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Changes at the $10K Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo World Championship

On June 22nd, 2009, controversy erupted at the world series of poker when the first two levels of game play of the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo World Championship were played 6 handed. Allen Kessler and several poker players repeatedly questioned floor manager why there were only 6 players at each poker table instead of the usual eight players.

According to Kessler, they were not given a straight answer for the change in procedure. The following day, June 23rd, 2009, World Series of poker tournament Director Jack Effel tried to clear up the confusion by explaining why the change in the set-up was made. Effel said that they found out that only a third of the playing field would actually show up to play at exactly 5:00 p.m. in the World Championship events. He said that sometimes, they had to move participants 4 to 5 times and other players were starting to get bothered about it.

In the end, Effel decided to implement the 6-handed play in an effort to stop player movement. Effel said that they have left two slots at every poker table. At the end of the registration process, they had broke all the tables and combined them in eight handed play. This way, it is fair to participants and to the staff. Effel added that there is no way to guarantee a full table in any event as there is always going to be players who will show up late and affect the table dynamics.

The only difference in this set up is the players at least know that they are going to be playing 6-handed for the first two games. The participants seemed to accept the changes for the most part and poker pro Tom Schneider said that it does not really bother him. Other participants see a fundamental problem in such a change to the first two hours of a poker tournament.


07/05/2009, Sunday
Matthew Dorst

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