First of all, a Happy, Healthy, & Prosperous New Year to everyone! Here are some of my predictions for 2013:
1) Online poker will be played legally in some states in 2013. Hopefully, the federal government will do something for online gaming this year, but I’ve lost all confidence in them doing anything. I do believe states will move on this issue this year – starting with New Jersey & Nevada.
2) I doubt players in the U.S. waiting on returned funds from Full Tilt will get anything. This, to me, is disgraceful. (It’s disgraceful Full Tilt didn’t have player funds to start with, but with the “deal” that was made with PokerStars – supposedly which included refunding all player monies – it’s disgraceful the US Government hasn’t returned the money to US players, either.) The whole mess = UGLY!
3) The mini ONE DROP tourney at the WSOP ($1k buy-in instead of $1M) may be the largest event – in terms of entries – in poker history. (And “The Magician”, Antonio Esfandiari, will have another good year, but will not defend his ONE DROP title.)
4) Continued growth and expansion of the poker world-wide. In the past year, the WPT had new stops in Philadelphia, Montreal, Johannesberg, South Africa, & China among others. I look for bigger and better events around the world in 2013.
5) Phil Hellmuth will win bracelet #14 at the WSOP. OK, all you young guns can lower your eyebrows now. Like it or not, Hellmuth is “the man” at the WSOP!
6) Vanessa Selbst will be the top lady performer in the world – and may be the top performer, period.
7) Daniel Negreanu will win a buy-in event of $25k or more this year. Just a hunch.
8) The Open Face Chinese tournament at the LA Poker Classic will be fun for the few who play, but it will also be the slowest event in poker history.
9) “Chainsaw” Allen Kessler will win a tournament somewhere in 2013. YES! You heard it here. This will give all tight players everywhere renewed hope and confidence. GO Chainsaw!
10) Foreign players will shine again at the WSOP – with Canadians and the English leading the way.
11) A former WSOP bracelet winner will win the NBC Heads-Up tourney and the WPT World Championship.
12) Two players will win multiple events at the WSOP and another will win at least two WPT titles. (This includes the non-televised events as well. And ‘yes’, this is a bold prediction.)
13) As for the WSOP main event final table, sorry ladies, but you get shut out again – but there will be at least one player over 40 there – and he’ll finish in the top three!
14) At least one player will win a bracelet at the WSOP and a WPT title.
15) Carlos Mortensen & Huck Seed (& perhaps John Hennigan) will be new nominees for the Poker Hall of Fame (and I think David Sklansky & Mike Caro should be nominees, too). And how about a European nominee this year? (Donnecha O’Dea and Bruno Fitoussi seem like great candidates to me.)
16) I’ve brought this up at the Venice WPT before shown in the video below but I firmly believe somebody will implement a one-minute shot clock” and they will be lauded by everyone who plays & who watches poker. Let’s do it!
17) And for the easiest prediction of all, the young guns (guys in their 20’s) will continue to dominate the tournament world.
Good luck to all of you in 2013! ~ Mike Sexton
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