In a stunning development, The World Series of Poker Europe has announced that it will be moving from London to Cannes, France, until 2014. Does this mean that for the next 3 years, poker’s top pros will be hearing things like “Big Blind S’il Vous Plaît” and “French only at the table sir”?
Seriously though, one motive for the move looks to be financial, as it is expected to help pave the way for the WSOP brand to eventually have a legal online poker presence in France, via the creation of WSOP.fr, which for now will act as a French-language news site for all things WSOP.
Perhaps, however, after 4 successful years in England, the event has simply gotten too big to accommodate? Indeed, one of the main advantages of holding the WSOPE in Cannes is the new venue itself: Casino Barrière de Cannes Croisette and the Hôtel Majestic Barrière houses 75 poker tables, which allows for approximately double the capacity of the Empire Casino in Leicester Square.
Along with this news of a bigger venue comes the news that the poker tournament series will be expanded to 7 events from the current 5. With 7 coveted bracelets up for grabs and buy-ins likely to be somewhat lower than in London (the euro is weaker than the British pound after all), the next few WSOPEs will likely see greatly increased attendance figures.
Sadly, one poker player beloved by poker fans worldwide will not be attending the festivities across the Atlantic. Jack Ury, who became famous over the last few years on ESPN broadcasts of the World Series of Poker Main Event as the oldest player in WSOP history, passed away at 97 years old last week. He will surely be missed – well played, sir.