Well, Stars have finally started their WSOP qualifiers... a month or so after their main rivals due to waiting for the SCOOP to finish first.
Already there are some big concerns over the Steps qualifiers, mostly the ones at the very top. Unlike last year these are 6-max, with either 1 table / 1 package or 2 /2 on offer. The concern is that the total entry fees add up to the $12.5k package for one player - meaning that there are no 'try again' step tickets or smaller cash payouts for the runners-up.
Secondly, there is concern that the ability to win multiple seats means that those same old 'high stakes grinders' of previous years will sit waiting in the step 6's for unwitting qualifiers to fleece... will save this for another post though!
My view is that the players have a great point - imagine someone with a limited bankroll who worked their ass off to get to step 6... and now can end up empty handed. A 9-handed game could give a couple of step 6 try again tickets and a step 5 for 4th place too - a huge improvement in the eyes of the 'average' recreational player who fancies a shot.
There is an exit-point in the steps - you can use a step 4 ticket ($215) for the double shootout qualifiers directly (same tickets work for any $215 buy-in event, such as the Sunday Million). Also, the idea of making the Step 5 tickets useable for the $650 direct qualifiers has been floated - an idea which I also support.
So Stars, listen to your customers please... and get those 9 player Step 6's organised!
GL at the tables, Mark