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GGPoker, WSOP catch heat from players over Bahamas poker festival

GGPoker, WSOP catch heat from players over Bahamas poker festival

The WSOP and GGPoker are playing tricks with the tournament series’ guarantees

GGPoker and World Series of Poker (WSOP) made news in August after announcing a $50 million poker festival to be held in November and December at the Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas. Now, because of low initial interest and two other big European festivals, they’re going back on their promises.

The Bahamas festival will compete with the European Poker Tour (EPT) Prague, which broke records last year and is Europe’s second-biggest event, and the World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championships, which doubled its record live guarantee last December.

In response to the low turnout, GGPoker now has added a Day 1 online lobby to its $15 million guaranteed Main Event with an interesting explanation added:

"This is an Online Day 1 to the #10: MAIN EVENT CHAMPIONSHIP. Surviving players will jump straight to the ITM stage on Dec 12. Qualifiers will receive an 11-night stay (Dec. 3-14) at the Atlantis Bahamas, with a daily free lunch buffet, deducted from the prize pool. Qualifiers who cannot attend the LIVE EVENT in the Bahamas may forfeit their stack and package and receive a min-cash."

Online Day 1s automatically make it more difficult for recreational players. This is also the first time hotel costs have been deducted from a tournament’s guaranteed prize pool. On Monday, GGPoker, who typically makes few public statements, acknowledged the prize pool would be reduced by $650,000.

GGPoker and WSOP received a positive response after announcing the event but now must break a promise after trying to compete with the WPT and EPT and choosing a venue known to be very expensive. Players also have valid concerns about bringing winnings out of the Bahamas, where they could run into problems.

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