The "Monster Stack Event" in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas actually was a “Monster” the poker world has never seen before and hopefully will never see again. Hugo Pingray of France outlasted 7861 other players to take home $1,327,083 in prize money.
Not since the shark in Jaws first lunged out of the water have so many endured such a scary sight. The innovative tournament could have been a life-time dream come true for so many poker players, but instead they became innocent victims of a nightmare fit for Elm Street.
The event organizers were obviously overwhelmed by the turnout and by the time they realized what was happening it was simply too late. Players were left standing around for hours, playing in hallways in some cases, in others entire tables being moved from one location to another while other players just walked away all together without bothering to register for the event.
The event itself was innovative and daring to say the least. The 15,000 starting chips and the structure of the tournament were inviting to even the most casual of players. The risk was without doubt worth the reward.
Going forward the WSOP will have to do much better planning to hold this event again in years to come, the following would be my recommendations as a player to make the event more player friendly.
1. Having Two Starting Days, much like the Main Event’s multiple starting days would have alleviated much of the misery.
2. Have Two Flights each starting day, one at Noon and a second at 5p.m. would make the crowd much more manageable, while giving the players a much better WSOP experience.
3. Take Day Three Off and regroup and reorganize. Not only the players but the staff needed a break after the players all completed the first day. Playing eight hours into day two, I can attest to the mistakes made by dealers on day two. Not because they were not competent, but more so due to fatigue. Good dealers give good players a better atmosphere to play the game while giving those players one less thing to worry about.
Yes, hindsight is 20-20, but when you are dealing with over $10 million in prize money, expectations will be high and expecting less from an organization like the World Series of Poker would be an injustice to the game itself.