The entire aura of the World Series of Poker this year so far has been very depressing to me. I played in the $1500 Omaha8 event. Unfortunately it did not turn out so well and I am out. My early departure was not the only thing that added to the unhappy aura of the WSOP.
I went to Rio Tuesday night to play satellites and buy in. I played one satellite to event #3 but could not get into another one because there was no interest. There were very few satellites running for any event and only about 20 cash games.
Out in the hallways it is a completely different atmosphere from other years. In years before there were Full Tilt Poker logo rooms, poker rooms had booths, online poker sites had private rooms for their VIPs during breaks and there were pro players everywhere posing for pictures and talking to their fans. In past years the halls were crowded with cameras, the rails were full of spectators and there was just an all around general positive feeling about the Rio Convention Center.
Not this year.
As I came up the stairs to the convention center through the smoking area the first thing I noticed was that nobody had online poker patches, hats or anything. The halls, which were relatively empty, had people in normal street clothes. The only poker related booth set up was the PPA. When I played in my event there were very few logos at any table, mostly from coaching sites.
At my WSOP table there were mostly non US players. Several were really upset with our government. They played on Full Tilt Poker and were getting slow paid which obviously is better than U.S. players are doing. They blamed our government as obviously they should. U.S. players were just all around angry. It was like the WSOP was on tilt.
I was really surprised to see 925 people in event #3. It broke a record for an Omaha event. It also had a monopoly as there were no other events that day. In the past it has shared a day with another event. It will be interesting to see how many people are in the higher buyin events.