The World Series of Poker was decided on Tuesday as the field was cut down to three players from an opening field of 8,569. The winner gets to pocket a cool $10 million for his efforts and the runners’ up are guaranteed at least $4 million each.
Hossein Ensan started play on the final night with 326.8 million in chips followed by Alex Livingston with 120.4 million and Dario Sammartino bringing up the rear with 67.6 million.
What is new this year with more attention paid to legal sports betting than ever is the number and quality of betting options being presented to the viewers.
Caesars is the owner of the World Series of Poker and they also have new sponsorship and other deals in place with various sports properties in the past year. That includes the TV hosts of the tournament, ESPN.
Is it any wonder then that, according that according to poker expert John Mehaffey, “for those that want to gamble on other people gambling, here it is. I will also note that this is another example of the major improvement in Caesars books in recent years. The hold on this is about the lowest I’ve ever seen on WSOP futures, B&M or offshore.”
At the same time, betting on the WSOP is not generally something big bettors have much interest in. The biggest bets also tend to be relatively low. In fact, it’s estimated that the total handle for betting on the final table is less than $1 million.
Part of the reason the casual sports bettor doesn’t have much interest in betting on the final table is that it takes three days for the winner to be determined. That’s a long time to keep the interest of the modern better.
But what we could see coming in the near future is a range of prop bets. Caesars has never offered those before, but it could be coming as the audience of bettors continues to grow and more live-betting offerings start to take off in major sports.
Props based on potential outcomes in real time have great potential to reel in more viewers which is also something that ESPN, would love to see.
Flopping sets, straight of royal flushes, the number of rounds it takes for the winner to emerge, a player’s ability to win with pocket aces, bets on if a bluff would win are all tantalizing ways to engage viewers.
It’s no doubt something the organizers are looking at closely and could help to soon shift how we watch the world’s greatest poker tournament.