Interview: VP Jack Effel looks ahead to 2023 WSOP

Interview: VP Jack Effel looks ahead to 2023 WSOP

For Jack Effelthe return of the World Series of Poker to the horseshoe it’s personal And as a special Christmas present PokerNews readers, we spoke to Effel about how they plan the WSOP 2023 were formed

“This makes my career complete,” Effel said PokerNews. “Obviously rebranding is a great thing, but I started at Horseshoe and I’ve finished at Horseshoe.”

Having started his career in 1997 as a Poker Room Shift Manager to the horseshoe, returns more than 25 years later as Vice President from World Series of Pokerand one of the most recognizable faces in the sector.

“Obviously Caesars it’s a huge company with many resorts around the world, but it’s great to see the World Series of Poker at home. The WSOP and the Horseshoe have more than 50 years of shared history together, and that’s before taking into account the horseshoe’s 70-year history dating back to 1951.”

2023 World Series of Poker Hub

Bookmark this page! Everything you need to know about the WSOP 2023 is here.

Preparing for life in the horseshoe

Behind the scenes, work continues to prepare for the WSOP’s return to the Strip for only the second time in its history, all while being rebranded from Bally’s to the Horseshoe.

“The feeling of getting back on the horseshoe and connecting it to the World Series of Poker is a great thing.”

“There are several projects around the property just to make it look more like a horseshoe,” says Effel. “Everyone who participates in the World Series of Poker, we care about it like it’s our baby.

“We’re just shepherds trying to get the event going, and at some point we’ll hand it over to someone else. It’s something very special and we love what we do.

The original horseshoe club was opened by Benny Binion in downtown Las Vegas in 1951. His son Jack would later found the World Series of Poker at the site in 1970. The Horseshoe hosted the WSOP until its eventual move to the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in 2005.

“Being together between the Horseshoe and the World Series of Poker is a great sentimental thing, but it’s also historic, and it’s a brilliant thing for us and our brand. Just the feeling of coming back to the Horseshoe and connecting it to the World Series of Poker. it’s a big deal.”

Hall of Fame Poker Room to Be ‘Best in Las Vegas’

Last month as part of the rebranding, the new brand Hall of Fame Poker Room opened, something Effel believes will be one of the best poker rooms in Las Vegas.

“The hall itself is beautiful and it’s a really nice experience. There are other elements that we’re still designing now that will roll out. It’s going to be a place you can come all year and see Poker Hall of Fame and the Gallery of WSOP Champions with all the winners from the previous main event.

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“When you think about the rich history that the World Series of Poker and the horseshoe together, this room is something special. And we think it’s going to be one of the great venues moving forward here in the city and I’m excited about its future.”

Jack Effel mixes and trades

Breaking down the 2023 WSOP schedule

This year the WSOP made the decision post a featured calendar in December so that players can start planning their trips to the “weekend anchor” events such as Millionaire Maker, Monster Stack and the new Gladiators of Poker event.

Effel said he had sought advice from numerous poker players, so that their opinions would be represented in the WSOP 2023 schedule.

“We want to make sure we have some exciting new events and create the best series of poker events in the world, just like we always do! Every week there’s something big and we know that ladies i Senior championships these are pretty big events for people who plan their trip once a year, so we released the dates early.”

An event that has stood out from the most outstanding program already published is the Poker Gladiators which comes with a $3,000,000 warranty. The $300 buy-in makes it the lowest in-person Las Vegas WSOP bracelet event in history, which Effel believes will lead to heavy, even record-breaking participation.

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“I think for $300 it will produce the biggest prize ever at that buy-in level.”

“We are waiting Poker Gladiators to be one of the biggest participatory events we’ve ever had. I can see a lot of people getting access to a wristband who may not have had access to a wristband in the past. Plus, it allows for quick transactions — just three $100 bills. We think this is important to people. People don’t want to stand in line, so we want to make it as quick and painless as possible.

“You will see the entire spectrum of poker players at this event, from the smallest player to the biggest player playing in this tournament. For $300 it will probably produce the largest prize ever at this buy-in level. .”

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As for more surprises, poker fans will have to wait until 2023 for the release of the full schedule to see other new events, but Effel said there will be something for everyone.

“There will be a couple more events that will be at the end, but you will have to wait and see the full schedule when it comes out. When you finally see the schedule, you will see that there is something you can do. Play every day regardless of purchase or your budget.”

Jack Effel

WSOP Main Event 2023

Then, of course, we get to the WSOP Main Event. Last year there was a change in the schedule to accommodate him the second largest main event field in historybut the 2023 schedule remains with four flights from July 3-6, which Effel says is the right decision.

“Every year it’s a little different. We’ve tried to keep the main event closer to the July 4th holiday because that’s a time when people can get off work and that’s when a lot of people take vacations, so it makes a lot of sense to have the start day around the holidays.

“Players have all four flights, plus you can still participate in either Day 2 on July 7 or July 8 for two tiers.”


Effel believes that the quality of the events and being able to experience the atmosphere of the WSOP make it a truly special time of year for the poker world.

“The WSOP is the place to be. We want you to not only have a great experience, but to have quality events to compete in. Every year is a special time for everyone to come together and play poker.

“We want you to win as many bracelets as you canand we want you to have plenty of opportunities to really enjoy your poker journey, whether you’re playing an event or the full schedule.”

WSOP Stories

Not a year goes by without the WSOP beckoning some special stories. From David Jackson defeats Phil Hellmuth head-to-head to Dan Cates doing the unthinkable and hooking Back-to-back poker player championshipsEffel said it’s difficult to replicate the WSOP experience anywhere else as a result.

“Everybody’s talking, everybody’s watching, it’s something you can’t reproduce no matter where you go”

“The stories that come out of the WSOP are a little bit different than anywhere else. I know everyone wants that WSOP experience wherever they go, it’s really hard to replicate because of all the resources we have during the WSOP.

“With so many people watching, it’s great to hear all the stories from the tables, about the winners and everything. Every year we get excited, every year we can’t wait to see who’s going to win the events, who’s going to win the main event and what other interesting stories are going to happen. Everybody’s talking, everybody’s watching, it’s something you can’t replicate wherever you go.”

Improvement towards 2023

While the first year in its new home was an undoubted success, Effel says the WSOP has learned lessons to improve the experience for 2023, including tweaking the way the split-site tournaments work. While in 2022 most tournaments started in Paris, in 2023 more players will start next to the Horseshoe this year and then spread to Paris.

“Nothing too drastic, but we want to change the flow a little bit. What will happen is there will be fewer times when people will have to move, which will create a better experience, obviously. On days of massive capacity, you’ll have stand where be in the scheme of things.”

Ballroom of Paris

More efforts are being made to make people, both players and staff, more comfortable. From new carpet to fixed AC, via fiber optic internet to speed up registration.

“We want everyone to be comfortable. We want everyone to know where to go. We want everyone to get quick service. And you know, we want to have great events run by competent, talented people. We have a lot of them. at the World Series of Poker And we continue to train the next generation of people to ensure that this wheel continues to turn and continues to produce high quality talent.

Bally Ballroom

“We still have to remember that this is a temporary event; people are coming out to work for seven weeks. So we want to make sure we can fill the roster with good, talented people. And we can train them and continue to grow the workforce .service levels.

“So we’re improving in all these different areas. There are big challenges like a massive event like that World Series of Pokerand while I’ll be the first to say it’s not perfect, we strive for perfection every year.”

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After all this time working around the WSOP, Effel says he still gets goosebumps when the cards are in the air, and the sound of chips shuffling fills the air.

“It’s very special to all of us,” he said. “It’s exciting because it’s the result of our work, but it’s also the moment everyone has been waiting for all year.

“And while there are a lot of poker tournaments around the world, I mean, you can go sit down and play a poker tournament every day these days, players will always know that when they sit down at the WSOP it’s something more special.”

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Will Shillibier

Executive Editor EU

Will Shillibier is based in the UK. He graduated from the University of Kent in 2017 with a BA in German, then studied for an NCTJ Diploma in Sports Journalism at Sportsbeat in Manchester. He previously worked as a live reporter and video host for the World Poker Tour.

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