Rob Yong on what's wrong with Partypoker

The long-time casino owner is not satisfied with the MILLIONS LIVE events.

Rob Yong is a notorious high-stakes gambler and an experienced industry actor, thanks to the several decades he spent as a casino executive. His venue, Dusk Till Dawn Casino is a host of many high-profile poker tournaments. They recently hosted the Partypoker Live MILLIONS UK. As Yong wrote in his latest blog post, the £5,300 Main Event was a "big disappointment" with total entries of 1,014 - a 300 decrease from last years number.

According to Rob, one of the key factors of the low turnout was Partypoker's unique currency, PP Live Dollars, which allows players who accumulate them playing online satellites, to use it to buy into live events of their choice. He pointed out that only 200 players chose MILLIONS UK event, which is a big drop from last year's 500 online qualifiers.

Known for his straightforward style, Yong wrote: “Who can blame any player who prefers to use their PP Live Dollars next month for the online $20M Guaranteed MILLIONS event or the $30M MILLIONS Caribbean Poker Party in the Bahamas – DTD is a shed on a retail park in Nottingham; there is no beach.”

Another important factor, in Yong's opinion, is the re-entry option at the MILLIONS LIVE. He praised the original EPT tournaments, where players were only allowed to buy-in once, thanks to their freezout formats. This gave all amateurs an exciting chance to bust pros, ending the whole tournament for them, while with the re-entries, high-stakes players with deep pockets (or loaded backers) can get back to the events as many times as they want.

"Apart from the WSOP Main Event, most players don’t experience this nowadays; you can wander in anytime and register, if you have deep pockets or are staked you don’t worry about busting, and you can easily make Day 2 – just skip Day 1 and buy-in on Day 2! You don’t often get seated with a famous player as they tend to late reg, sometimes you can start with less than 10% of the field, and it must be soul destroying to bust Fedor Holz and have to bust him again... and again!"

Partypoker LIVE President John Duthie

The casino owner sat down with EPT-founder and Partypoker LIVE President John Duthie, to express his opinion. Rob also shared his vision for the future MILLIONS Main Events. His ideal tournament would include the following points:

  • $10K buy-in,
  • $5M – $10M guaranteed, depending on venue
  • Qualify 60% of the field online and live
  • Freezeout, reduced late registration
  • One Day 1 [no multi-day 1s] 200 big blinds
  • Double Chance option where players can take 100 big blinds at the start but obviously needs debate and input from players
  • $10K Second Chance Tournament for DBI players that bust Main, and $500-$1K events for qualifiers

Finishing his post, he announced some exciting news regarding the WSOPE online satellites at Partypoker. They'll add $500,000 of value to the satellites, running for two weeks at the site with buy-ins ranging between €0.01 and €1,050.