The obvious online poker boom has benefited the poker masses greatly amid the global pandemic circumstance bringing continuous gaming as live poker has come to a temporary halt.
Multiple major series have occurred back to back in the recent weeks and have drawn thousands of players around the world to join in on the action for a shot of claiming a big paycheck. In spite of the increasing traffic across the numerous platforms, the evolving structure for multi table tournaments has seemed to raise some concerns for the overall future of online poker. Re-entries and late registrations have also been noted as some of the factors affecting the global state of the live poker scene.
Rob Yong Asks PokerStars, ACR, GGPoker to Set Up Standard
As the game of poker continues to grow throughout the years, changes either good or bad are inevitable for the industry. Well known pros such as Patrick Leonard and Rob Yong on the other hand, believe recent changes in the games may be detrimental to online poker’s general outlook. Leonard, a brand ambassador for the partypoker platform, has predicted a forthcoming financial crash considering where the online tournament scene is heading.
In a twitter post, he adds “Have been watching online poker very closely over the last 2 months with having a stable that’s invested 10s of millions in this time, a role at one of the biggest sites + I’ve basically played HS every day. I’m 95% sure a huge financial crash is coming which will decimate us.”
The dangers in which he highlighted his main points include the recent format of unlimited re-entries with driven late entry for only around 10 big blinds. Aiming to push guaranteed prize pools to its highest limits, the new format has ultimately served its purpose and has raked in more short-term profits for the operators. A big problem however lies on how those with big bankrolls can afford to gamble more and simply fire as many bullets as they wish in the hopes of building a huge stack before late registration ends. Fields will soon become saturated with professionals as they just jump in to another seat once they bust, giving recreational players less chances of progressing.
With a high likelihood that other platforms may adopt the recent budding format for tournament poker, Leonard is suggesting the forming of a union bringing ambassadors and major sites alike to do what is right for the game.
The founder of one of the most high-profile staking stables proposed two options namely
“1) cut back and focus on quality,
2) follow the new gg system and have unlimited re-entries to 10bbs. Imo they will go for #2 which will kill us.”
Rob Yong, partypoker’s key partner, quickly offered support calling fellow shareholders PokerStars, GGPoker, ACR and 888poker to also do the right thing. Three key changes were underlined by Yong in response to the growing concerns.
A maximum of 1 re-entry to any multi table tournament, late registration not lower than 20 big blinds and no rake on re-entries are some of the basic solutions the founder suggested in efforts to save the online poker economy and hinder a possible financial disaster from happening.
Just read @padsPokerSquad concern about re-entries & late reg to 5-10BBs..
1. Maximum 1 RE to any MTT (inc flighted)
2. LR not lower than 20BBs
3. No Rake on re-entries
— Rob Yong (@rob_yong_) May 12, 2020
A Debate in the Live Poker Scene Too
The same concerns have been raised for the live poker scene a while back with big names in the industry calling for less re-entries.
A few months ago, Allen Kessler received support from Daniel Negreanu and Dan Shak as he highlighted similar issues on Twitter with which Tournament Director Sean McCormack replied with numbers for the past six years showing growth in entries with the unlimited format.
Let’s discuss WPT 5-diamond that Allen always likes to talk about. Here are the last 6 year entry numbers with the unlimited format:
2013 – 449
2014 – 586
2015 – 639
2016 – 791
2017 – 812
2018 – 1001 (largest WPT main ever)
Operators make decisions based upon y/y growth/success.
— Sean McCormack (@ThePokerBoss) October 28, 2019
Seemingly representing success in the live circuits, Dan Shak responded “This is just so misleading on so many levels. Do all the TD really believe they are helping grow poker with these unlimited rebuys and not just trying to grow numbers until the game totally breaks long term. So shortsighted IMO. Tournament poker will go broke at this pace.”
The devaluation of titles and trophies is another pressing matter brought about by the criticized format wherein those who can well afford buy-ins are already playing at a huge edge. While many are aware that re-entries extend a bigger prize pool which pull casinos and players altogether interested, the uneven playing field prices out recreational players to a fair game.
Rob Yong seems to share the same view on the question:
There are many wonderful re-entry MTTs, multi- flight in great for small buy-ins to get massive score
— Rob Yong (@rob_yong_) May 10, 2020