In the interview, Thomspon remarked:
“As in 2005 and 2006, Harrah‚Äôs will not be accepting third party registrations from online poker sites (.com‚Äôs) that do business with U.S. residents. PokerStars.com and PartyPoker.com could not register players directly last year because they did business with American customers. Ladbrokes could because it wasn‚Äôt doing business with U.S. residents.‚Äù
“Not true!,” says Christopher Costigan, the man in charge over at G911. “PartyPoker practically sponsored the event with its logo prominently displayed on the sidewalk outside The Rio Hotel (host of the 2005 and 2006 WSOP events) and on nearly every taxi cab in Vegas. The fact that PartyPoker and its competitors all used a .net derivation is pretty much a non-issue.”
Where Thompson really lays it on though is when he tosses out a prediction from his player-based advisory committee (Lederer, Ferguson, et al) that up to 12,000 players may play the Main Event in 2007, a number that’s about 4 or 5 times higher than what many predict.
“We have tried to figure out the landscape of WSOP in 2007,” he said. “We have a players advisory committee consisting of several poker professionals who are close to that side of the industry. They‚Äôve come back to us with estimates ranging from 2,000 players in the Main Event to 12,000 players.”
That’s quite a narrow range there. That’s just the difference between a $20 million purse and $120 million purse. If we were on the committe we would have stayed on the safe side and predict somewhere between 1 player and a gazillion.
Seriously though, we think serious minds not high on the peyote are guessing a decrease in players in 2007 to somewhere in the 3,000 to 5,000 range, which we just found out a second ago was 100% scientifically substantiated in a 86-vote online poll conducted by Pokerati.com. So there you have it. For another Pokerati.com bit on 2007 predictions, check out this post that suggests Harrah’s is talking smack to justify a raise in exhibition booth costs to cover their asses because the major online sites won’t be there.
Pic above is of Gambling911’s Jenny Woo, because she’s not Gary Thompson.