In any case, the decision to play more levels hasn't been made, but I'm expecting that change to be announced before play begins tomorrow. I spoke to Jack Effel about the decision on the podcast and he was simply adamant that it was in the players' benefit to have these shorter starting days.
Any specifics on how Matusow did at the feature table? Judging by the pokernews chip counts he kind of hovered around the starting stack, lost a big pot, and then doubled up right before the end of the day to 37k.
Day 1a 2009 - 821 of 1116 remaining - 73.56% of field remaining
Day 1b 2009 - 655 of 873 remaining - 75.03% of field remaining
Looking into it further:
Given those numbers, they are gambling and/or expecting that there won't be an onslaught of late entries, as the current elimination pace is dictating that it would require approximately 4,040 entries (3,000/.7425) to be in play between days 1c and 1d to bring on the threat of possibility that they enter Day 2b with more than their maximum capacity (3,000) in participants.
2008 Day 1a - 1,297
2008 Day 1b - 1,158
2008 Day 1c - 1,928
2008 Day 1d - 2,461
2009's current entry pace so far is at 81% of that of 2008. Further rough extrapolating to Days 1c and 1d would mean they should expect about 3,555 more entries in the next two days. Which means they should be able to comfortably be able to fit everyone for Day 2b.
Other facts and numbers:
2008 - 136,880,000 chips in play (+/- margin of error for color-ups)
2009 - ~166,320,000 chips in play (based on above rough estimates of expected total entries, which adds up to ~5,544)
- Last year's Day 5 ended at the completion of Level 23 (12k/24k/3k).
- Day 6 took twelve hours, going from 79 runners to 27.
- Day 7 took fifteen plus hours to go from 27 to the November 9.
I bring all these up to show that it can be said that they "played less than 5 levels" on some days in last year's Main Event, with Day 5 having ended going into Level 24. However, this year is on pace to have roughly 30,000,000 more chips in play, and more time will be needed for the fortunate few to accumulate those excess chips, so to start snipping off levels at this juncture is doing the players lucky enough to run deep a dis-service, as the addition of the 8th day looked as it were to help alleviate the long hours of grueling play in addition to help reach the November 9.
Rather, Harrah's is snipping levels now to force people to potentially miss additional time from work or other ventures (with absolutely no guarantee of cashing as at this pace the money may not be reached until Day 4, with an estimate of 522-567 runners doing so) in the name of greed to help stuff their coffers some more.
God, that was too much research into something so stupid. Why does the WSOP have to needlessly piss people off?
maybe I am a little slow on the take but why are you both so objectionable to the proposed changes affecting players who start on C & D? Surely it doesnt make that much of a difference?
Playing more levels on Days 1C/1D than 1A/1B doesn't make a bit of difference to those playing on 1C/1D IMO, if that's what you're asking. I'm playing 1D, and I have a day off between 1D and 2B, and a day off between 2B and 3 (assuming I make it that far), so I personally don't care how the now 9 levels (maybe) over Days 1 and 2 are played out. The fact that they felt compelled to switch back to 5 levels on 1C and 1D just further proves how bad it was to have just 4 levels on 1A/1B.
The losers in this deal are the recreational players who played 1A/1B and bust out in the first level of Day 2 -- they have been forced to stay in Vegas a few extra days. Also, I suspect, given that we started with 1.5x the stacks of last year, that the decision to play only 9 levels on the first 2 days (which 24 hours ago was a decision to play only 8 levels on the first 2 days) will force additional levels to be played on certain days later on in the tournament.
Edit: Just saw the post above me, very good analysis.