It is widely believed that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) could badly affect the World Series Of Poker and reduce the number of entrants for future events. This, for the most part is due to the event’s high volume of online qualifiers.
The event has seen a substantial rise in entrants since 2003 when a mere 839 players took part. This year’s event saw an incredible 8,773 players battle it out for a share of the $82 million prize pool. With more than half estimated to have qualified for their $10,000 seat via online satellites.
However with the introduction of the UIGEA, the number of online qualifiers is expected to drop dramatically making any improvement on the 2006 WSOP attendance figures and subsequent prize pool particularly difficult.
It will affect the average players most significantly, who have swelled the field in the last few years and made the WSOP what it is today. The biggest poker tournament in the world
The Act also opens up a huge opportunity for an offline poker tournament in Europe to rival the WSOP. The United Kingdom recently moved to tax and regulate online gambling sites, and the European Union has made it clear that it considers online gambling a product that should be allowed to be freely traded.