Economy Really Affecting 2009 World Series of Poker?

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

There was great buzz during the initial week of the 2009 World Series of Poker as record participation had been declared for certain events.

Not so for the $50K H.O.R.S.E., which ended up with just under 70 people participating, according to Wicked Chops Poker.  That is less than half of last year's field, they report.

The depressing news comes after two of the earlier events broke both attendance and prize records.

Gary Trask of Casino City writes:

"The third event on the docket was a $1,500 Omaha 8-or-Better tournament and it set the mark for the largest Omaha tournament in WSOP history with 918 entrants, besting the old record of 833. Then Event #4 - a newly created event called the "Stimulus Special" - set the largest non-WSOP Main Event tournament ever played. Through 33 events the combined WSOP prize pool has passed the $60 million mark.

"Attendance has held steady since the start of the WSOP and now the big question on everyone's mind is what kind of attendance figure the Main Event will draw. Last year the Main Event had a 6,844 players competing for the big prize. Only the 2006 Main Event, with 8,773 players, had a larger field."

While Las Vegas and Atlantic City were among the earliest hit by the global recession, the online gambling sector is only now beginning to feel the pinch with website affiliate partners claiming new gamblers are depositing and playing with less money, thus cutting into their own revenues.  Online sportsbooks reported a record number of signups and deposits with May's Kentucky Derby but the bet amounts were much less than past years averages. 

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher 

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