I've been saying for months that the poker economy continues to expand, and here's some proof.
On Friday, the first big event at the World Series Of Poker Circuit Event at Harrah's St. Louis shattered a record as the largest poker tournament in Missouri history -- 843 players. The old record was last year's opener at 675. That was also exceeded by the Saturday noon tourney, which had 710 entrants. The table where I started had no local regulars, so we drew lots of out-of-towners. That's a good thing because everyone in St. Louis knows how I play already.
Unfortunately, I didn't go deep enough in either of those events. My total tourney winnings at this WSOPC so far come to $30 because I swapped 5% with a friend who min-cashed Friday. My results in cash games are a different story, and there are more of those, too. This year, Harrah's added 10 extra tables outside the poker room to handle the overflow of cash games -- and they still weren't enough for the crush of players.
On Sunday afternoon, I played in the Seniors Event. To qualify as senior, you have to be over 50 years old, although in the current world of hotshot young poker pros, they might want to lower the age to 25. Older players tend to not be as aggressive as the new breed, so there wasn't a lot of bluffing or three-betting. In fact, no one at my table did either of those for the first two hours. Well, almost no one. I guess I was the young gun in that crowd.
It was a little weird being in a poker tournament where 99% of the players were older than me. Must be how Joe Cada felt.
One last quick item. On Saturday, as I walked through the horde of poker players, a guy walked up, extended his hand and said, "I bet you don't remember me." I replied, "You win!"
If you're going to be at the Circuit Event at Harrah's, be sure to look for our Final Table merchandise (hats, sweatshirts, and t-shirts) in the WSOP Gift Shop!