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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

November 30, 2003

The Big Game

by Staff

There's something I've been wondering about lately, with regards to the major poker tournaments. Before I mention it, I guess I should clarify that my interest is purely philosophical, since I'm about as likely to enter one of these tournaments anytime soon as I am to empty my bank account to play heads-up against Phil Ivey.

But anyway, as I'm sure many of you know, the first World Series of Poker, way back in 1970, featured an entry fee of $10,000. And in most of the articles written about the history of the event, there's some comment that mentions how amazing it is that after so many years the entry fee is still that same $10,000, though considerably less when compared to $10K in 1970 dollars.

So what I want to know is: why?

I'm not even really talking about the World Series, since there's a huge amount of history and tradition there, and it obviously seems to be working for them.

It's just that when you see reports about the major tournament at the Taj Mahal, Bellagio, Foxwoods, et al, the final event is inevitably No-Limit Hold `Em with a $10,000 buy-in. Tourney after tourney is the same thing, so that this now appears to be the default fee for the foreseeable future.

I wanted to know if any tournament ever tried a bigger entry fee for a major tournament, say $25,000? Is there some reason why $10K is considered the absolute upper barrier, or is this just stagnant tradition left over from 1970? Any thoughts on the subject?

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