World Series of Poker ‘Big 50’ a Big Hit with Players

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2019 WSOP Big 50 Field
Despite the long lines to enter the event, feedback was positive surrounding the record-breaking WSOP Big 50

Not only was the World Series of Poker ‘Big 50’ the talk of the town for those in Las Vegas, but it quickly became the talk of the entire global poker community as the 2019 WSOP kicked off. With the event now firmly in the rearview mirror, PocketFives spoke to a few players to get their take on the record-setting 28,371-player field.

“This event was unbelievable. The way the WSOP handled everything, just hats off to them. To see everybody come out here, the numbers, the turnout it got – poker is definitely not dead. It’s just a great tournament and I’m very happy to be able to participate in it.” – Ronnie Bardah

“I think for a first event, it’s understandable that some of it was unorganized because I’m sure that they didn’t expect the amount of players that they had. I think that if they did it again and it was more organized, that they would probably have an even larger field than the one they already have because people who have may reentered were deterred because of the amount of time they had to wait to reenter to sit again. I think structure-wise it was excellent. I think the players were from all over the world, you have the best and you have people who were here recreationally. For the most part, I think it was a really good tournament.” – Judith Bielan

“The event was great. This is what brings everyone back to the world of poker. I don’t think any other organization can orchestrate this particular event except for the WSOP. Maybe they can even do a bigger and better one next year in 2020. This was great for everybody.” – Robert Cheung

“I think the turnout for the Big 50 was fantastic. I actually think it’s crazy how many people were complaining. At the end of the day, to run a tournament of this magnitude, it’s unprecedented, and I don’t know what else you could possibly ask for. There are always going to be little hiccups, but everybody at my table was so nice and so many people expressed to me that this event was something that they were looking forward to. For a lot of them, it’s their first time in Vegas. Forget about live poker tournaments, it’s their first time in Vegas. I think that’s what this kind of tournament does. It brings out the real poker fans who have likely saved up to come out here and play this event. I think that’s amazing for poker, obviously.” – Maria Ho

“The Big 50 had a ‘Main Event’ like feel to it. I met countless people who came out to the Series specifically for that event or are playing their first live tournament ever. For a lot of recreational players, they saw the improved structure as a good return on their investment and a great chance to make a Day 2, and most people seemed to be having a blast. Despite all the difficulties of managing 6,000-plus players simultaneously playing the same tournament in the same building, you can’t deny how special this event was, and it’s pretty cool regardless of results to say that you participated in the biggest live tournament of all time.” – Ben Ludlow

“Anybody who complains about the opportunity to get everybody in the poker world together to play an event seems insane to me. This is exactly what you should want. What could be better for poker? This is what ‘good for poker’ looks like.” – Nathan Manuel

“I spend a lot of time in the trenches of the mid-stakes poker scene and based on all the conversations I was hearing at the tables these past few months, I had a feeling it was going to be massive. I’m honestly blown away that one venue can seat 28,000 players over the course of four days, so when problems were rumored I wasn’t surprised, nor was I upset. I probably waited in line a total of three hours over the course of registering two flights, but I understood it was a small price to pay to be part of the biggest live poker tournament in history. Once I got my seat, it was a blast. The buzz, banter, and fun at the tables was everything I hoped.” – Johnnie Moreno

“This is like a dream for players who can’t afford to play bigger tournaments. Like your average guy from his home game, like people who play the smaller events like the deep stacks and the smaller events. Here, they have a chance to come out to the big dance and a chance to win a bracelet. It’s a wonderful event. I don’t care about all the crap you’re hearing about lines and this and that. Listen, for $500 you can win $1 million. How often do you get a chance to do that? I stood in line for four and a half hours. I said, ‘Wow, this is crazy!’ But here I am, playing for $1 million for $500, so it’s all a plus. It’s great for the game.” – Victor Ramdin

“Nowhere else could you find a group of people who could run something like this. I don’t know what they’re going to do with the different 5Ks and 25Ks, but it’s great. It’s really great.” – Eddy Sabat

“I played Day 1a and made it to Day 3 on my first bullet, so I didn’t have any experience waiting forever to register after busting. The event has been a lot of fun so far! I’ve played at three total tables and two of them had almost all recreational players. Lots of loose and fast play.” – Max Steinberg