WSOP: Players Shut Out of Main Event Day 1d

Approximately 500 players arrived at the Rio today with USD 10,000 in their pocket and the dream of winning untold millions and fame as



2009’s World Champion. But their dreams were shattered at the cashier’s cage, when they were told that the World Series of Poker Main Event had sold out.

Day 1d of the Main Event had reached capacity with every available table being used in the Amazon, Brasilia and Miranda rooms. There were even 13 tables set up all the way back towards the casino in the area by Buzio’s Seafood restaurant.

At the beginning of Level 1 a semi-angry mob assembled outside the 7 Star & Diamond registration office. A line of nearly 100 people snaked around a hallway at the general registration office. Notable pros, amateurs and every type of player in between started to gather. It seemed that Mickey Appleman, Minh Ly and Capt. Tom Franklin would be shut out of the biggest tournament of the year.

Tension in the hallway grew as one player said, “I have USD 10,000 that I won in satellite chips that are now completely useless. Is the WSOP going to give me a refund?”

Josh Sorenson, an amateur, said, “I don’t understand why there is no communication between the players and WSOP staff. We’re not being told anything, apart from the message that tournament is closed.” He continued, “Sometimes we need a gray area in life. Nothing is ever simply black and white.”

As players gathered and griped, somehow Mike Sexton found his way into the middle of the group. Several members of the shutout group asked Sexton if he would talk to WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack or WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel. Having already played on Day 1a, Sexton was a reluctant spokesperson, but he held true to his “Ambassador of Poker” title and agreed to speak for the crowd.

At issue was the fact that players believed that 3,000 entrants had been advertised for Day 1d to play.  Sexton invited Franklin to accompany him to meet with Effel. The three found a quiet spot near the feature table to discuss the matter. With a large crowd of disgruntled players building by the rail, the three moved into a back hallway for privacy.

After about 30 minutes Sexton and Franklin emerged and told the growing group that Pollack had agreed to meet them. All concerned players who were shutout were to go to the Pavillion in the Rio, and Pollack had a prepared statement.

About 100, mostly angry, players gathered to see if their Main Event dreams would come true. Pollack and the senior staff of the WSOP all gathered for the explanation.

Pollack opened his statement, “We are sorry, I am sorry. The last thing we wanted to do is deny entry to any player for the Main Event. But we are unable to accommodate any more people.”

“We pledge this won’t happen again and will be the first topic we discuss for next year. This is the biggest challenge we have faced in four years,” he continued.

The crowd was clearly displeased with Pollack’s statements. One requested if they could start at midnight and play all night to join Day 2a. Another asked why they couldn’t be accommodated and play ten-handed at some tables or allow alternates.

Pollack said, “We have not had alternates for the 56 previous events and the first three days of the Main Event and we’re not going to start now. We’ve had sellouts already this series.”

The hostile crowd grew louder as each player wanted Pollack to hear their complaints. Melissa Hayden grew impatient with the crowd and urged them to quiet down and speak gentlemanly to Pollack.

Pollack dismissed the rumor that two very high profile players were allowed entry after registration had been closed. He furthered his point saying,”The decision has been made. Operationally, we cannot accommodate any more players.”

Pollack answered questions for several minutes and the crowd seemed unwilling to accept anything he had to say. Pollack stepped away from the podium and exited the room. One very angry Australian player shouted “Shameful!” as Pollack left.

The players who were officially told they would not be able to play lingered upset. None of them appeared to be happy with the explanation. The previously mentioned Aussie even suggested that they could sue the WSOP.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: