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Old 02-10-2021, 06:49 PM   #201
parisron
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

From the 4Q earnings call MGM CEO

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Old 02-10-2021, 06:55 PM   #202
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

IMO WSOP goes in August 2021. COVID transmission is statistically at its lowest in July/August. Hopefully vaccination rate is north of 60%, and cases/hospitalizations should be around winter flu levels. August is also the slowest in LV. August also provides organizers an extra 2 months to plan and get word out.

Normally a partial schedule is announced in January, with the complete schedule in February. So perhaps they can announce the partial in April, and the full in May. Seems like enough planning time to me. I'm thinking about 80% of the normal schedule. Fit it all into August 1 - Labor Day, with ME starting around Labor Day weekend. Bump up the entry fees about $250 on average, to counter lower turnout. Reduce admin rake to encourage more players. It could be the best WSOP ever.
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Old 02-10-2021, 08:22 PM   #203
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

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This was adorable.
In his defense, he backtracked on that statement soon after and adjusted it to Summer/Fall. That's very much a possibility.

Others were actually willing to bet on a series that includes at least live 50 events and starts no later than mid-June.

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Bump up the entry fees about $250 on average, to counter lower turnout. Reduce admin rake to encourage more players. It could be the best WSOP ever.
The average buy-in per entry has been decreasing year over year. The only reason for that to change would be if they eliminated the Colossus-type events because of participant limits.

Other than that, if anything, buy-ins will keep decreasing because that's what players want. Same reason why 1/2 and 1/3 have been thriving in lots of card rooms over the country for the last decade while everything higher than that faces extinction in smaller rooms.

Last edited by madlex; 02-10-2021 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 02-10-2021, 11:03 PM   #204
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

Selfishly it'd be pretty cool to have a 2021 WSOP while the borders with europe are still closed or heavily restricted
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Old 02-11-2021, 05:53 AM   #205
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

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I might very well make sense for the WSOP to delay until the fall for the benefit of international players.

Big conventions and other mass attendance events that have to plan months in advance will be the last piece of society to come back. But in terms of day to day life (restaurants, regular social gatherings, schools, etc.), I do believe that things will be more or less back to normal in the US around the end of April.

We should be able to have around 150 million people vaccinated by then, and this would seem to be around the threshold necessary for herd immunity when you combine it with the ~30% of the population that has already been infected. Many places in the US are already pretty much back to normal right now!

With respect to the variants, there has been pretty convincing evidence that the mRNA vaccines are every bit as effective against the UK variant as the against the original strain. And there was just a paper published earlier this week in Nature (link below) finding that the Pfizer vaccine is almost as effective in producing antibodies at least against the South African strain as against other strains.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-021-01270-4
I guess it all comes down to what you consider 'normal' to be. The idea that on some day in the future any leader is going to tell their people that we have now vaccinated the right percentage of our population so throw away your facemasks, plexiglass and hand sanitizer is for the birds.

Now, I fully expect there to be a gradual relaxation of restrictions, but preventative measures are going to be with us for a significant time to come. Covid will be with us indefinitely, restrictions will only be relaxed once the threat of healthcare systems becoming overwhelmed has been eliminated. In many parts of Asia the wearing of facemasks when ill has been commonplace for a very long time.

As for herd immunity, the threshold for Covid is likely higher than you think - around 75%. This is complicated by the fact that as a new virus, we do not know how long immunity lasts, whether from exposure or from vaccine. 150 million vaccinations by the end of April does not equate to 150 million people vacccinated, rather it is more like 75 million people having had their 2 doses. You also do not account for crossover between the vaccinated population and those who have immunity of some kind through exposure.

As far as the mutations and variants go, the vaccines do seem to offer at least some level of protection against those that we are already aware of. However, there likely already exist variants that we have not yet identified and the longer it takes to vaccinate the whole world, the more variants will evolve and potentially be resistant to vaccines.

As has been the case from the beginning of this pandemic, there is still so much that we do not yet know about the virus and how it behaves. The nature of the WSOP could make it a ground zero for a huge outbreak, that could easily be traced back to and blamed on the organizers. Having seen the disastrous PR that the Cruise industry went through in the early stages of the pandemic, and with the risk of blame and liability as well as reputational damage, the risks of holding such a large scale event too early far outweigh the benefits. It is worth noting that the Cruise industry is in no hurry to resume operations, despite burning through huge amounts of cash, knowing that another outbreak on a ship would likely be fatal for that brand.
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Old 02-11-2021, 05:58 AM   #206
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

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Selfishly it'd be pretty cool to have a 2021 WSOP while the borders with europe are still closed or heavily restricted
Racist? or are the Europeans just better players than you are? Maybe Japan should hold the Olympics and not allow any other country to attend...sound reasonable?
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Old 02-11-2021, 06:59 AM   #207
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

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I find it incredible people are still this optimistic at this stage of this disaster. There's absolutely no way **** is normal by the end of April in the US and if anything, we will be the last ones back to normal. Have you not been paying attention for the past year-plus?
I'm not going to suggest you haven't been paying attention, but it does seem like you're not taking into account all that we've seen. I'd agree that things *shouldn't* be back to normal by April, but given the way many states have approached Covid, things certainly could be in many of them - by which I mean restrictions, as I assume Nick meant as well. And definitely not the last ones back - not just because so many don't take this as seriously as they should, but also because the US is likely to be one of the countries with the quickest mass rollout of vaccines.

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Racist? or are the Europeans just better players than you are? Maybe Japan should hold the Olympics and not allow any other country to attend...sound reasonable?
I think you may have taken his comment just a little too seriously. I think it would be xenophobic rather than racist, but then there's the first word - "selfishly". Obviously that's expressing a selfish (and possibly not that serious) desire to keep the field smaller and/or less skilled. And when one is saying they are being selfish, I think they're acknowledging they're not being reasonable.
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Old 02-11-2021, 07:38 AM   #208
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

I don’t think conceding that a group is superior to yourself is racist. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Or are we now in territory where self depreciating humour is racism against yourself?

Of course a WSOP without Europe is just a SOP
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Old 02-11-2021, 07:47 AM   #209
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

daily cases are in free-fall. now is the time for optimism.
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Old 02-11-2021, 07:55 AM   #210
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

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I think you may have taken his comment just a little too seriously. I think it would be xenophobic rather than racist, but then there's the first word - "selfishly". Obviously that's expressing a selfish (and possibly not that serious) desire to keep the field smaller and/or less skilled. And when one is saying they are being selfish, I think they're acknowledging they're not being reasonable.
You are probably correct. I was just asking for clarification as to why he would prefer Europeans to be excluded. Is it because he is 'xenophobic' (racist) and just doesn't like foreigners, or is it because he believes that their skills are superior and their absence increase his chances of winning a much smaller prize.

Of course, it could just be a tongue in cheek comment, but without an emoji who can be sure anymore...
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Old 02-11-2021, 08:07 AM   #211
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

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Racist? or are the Europeans just better players than you are? Maybe Japan should hold the Olympics and not allow any other country to attend...sound reasonable?
Euros are good at poker, Americans not so much
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Old 02-11-2021, 08:08 AM   #212
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

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daily cases are in free-fall. now is the time for optimism.
D-Day was 6/6/1944, the Nazis surrendered on 5/8/1945 and rationing in the UK didn't end until 1954.

Optimism is good, but this is only the beginning of the end rather than the end itself. Businesses would be sensible to remain extremely cautious until we have an effective treatment or the dominant virus strain is less virulent, especially in a hyper-litigious society.
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Old 02-11-2021, 10:21 AM   #213
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

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Euros are good at poker, Americans not so much
Or rather, professionals are WAY more likely to travel overseas for it than recreationals are.
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Old 02-11-2021, 10:27 AM   #214
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

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Or rather, professionals are WAY more likely to travel overseas for it than recreationals are.
Yes good point -- that's definitely at least most of the effect
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Old 02-11-2021, 11:04 AM   #215
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

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I'm not going to suggest you haven't been paying attention, but it does seem like you're not taking into account all that we've seen. I'd agree that things *shouldn't* be back to normal by April, but given the way many states have approached Covid, things certainly could be in many of them - by which I mean restrictions, as I assume Nick meant as well. And definitely not the last ones back - not just because so many don't take this as seriously as they should, but also because the US is likely to be one of the countries with the quickest mass rollout of vaccines.
Huh? My understanding is we haven't been fast at all with the vaccine. Look at a place like Israel. They've got half their country vaccinated, we are still working on getting to 5%.
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Old 02-11-2021, 11:21 AM   #216
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

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The average buy-in per entry has been decreasing year over year. The only reason for that to change would be if they eliminated the Colossus-type events because of participant limits.

Other than that, if anything, buy-ins will keep decreasing because that's what players want. Same reason why 1/2 and 1/3 have been thriving in lots of card rooms over the country for the last decade while everything higher than that faces extinction in smaller rooms.
COVID will change attendance and who attends. Assuming 2021 goes off in August, I'd expect a drop off in attendance (i.e. head count) of around 40%. Who attends will likely be a mix of stronger players who prefer events with higher entry $, lower registration, and lower admin rake. Makes sense to me that mgmt take a small hit in rake in return for the goodwill of getting off a successful WSOP.

There could be a few mega events for marketing purposes, but I'm guessing the allure of those will be greatly diminished this year. (and maybe next year as well)
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Old 02-11-2021, 11:31 AM   #217
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

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Huh? My understanding is we haven't been fast at all with the vaccine.
Might not be going great but we're doing pretty well compared to most other countries in the Western World.

Israel isn't a valid comparison because that's a country the size of New York City. Other than that, the UK is way ahead but the EU isn't for example.

To see that things can go back to a new normal that's not that different from the old normal, just turn on Australian Open coverage on ESPN+. Looking at that is pretty encouraging but also makes you wonder how it could be around here if we had done it the right way.

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COVID will change attendance and who attends. Assuming 2021 goes off in August, I'd expect a drop off in attendance (i.e. head count) of around 40%. Who attends will likely be a mix of stronger players who prefer events with higher entry $, lower registration, and lower admin rake.
I doubt I'd be the only one to take a hard pass on that. Pretty sure others are also self-aware enough to avoid any kind of poker game without a decent percentage of (very) weak players. Who wants to play in a tournament full of stronger players even if rake is a little lower?

Last edited by madlex; 02-11-2021 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 02-11-2021, 11:37 AM   #218
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

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I guess it all comes down to what you consider 'normal' to be. The idea that on some day in the future any leader is going to tell their people that we have now vaccinated the right percentage of our population so throw away your facemasks, plexiglass and hand sanitizer is for the birds.
It's not going to be one leader, because so much in the US is done at the state level. But several states don't have mask requirements or severe capacity restrictions right now. I expect that will be true in most states my the end of April. (If you think the country won't be back to normal until people stop using hand sanitizer, then "normal" is probably a bad thing.)

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As for herd immunity, the threshold for Covid is likely higher than you think - around 75%. This is complicated by the fact that as a new virus, we do not know how long immunity lasts, whether from exposure or from vaccine. 150 million vaccinations by the end of April does not equate to 150 million people vacccinated, rather it is more like 75 million people having had their 2 doses. You also do not account for crossover between the vaccinated population and those who have immunity of some kind through exposure.
I didn't say 150 million vaccinations. I said 150 million people vaccinated. The J&J vaccine is a single dose and my impression is that it will be the most common vaccine in the US by April.

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Huh? My understanding is we haven't been fast at all with the vaccine. Look at a place like Israel. They've got half their country vaccinated, we are still working on getting to 5%.
I'm not sure what you mean by "a place like Israel". What is an example of a country you consider to be a place "like Israel" that isn't literally Israel? The US is behind Israel in vaccinations, by Israel is 1/1000th of the world's population, and the US is ahead of 98% of the rest of that population.
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Old 02-11-2021, 11:59 AM   #219
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

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I doubt I'd be the only one to take a hard pass on that. Pretty sure others are also self-aware enough to avoid any kind of poker game without a decent percentage of (very) weak players. Who wants to play in a tournament full of stronger players even if rake is a little lower?
For quite a few people WSOP is entertainment. They are aware that the average entrant may be a sharper poker player. That in and of itself does not reduce the attraction of attending WSOP much for rec players who desire the thrill of attending WSOP and winning. That plus missing a year has probably added to the attraction of attending this year, notwithstanding COVID.

And not everyone will see it the way I do. There will be players who simply want to get back to normal and not even think about the pro/rec mix. The pros will see the modified structure and will look at the opportunity as something WSOP has not offered in years.

40% reduction in attendance also decreases the allure of the megas for the simple reason that the payout will be 40% less, all other things being equal. Management relying on megas will probably be a big marketing mistake.
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Old 02-11-2021, 12:24 PM   #220
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

Fauci predicts 'open season' for vaccinations by April

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“By the time we get to April, that will be what I would call, for better wording, ‘open season,’ namely virtually everybody and anybody in any category could start to get vaccinated,” [Fauci] said.
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Old 02-11-2021, 12:37 PM   #221
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

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I'm not sure what you mean by "a place like Israel". What is an example of a country you consider to be a place "like Israel" that isn't literally Israel? The US is behind Israel in vaccinations, by Israel is 1/1000th of the world's population, and the US is ahead of 98% of the rest of that population.
'a x like y' is a common figure of speech. I'm surprised it prompted such a bizarre response.
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Old 02-11-2021, 12:57 PM   #222
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

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I didn't say 150 million vaccinations. I said 150 million people vaccinated. The J&J vaccine is a single dose and my impression is that it will be the most common vaccine in the US by April.
I still think you are being overly optimistic. Vaccines in and of themselves are not a magic bullet out of the current situation, for them to be most effective, they need to be administered to the majority of the world's population. Even if the US had 100% vaccination (when it will actually be lucky to hit 66%) it remains vulnerable to imported strains which could have mutations which make the vaccinations ineffective.

As it is impossible to fully close a country's borders, it is logical and sensible to maintain precautionary measures. Restrictions can be loosened, but I would expect to still see measures such as plexiglass, social distancing of some kind & mask requirements on planes, uber or public transport.

Even if the WSOP was to be held in the fall, I would still expect to see things like plexiglass & mask requirements. I also would not be at all surprised to see all events be 6max or 8max, which makes sense for a variety of reasons.
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Old 02-11-2021, 01:00 PM   #223
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

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Even if the WSOP was to be held in the fall, I would still expect to see things like plexiglass & mask requirements. I also would not be at all surprised to see all events be 6max or 8max, which makes sense for a variety of reasons.
If plexiglass & 6 max were the requirement I'm giving 2021 WSOP happening at < 20%.
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Old 02-11-2021, 01:16 PM   #224
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

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'a x like y' is a common figure of speech. I'm surprised it prompted such a bizarre response.
The quote I am responding to claimed "we [the US] haven't been fast at all with the vaccine. Look at a place like Israel."

If the poster meant "only Israel", that wouldn't really support the general claim that the US hasn't been fast in vaccine distribution. It would just mean they weren't the single fastest. Which is true.

But the US -has- been -among- the best in vaccine distribution, certainly above the 95th percentile in terms of world population, and way above most other developed countries that have superior health care systems to us overall, and have previously had a much better response to the virus.
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Old 02-11-2021, 10:32 PM   #225
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re: Thoughts about 2021 WSOP (tentatively scheduled 09/30 - 11/23)

Based on Sisolak’s press conference today, it sounds like my “end of April” prediction will not be far off and we should expect Vegas to completely reopen on May 1.
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