When we announced the World Series of Poker schedule last month, there were plenty of things to get excited about. We unveiled a $10 million guaranteed payday for the Main Event winner, news on the return of the Big One for One Drop, the first-ever $1,000 PLO event, and the Monster Stack tournament. But the new addition to the schedule that really got players and poker enthusiasts excited was the addition of the $1,500 Dealer's Choice tournament.
This first-time bracelet event allows players to choose from one of 16 games, some of which are being dealt in a bracelet event for the first time ever in WSOP history. If you enjoyed playing a wide range of card games around the kitchen table, this is your chance to take that experience from the dining room to the Amazon Room at the Rio.
In addition to the excitement, there were also a lot of questions, as this tournament is unlike any we've done in the past. We got WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel to address some of your concerns and clear up expectations about how things will go when cards get in the air on June 19th:
Where did the idea for the Dealer’s Choice come from? How long did it take you to devise the event and the structure? Effel: Dealer’s Choice is a concept that I have been wanting to implement at the WSOP for a long time. Almost every poker player has played some form of dealer’s choice, whether it was around the kitchen table with friends and family or in a mixed format in a poker room somewhere in the world. A couple of years ago, I started asking players what they thought about it. I recall having a conversation with Eric Rodawig, and he thought the event was a no-brainer. How did you pick the 16 games?Effel: There are a few games that players have been wanting to see in the WSOP schedule for a few years now, so I have added those. They include A-5 Triple Draw Lowball, Badacey, and, of course, a classic player favorite, Five Card Draw High. Who gets to pick the games? The dealer or the player?Effel: A separate dealer choice button will rotate around the table. After every round of hands, the dealer choice button will be moved to the next player where he/she will select the new game. Are there restrictions on what games a player can call?Effel: No, players may choose any game from the approved list of 16 games. That means the same game could potentially be played for several rounds.
Do you play a round of the game based on number of hands or an orbit around the table?Effel: Based on player feedback, we will be playing an orbit around the table instead of number of hands. This will ensure that nobody receives the button or big blind twice during a round of games with blinds. How will you handle the money bubble? Do you worry about game selection and stalling?Effel: The money bubble will be handled the same as any other event, which will be hand-for-hand one or more players out of the money based on field size. Stalling is a concern in any event, and the TD reserves the right to impose penalties to any player deliberately trying to hold the game up for any reason. Will there be a tester event like there was for the Ante Only event?I am looking for a location to test the new concept, but since we have experienced running up to 10 games in a single event, I do not foresee any issues with the execution of the event. How will dealers be selected for this event?Effel: Only our best mixed game dealers will be selected to deal this event. Many of the dealers I have already spoken with about the event are excited for the opportunity to deal it.
Have you taken any measure to ensure fixed bet and No Limit games are weighed comparably within the structure?Effel: I have spent time discussing the structure with a few players, and I believe the structure is in a good place at this juncture. We will have a better understanding after this initial event, if any further changes are in order.
If this takes off, can you see adding more games in the future?
Effel: Absolutely. A successful showing in 2014 could mean an additional offering at the $10,000 buy-in at the 2015 WSOP.