2009 continued to be an exciting and interesting year in the world of online poker. Due to the infamous global recession affecting all areas of economy and consumer spending, 2009 tournament poker took a serious knock at the highest buy-in levels.
The $10,000 world championship events at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) saw a 13% decrease in participants. Only 1,786 participants entered, compared to the 2,053 from 2008. The number of tournament’s attendance in $10,000 buy-in events were also down, however, overall tournament attendance numbers were up. A trend also showed that interest in highest buy-ins was down, but live tournaments were still a firm favourite.
At the start of 2009 Tom Dwan famously issued a Million Dollar challenge to the online poker world. This challenge allowed Dwan and his opponents to compete for the top spot after a required number of hands. If Dwan was ahead by #1 or more then the opponent would have to cough up $500,000, but if the opponent was up by #1 or more, Dwan would have to pay a cool $1.5 million.
The WSOP received a record turnout in 2009 with 60,875 players, a 4.5% increase from 2008. It was also an impressive year for EPT. The number of players that entered into the EPT main event increased from 6,443 players in 2008 to 7,847 players in 2009. Tournaments which allowed buy-ins downward were also prosperous in 2009.
Overall, the performance of WSOP was better than 2008, with an overall attendance of 60,875 compared to the 58,720 in the previous year.
At the 2008 H.O.R.S.E World Championship saw 148 players attend, while the 2009 event only attracted 95. The $40,000 No-Limit Hold’em event drew 201 players.
The number of attendants to the WPT North American events saw the biggest fall, down to 4,489 players at 11 events.
The enhancement of UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act), which started in December 2009, has caused players to leave the game. But according to PokerScout.com, the poker industry is increasing by a rate of 30%.
Another success story was the WPT hosting several tournaments across Europe. These tournaments were well received, with European players playing alongside some of the best in the USA.
Aside from the obvious hiccups along the way, online poker is still thriving and it is presumed that the world of online poker will prove to be more efficient with bigger winnings in 2010.
This article was written by Piggs Peak Poker, a licensed online poker room providing the opportunity to play poker online.