Poker tournament re-entries are attracting vibrant social media commentary following Alex Foxen’s WPT Five Diamond win. Players and industry representatives are debating how re-entries affect poker tournaments as they await the 2020 World Series of Poker full tournament schedule release.

Poker players of all skill levels are taking to Twitter this holiday season to give their opinions on controversial poker tournament re-entries — a topic that was brought to the attention of the general peer-to-peer gambling community in October 2019 when WSOP announcer Norman Chad sharply criticized the practice.

More recently, professional poker player Alex Foxen won the 2019 WPT Bellagio Five Diamond (Event #22: $10,000 + $400 buy-in) for a cash prize of nearly $1.7 million — one of the largest real money poker tournament cashes in Foxen’s high roller career.

Despite Alex Foxen’s achievement, a number of individuals in the poker world are pointing to the victory as yet another side effect of an unlimited re-entries format that enables highly-skilled players to rebuy into an event, after having been eliminated, as many times as they wish (as long as they have the funds to do so).

Foxen entered the WPT event five times in total; one original entry plus four re-entries.

WPT Executive Tour Director Shares Knowledge

Longtime poker tournament director Matt Savage extended a congratulatory Tweet to his followers shortly after Foxen’s victory, welcoming the New York poker player to the WPT Champions Club.

But the debate over tournament re-entries soon transitioned into a separate set of social media posts, with Savage explaining how the WPT coordinates a variety of tour stops across the United States — all of which have unique tournament buy-in policies.

When subsequently accused of being “in denial” about poker tournament re-entries, Savage assured readers that he is well aware of the issues (especially since he is the individual who “started” the format a decade ago).

[Matt Savage Re-Entry Tournaments — partypoker YouTube Channel — Uploaded September 2011]

The WPT Executive Tour Director followed by informing Twitter users that land-based venues decide tournament buy-in policies.

WPT Legendary Commentator on Poker Tournament Re-Entries

partypoker Chairman Mike Sexton summarized current events in a December 27th, 2019 blog post, which highlights the legendary poker personality’s thoughts on re-entry tournaments.

In Sexton’s opinion, “my vote is to allow one re-entry per tournament” — although the 2016 WPT Montreal winner concedes that there’s nothing wrong with “a variety of events.”

Let casinos host any tournament with any format they like,” Sexton writes.

[Mike Sexton Round Table Ep. 4 — partypoker LIVE YouTube Channel — Uploaded September 2019]

Daniel Negreanu Considering Poker Tournament Buy-In Strategy

Popular poker pro and new GGPoker ambassador Daniel Negreanu revealed to WPT writer Sean Chaffin recently that he is still considering whether or not to alter his rebuy tendencies in upcoming poker tournaments — but balked at taking a non-participation stance against unlimited re-entries.

READ: Daniel Negreanu Discusses WPT Bellagio Five Diamond and More (WPT – Dec 19, 2019)

Negreanu candidly pointed out the impractical predicament such a stance would place any competitive real money poker player in, due to the loss in Expected Value that a profitable player would suffer upon not re-entering. This because of the perceived (lesser) skill level of the remaining field in such an event.

For what?,” Negreanu asked Chaffin. “To take a stand for something that’s not going to work? It’s not like if I don’t rebuy you’ll stop seeing them do re-entry events. It’s just not going to happen because they make so much money off of them.

[GGPoker Signs Daniel Negreanu — GGPoker YouTube Channel — Uploaded November 2019]

Modern-Day Poker Business Realities (Observations)

* All observations belong solely to the author unless otherwise specified.

For the longest while, “poker business” pursuits were relatively unburdened by the need to publicly justify fiscal responsibility along with customer behavior modification for the sake of corporate sustainability.

But in September 2018, WSOP parent company Caesars Entertainment revealed that 15-20% of its customer base was “unprofitable,” and that the company would be personalizing its loyalty program benefits accordingly.

As live and online regulated casino markets capture the attention of more statewide policymakers who are charged with taxing gambling activities, pressure will continue to be exerted upon executives to seek out and fully explore ideas to increase revenues and/or profitability.

WATCH: Local Leaders Plead for Share of Pennsylvania “Mini Casino” Revenues (Mar 25, 2019)

If the World Series of Poker schedules a significant number of “unlimited re-entry” bracelet events in 2020 (as Daniel Negreanu hints might be the case because “they make so much money off of them”), then it’s up to each player to accept or not accept those conditions upon deciding whether to buy-in? As long as the tournament buy-in policy is clearly communicated at the time of purchase, each player is provided with sufficient information to arrive at an “executive decision” which reflects that individual’s best interests?

Regardless of what the WPT, WSOP (or other poker event hosts) conclude in the future, neither “re-entries” nor “freezeouts” nor “single re-entries” appear to be in immediate danger of extinction. There are multiple poker tournament venues across the United States and worldwide that offer a wide variety of buy-in options for players with both fleeting and discerning tastes.

Read More Poker Tournament Coverage from Part Time Poker

Alex Foxen Destined to Capture GPI Player of the Year (Dec 27, 2019)
Milen Stefanov Wins WPT Seminole Hard Rock N Roll Poker Open (Dec 5, 2019)
WSOP 2020 Main Event Late Registration is “Awful,” Says Poker Commentator (Dec 14, 2019)
WPT Season 17 Final Tables Move to Esports Arena (May 28, 2018)
Shaun Deeb Discusses WSOP Player of the Year Formula (Nov 25, 2019)
WSOP Main Event 2019 Draws 8,569 Players (Jul 7, 2019)

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