case? Britain has some of the best poker players on the planet including, perhaps, the current best player in the world in Stephen Chidwick. They have other superstars such as Sam Grafton, Jake Cody, Sam Trickett and Barny Boatman, bracelet winners and EPT and High Roller crushes all. Why has the Main Event been such a sticking point over recent years? Numbers.
While John Hesp got close a couple of years ago, no-one has repeated that trick and the ebullient Hesp was something of a one-off. British players don’t, en masse, attend the Rio like they used to, risking it all for the full Series. But following a period of political uncertainty, it’s only a short suspension of disbelief to think that maybe many more British poker players will venture to Las Vegas to strike it lucky and win the big one. If they do, then their quality will shine through. It’s about time a Brit won the Main.
The EPT Changes Shape
With just three stops confirmed, the European Poker Tour as it is looks like a tour that may change shape or die. With Barcelona, Sochi and Monaco the only confirmed destinations in 2020, we’d love to see PokerStars branch out and make it a Worldwide tour but split into several continental Championships. Maybe there could be a system that grew each separate PokerStars region but wasn’t called simply the PokerStars Championships.
If the EPT is to change and adapt, then there may have to be online stops or a change to structure, so do we want the changes or simply the old tour back? That looks impossible under the current top-tier management.
On balance, an announcement following EPT Barcelona and the PSPC to announce a wider-ranging tour might seem like the most likely outcome.
A Major Tour Pushes the Envelope
While it’s impossible to see what’s coming in poker, there is one guarantee we can all rely on, and that is that poker is ever-changing. Whether it’s on-screen avatars that tell us how much that player owes in make-up for the year or live-action betting apps are made available in-play so that we can sports-bet on the outcome between hands just like player do between streets, there will be a new invention that pushes poker to new limits.
Whatever happens in 2020, it’s bound to surprise us and take poker in a whole new direction.