Who will win WSOP Player of the Year?
When the summer portion of the World Series of Poker calendar wrapped up in July, Chris Ferguson left the Rio with the lead in the much-maligned Player of the Year points race. Ferguson currently has 898.46 points by virtue of his record-breaking 17 cashes to go along with two final tables.
Trailing Ferguson on the leaderboard are Ryan Hughes (876.35), John Monnette (865.21), and John Racener (853.16). Racener also cashed 17 times in Las Vegas and earned his first career bracelet in the $10,000 Dealers Choice event.
None of the players at the top of the leaderboard have confirmed their plans to travel internationally and try to lay their claim to the POY title.
Lurking in eighth place is Daniel Negreanu (717.76), who is likely to play in as many events as possible in Rozvadov as he chases his third career WSOP POY title and seventh bracelet.
Among the European players in the top-10 are Dario Sammartino and Kenny Haellart.
How big will the Main Event get?
This year’s WSOPE Main Event carries a €10,300 buy-in and, more importantly, a €5,000,000 guarantee. The guarantee requires a minimum of 500 entrants to be hit and the record of 593 entrants set in 2011 has the potential to be hit.
Aside from 2011, only one other WSOPE Main Event has had a field size exceeding 400 entrants. That happened in 2012 when Phil Hellmuth won his 13th career bracelet.
The last time the World Series of Poker went to Europe was in 2015 when Kevin MacPhee defeated a field of 313 to win his second bracelet of the year.
The Main Event runs from November 4-9 and there are no major conflicts of schedule on the United States and Europe side that may prevent players from making the trip.
Who Will Show Up for One Drop?
The highest buy-in on the WSOPE schedule is the €111,111 High Roller for One Drop. The WSOP version of this event drew 130 events and Doug Polk emerged victorious for $3,686,865.
The €10,000,000 guarantee will bring some of poker’s biggest names into the fold with Polk expected to defend his title. As of June, 84 players put down their deposits to play in the event with Vegas final tablists Bertrand Grospellier, Rainer Kempe, and Andrew Robl among them.
A name that has been floated around but will not be formally confirmed until he takes his seat in the event is Phil Ivey. This year’s WSOP witnessed a complete absence for Ivey, who has not spent much time in the public eye over the last few months.
Huge guarantees on the schedule
King’s Casino is a popular destination regardless of what series is taking place and the World Series of Poker is counting a huge audience descending from all parts of the world to cover the guarantees in place.
Among the hefty guarantees in place are the €550 buy-in €4,000,000 Colossus, €1,100 buy-in €500,000 Monster Stack, and €1,111 buy-in €500,000 Little One for One Drop.
When the World Series ran the Oktoberfest event in Berlin during WSOPE in 2015, the field was 2,144 without a guarantee in place.
With 10 starting flights in place, the World Series of Poker is counting on drawing a sizable crowd during the five days Day 1s.
The WSOP does not usually place guarantees on their marquee events and WSOP Europe has a tall task in front of it to match the numbers put into place.