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Daniel - Poker Journal

Odds of winning a WSOP Bracelet

23 Mar 2007

In response to a poster who felt that I'd never win another bracelet at the WSOP, I posted the following response:

"I'd be more than happy to make the following bets:

Up to $100,000 at 5-1 that I win a bracelet in 2007.
Up to $100,000 that I win a bracelet before Hellmuth.

For some background, I likely will be playing the "5pm circuit" and will
skip virtually all of the $1500 and $1000 buy in events, instead opting
for the hi-lo events, limit hold'em events, stud events, etc. The
tournaments I'll be playing could have very small fields in thw 100-200
player range.

If anyone is interested in making either bet I'm game."


I came up with 5-1 after a friend of mine told me that he recently bet on himself to win a bracelet this year ans was able to convince some people to give him 13-1. This guy has one bracelet in a non-hold'em event and excels at hi-lo games, draw games, and lowball games.

I told him I thought that his bet was an absolute steal. I made the odds less than half that of winning a bracelet.

A few things to consider:

1) Two events a day- On most days there will be a noon event with a very large field and then a 5pm event that is generally a non-no limit hold'em event with bigger buyins and less players.

2) More non-hold'em events- This helps those players that are comfotable play mixed games. Most pros that were around before "the boom" played all the games.

3) There are more events- The schedule now has 55 events on the schedule. That means a player could comfortably play in about 35 events this year.

4) The no limit hold'em fields will be much bigger than the others- That's always been true and it will be again this year. For players that don't excel in mixed games it will be very difficult for them to win a bracelet in an NLH event.

Here's how I came with 5-1:

For me to show a profit with this bet I'd have to win a bracelet 1 out of every 5 years. If I won one bracelet in 6 years than I'd break even.

With the schedule the way it is now, it benefits my strengths which are non-hold'em tournaments like the hi-lo events and the HORSE events. I imagine that I'd average playing in 25 events a year. So, in order to make a profit with this bet I'd have to win 1 out of my next 125 WSOP events. If I won one out of the next 150 WSOP events I played I'd break even.

I don't think I've ever gone 150 tournaments without a win. In fact, I'm absolutely certain that I haven't.

When you think about the task of winning a WSOP bracelet in any given year it seems like such an impossible task, but when you look at it the rigth way, you should really be thinking about it in terms of winning one tournament out of 125 events.

I'll "probably" lose this bet, but it would still be a proffitable bet to make, year to year.

I read through everyone's "math" in the various threads online and I found it interesting how off they all were. I guess that's how my buddy was able to get money down at 13-1.

My buddy understood how you need to look at the bet, but when I talked to the people that made the bet they sounded very foolish saying, "Yeah, but the bet is only for one year though." As if that matters!

They failed to understand that all my friend needed to do was win one event in the next... 14 years!!! to make it a profittable proposition for him.


So anyway, I feel comfortable taking 5-1 odds that I win a bracelet in 2007. Also, because of their so many more non-hold'em events I'd also take a bet against Hellmuth winning a bracelet before me.

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I'm really looking forward to the WSOP this year. The schedule is much better than it's been in past years and I'm looking forward to playing some tournaments in games other than hold'em.

Also, it'll be nice to be on a 5pm schedule for the tournamwnts. The tournaments I want to play are usually at 5pm which me allows me to enjoy the sun, and maybe even start golfing again during the day time.

The way the WSOP is set up now, it's almost as though you have the A circuit and the B circuit. The B circuit would consist of all the $1000 and $1500 buy in events, while the A circuit would consist of the championship events with $5000 buy ins or more (with the exception of the $3000 Stud 8 or better.)

It's one of the great aspects of the schedule as it appeals to the top professionals but it also gives the "little guy" a chance to be a part of the WSOP experience.

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My WSOP Schedule:

(I likely won't play in all of these events as I won't play two at once)

June 1 12pm: $5000 Mixed Hold'em
June 2 12pm: $1500 No Limit Hold'em
June 3 5pm: $2500 Omaha 8/Stud 8
June 4 5pm: $500 Pot Limit Omaha (rebuys)
June 5 12pm: $1000 No Limit Hold'em (rebuys)
June 5 5pm: $1500 Omaha 8
June 6: 5pm: $5000 7 Card Stud
June 7 12pm: $1500 No Limit Hold'em (short handed)
June 8 5pm: $5000 Pot Limit Hold'em
June 9 5pm: $2500 H.O.R.S.E.
June 10 5pm: $5000 Limit Hold'em
June 11 12pm: No Limit Hold'em
June 11 5pm: $2000 Stud 8
June 12 12pm: $1500 No Limit Hold'em (shootout)
June 13 12pm: $5000 No Limit Hold'em
June 14 5pm: $3000 Stud 8
June 15 5pm: $5000 H.O.R.S.E.
June 16 12pm: $1500 No Limit Hold'em
June 17 12pm: $3000 No Limit Hold'em
June 17 5pm: $1500 Razz
June 18 12pm: $2500 No Limit Hold'em (short handed)
June 19 12pm: $5000 No Limit Hold'em (heads up)
June 20 12pm $1500 Pot Limit Omaha (rebuys)
June 20 5pm: $3000 Limit Hold'em
June 21 5pm: $5000 Omaha 8
June 22: DAY OFF
June 23: DAY OFF
June 24 12pm: $50000 H.O.R.S.E.
June 26 12pm: $2000 Limit Hold'em
June 27 12pm: $2000 Omaha 8
June 28 12pm: $5000 No Limit Hold'em (short handed)
June 29 12pm: $2000 No Limit Hold'em
June 29 5pm: $1000 2-7 Triple Draw (rebuys)
June 30 12pm: $1500 No Limit Hold'em
July 1 12pm: $10000 Pot Limit Omaha
July 2 12pm: $1000 No Limit Hold'em (rebuys)
July 3 12pm: $1500 Limit Hold'em (shootout)
July 4 12pm: $5000 2-7 No Limit Single Draw (rebuys)
July 5: DAY OFF
July 6: $10000 No Limit Hold'em Championship (will likely choose day two)


If I completely bomb in every single tournament and never make a second day, that's a total of 37 events. Most likely, when it's all said and done, I'll likely end up playing closer to 27 events.

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