WSOP 2012: The price they pay

wsop-130x100.pngIt's after 10pm in Las Vegas. Around two hours of play remain in the day, and we are looking at the people who paid the most to play in the world's biggest poker event. When they bust out tonight or first thing tomorrow, they are the ones to pity the most, because this WSOP was more expensive for them than anyone else--more expensive than the people who bust out tomorrow night and more expensive than the people who busted out on the very first hand of the tournament.

Oh, sure. Everyone paid $10,000 for this. That's the price for this event just like it's been for decades. Tournaments come and go, but the WSOP Main Event will likely always be $10,000 (or at least until the point the American dollar collapses and $10,000 will buy you a can of sardines and some Vienna sausages). But, there are more costs. For instance, there's airfare and accommodation. A majority of the people who came in for this event need a place to stay--a hotel room or a house for the duration of the Main Event. There's the tricky part. It's all about duration.

See, the people who busted out on Day 1 didn't have to wait around and keep paying for an expensive hotel room, expensive Vegas food, and the $4.25 sodas in the Rio hallway. They could go on back home. The people who bust out tonight in advance of tomorrow's $19,000 min-cash money will have invested the following:

Buy-in: $10,000
Hotel: (Seven nights, at a very conservative $100 per night) $700
Food/drink (Seven days at a very conservative $80 per day) $560

But even that additional $1,260 is meaningless compared to the joy and experience of playing the Main Event, right? Sure it is. It's a drop in the bucket.

But, wait, friends. There is also the cost of the effort. See, those people who shuffle off tonight or early tomorrow will have put forth the greatest amount of effort for the least possible return. It's time they could've spent doing anything else in the world. By the end of today, they will have played 30 hours of poker and have nothing to show for it but a big ding in their bankroll and a lot of wasted time. Business folks call it opportunity cost. A full week spent paying to work and working without getting a paycheck. For all the people who calling busting out of the Main Event "the worse day of the year," see what it feels like busting out just short of the money.

There is this, though: for a great many people, making the money in the Main Event would be nice, but it's not really the end-all-be-all. The experience of playing in the Main Event, competing for a chance at life-changing money, playing alongside heroes on poker's biggest stage...well, that's worth all the time and money any day, any year.

But...cashing sure would be nice.




The Main Event field now has fewer than 900 players.


Vanessa Selbst: "Wow just sucked out in huuuuge pot. Tried to get some1 to fold a set lol on KQcc49 for all of it. He SNAPPED 44 but my T8cc gets there. 540k"


She used to call herself the suckout queen, you know

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker