Greg Merson Explains WPT500 Rant

11

Nearly three weeks after he issued a Twitter tirade against the World Poker Tour and its $500 buy-in Las Vegas tournament, the WPT500, 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event winner Greg Merson (pictured) has responded to critics who thought he took his criticism too far.

PocketFives’ news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events!

On his Twitter feed from July 6, Merson ripped into the WPT for holding its inaugural WPT500 at Aria in Las Vegas while the World Series of Poker Main Event was being conducted nearby at the Rio. “Can’t breathe on partypoker/WPT trying to step on the toes of the WSOP Main Event,” Merson wrote in his first Tweet. “Of course you can play both, but very disrespectful, in my opinion.”

Merson went on to Tweet, “The Main Event is our Super Bowl, save your 5 day re-entry money grab for another date.” He concluded his scathing remarks by commenting, “Just a desperate attempt by a company trying to hold onto a glimmer of the spotlight as they have continued to slide since 2006.”

Players such as Christian charderHarder, Russell Thomas, and Brian Stinger885Hastings disagreed with Merson’s original Twitter rant, while WPT Tournament Director Matt Savage (pictured below) addressed Merson directly. “We moved our dates from [July] 1-6 out of respect for the Little One for One Drop, as a $1K buy-in is too close to $500,” Savage wrote on Twitter. “No one is more supportive of the WSOP than I am and wouldn’t expect a single player to skip ME for this.”

Over the past weekend, Merson addressed those who disagreed with him in a lengthy statement on his Facebook page, in part saying, “I think it is very unlikely I would have fallen into poker without the boom in 2003, which was caused predominantly by the Main Event,” Merson continued. “The Main Event blew up poker to another level and keeping the numbers strong for the Main Event is important for the industry as it continues to struggle without Federal legalized online poker in the States.”

“For partypoker/WPT to poach the traffic for the biggest event of the year was a little grimy,” Merson stated. “Let’s see how they would feel about WSOP putting a $500 bracelet event the same days and in the same city as their WPT Championship. It mostly comes down to the fact that the 3 major tours fight for the same players and should be working together and not against each other.”

The statements from Merson come on the heels of signing with the Nevada-based regulated online poker site WSOP.com as its first sponsored pro.

11 COMMENTS

    • Don’t agree with Greg one bit. A $500 tournament is hardly going to take away folks who have the $$$$$ to put up money for a 10k buyin. These two tournaments are targeting two totally different markets.

    • Greg is right.

      Surprised there are people that feel that way. I doubt anyone that planned to play the WSOP Main Event skipped it for a $500 WPT tournament. In any event, there were many players that played in both. They even changed the dates to make it easier for any players that wanted to play both to be able to do so.

      I don’t think this was controversial what Greg said here, but respectfully don’t agree with his opinion.

    • Surprised there are people that feel that way. I doubt anyone that planned to play the WSOP Main Event skipped it for a $500 WPT tournament. In any event, there were many players that played in both. They even changed the dates to make it easier for any players that wanted to play both to be able to do so.

      I don’t think this was controversial what Greg said here, but respectfully don’t agree with his opinion.

      THIS. I would wager that the number of people who skipped the main event to play the WPT instead was exactly ZERO.

      But many played both. And many who cant afford $10K got to play a pretty exciting poker tournament run by a damn fine TD.

    • Was Greg upset the year he won the Main Event that Caesars ran a $1k buy-in at the same time as the WSOP Main and players who busted the WSOP Main went there to play after? Greg appears to be missing the point, the WPT500 drew players who a) could not spend $10,000 on a single tournament and b) players who busted from the WSOP Main and still had hotel room in Vegas with a plane ticket for a few days away from their bustout date. No $500 tourney in any location at any time is going to be in conflict with a $10,000 buy-in that is very nearby.Greg is absolutely right, however, in that the various tours and casinos need to keep working together to avoid (as much as possible) overlapping series events that DO conflict with one another. There is never going to be perfection, but competing tourneys in the same area (or close) only divides the player pool.

    • Sorta see where he’s coming from but he also is a wsop rep pro don’t forget. I disagree about the 3 major tours working together. They each are needed to keep each other honest with rake fees etc…

    • If anything it competes with the larger draw $235 dailies going on that week. A lot of people might have stuck around to rail friends in the main that were otherwise only playing the smaller dailies and VDSE stuff that hopped into the WPT500. No way did it pull players from the main.

    • i would like to think that greg isn’t understanding the concept of players that can’t afford 10k buy-in and wished they could enter WSOP ME but were very happy the WPT came thru with a consolation prize.Also players that got knocked out of ME were happy to have a fallback MTT as well. The ME isnt an invite. It costs to playso it was kinda like multi-tabling live.Also this superbowl comparison is bulllshit . Everyone can telly the superbowl ,but who the fk wants to hang around casinos and watch tables to show support since they can’t afford. YAH YAH i know there are lurkers but c’mon lets get real

    • I’ll throw a party and get a confirmed attendance of thousands,next door the other guy says hey there’s heaps of people around I reckon I can get some of that traffic , thi si sthe issue.WSOP does need to cater for non attendees rather than forcing them to stand around so they are both at fault in 1 in terms of poaching the other in terms of customer service/satisfaction/entertainment.

    • If the Aria WPT didn’t run the Main Event might have got another 150-250 players who would have been at the Rio playing the $550 Megas and such trying to satellite in. Overall it wouldn’t have made much of a difference, the 10 Mill guarantee for 1st was a bad idea, I was cringing even before the payout was announced. Next time maybe a guaranteed prize pool will hype people up, but poker was crippled on Black Friday and we wont have a record breaking Main Event until the US market opens up again.