[Canada Cal, on duty from Thunder Bay---]
After months of speculation, the answer will be revealed sometime on Monday. The question? Exactly how will last fall's passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act by U.S. legislators affect attendance at the WSOP's Main Event?
Harrah's Entertainment, of course, broadly proclaimed that they'd have the accomodations for as many as 12,000 players. Such a figure might have looked great while trying to sell ad space to corporations wanting to grab a piece of the poker parade, but everyone within the poker world knew that the "12,000" figure was a load
of hooey. Given that over half of last year's Main Event qualifiers did so by winning a seat online, and that most of those points of access were now closed to U.S. players, there was simply no way that the 2007 Main Event would reach the same heights.
Finally, though, we're starting to see the real numbers.
Here's how the first three days looked:
Day 1: 1,287
Day 2: 1,545
Day 3: 1,607 (plus a few stragglers)
That puts the three-day total at 4,439, plus something like a dozen or two, according to unofficial reports. If last year's attendance track for the four days repeats, then tomorrow the WSOP will be looking at 1,700-1,800 players, which would put overall attendance somewhere around 6,200.
Given that most early projections centered around 5,000, it looks like betting the over was the wise choice, if only slightly.