It seems odd to bitch about what I’m about to bitch about, but a quick scan of the current live event calendar leaves me pondering a strange question: are there too many tournaments currently on the circuit?
If you fall into the supply-and-demand and/or sruvival of the fittest camps, the answer is likely no; smaller European series like the GSOP, GUKPT, and EMOP have found their niches alongside PokerStars’ EPT juggernaut, and there’s no reason to believe they all can’t co-exist happily for quite some time.
If you have an online site backing it (and sending loads of online qualifiers) it’s not too difficult these days to pull off a fairly successful series of live poker tournaments that draw decent fields, provide impressive enough payouts for top finishers, and give players a good excuse to visit places like Malta, Barcelona, and Dublin.
But a glance at the schedule of upcoming tournaments for 2011 makes me wonder a bit if the current approach is the healthiest in the long run. It’s hard to find a lot of fault with PokerStars but their recent flurry of additional live series (the Eureka Poker Tour, the Portugal Poker Series, the Belgian Poker Series, et al.) they’ve added makes me wonder if that dilution won’t rear its ugly head at some point.
It’s always good to have options for live event players and there’s definitely a lot in favor of smaller regional events. So in that respect, the more the merrier, but I think for players there’s also a certain fatigue point, where all the dueling acronyms and options become almost counter-productive.
More than that, though, is the fact that there’s no larger cohesion between all these splintered tournaments and series. There’s no end goal or clearly defined season, as not only is it possible to play a major live event somewhere virtually every weekend of the year, but now you have to pick from several options during most weeks.
While some events do take note of what’s already on the schedule, as far as trying to schedule their own event conveniently to draw players that are nearby the previous week, in many cases the scheduling is pretty haphazard; why Everest would put it’s new event in Monte Carlo at the same time as the Irish Open is beyond me,, as it was no great mystery as to when the Irish Open would be held.
Live event players only have so many bullets in their budget, so at some point there’s going to be a tipping point where all these myriad events tugging in different directions will cease to be viable. And maybe that’s just the natural evolution of the process, but it’s a shame that there can’t be a little more cooperation between the major players, as far as online sites that sponsor series and events.
But then I suppose it’s also be nice if Israelis and Palestinians could all just get along and play nicely together, too…