Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Open Letter to Poker Players

Open Letter to Poker Players from Jimmy Sommerfeld

TUNICA, MISSISSIPPI – First of all, I would like to wish all of the players a Happy and Profitable New Year. I would like to take this time to welcome all of the poker players that will be playing at the Grand Casino. For those of you that do not know me, my name is Jimmy Sommerfeld. I will be your tournament director at the Grand. I was hired to be the tournament director by Robert McGovern, Regional Poker Room Manager for Harrah’s and Sherri Pucci, Vice President Table Games Harrah’s. When approached by Robert and Sherri, I was asked to put together the best poker tournament possible. I was told to present them with any changes, suggestions, or any other request that will make this tournament an EVENT to remember. The following were my suggestions and they were committed and agreed to ALL of my request.

1) My first goal was to bring in the most respected staff available. The staff will include:

Jimmy Sommerfeld – Tournament Director (Assistant Tournament Director WSOP)
Charlie Cirese – Day Shift Tournament Director (Is Lead Tournament Director at WSOP)
Steve Frazier – Swing Shift Tournament Director (Is Lead Tournament Director at WSOP)
Brooks Turk – Restart, Final Table Director (Is Lead Tournament Director at WSOP)
Bill Bruce – Day Shift Assistant (Tournament Assistant WSOP)
David Missildine – Day Shift Assistant (Tournament Assistant WSOP Circuit)
Amy Litchfield – Swing Shift Assistant (Tournament Assistant WSOP)
Kevin Ferguson – Swing Shift Assistant (Tournament Assistant WSOP)
Robin Fisackerly - Swing Shift Assistant (Poker Room Supervisor Horseshoe)
Lisa Crompton – Pay-Out Director (Assistant Poker Room Manager Horseshoe)
Steve Batewell – Registration Director (Registration Director WSOP Circuit)
Sheree Bagden – Registration Assistant (Assistant Tournament Director Grand)
Sue Phillips – Dealer Coordinator Director (Dealer Coordinator Director WSOP)
Jason Boswell – Assistant Dealer Coordinator (Assistant Dealer Coordinator WSOP)
Dale Carden – Tournament Coordinator (Poker Room Supervisor Horseshoe)
Joe Mendoza - Tournament Coordinator (Assistant Poker Room Manager Grand)
Teresa Sommerfeld – Single Table Satellite Director (Single Table Satellite Director WSOP)
Rena Williams - Single Table Satellite Director (Assistant Tournament Director Grand)
Sherri Lindsay - Single Table Satellite Director (Tournament Assistant WSOP)
Steve Reed - Single Table Satellite Director (Poker Room Supervisor Grand)
Sonja Coley – Administrative Assistant (Administrative Assistant Grand)

I believe that these Staff Members are the BEST STAFF MEMBERS in the Poker industry.
These staff members will show their ability to make fair, honest and correct floor calls and will be available to implement the very best in customer satisfaction.

2) My second goal was to have an affordable room rate for the players. At $49 a night throughout the tournament, I believe that this is the least expensive Hotel rooms for any major tournament in the Country.

3) My third goal was to give the players a good promotion. I asked Robert and Sherri to stand behind a Best all Around Players award. I told them that if we would take $5 per player from the prize pool then we would have approximately $40,000 to fund the Best all Around. So, I asked them to guarantee a $50,000 Best all Around. I was turned down. Sherri Pucci replied, “You bet on a $50,000 Best all Around?” I Replied, “Yes, it will only cost us approximately $10,000.” She replied, “I understand, Son, You have just been RAISED, I am all in with a $100,000 Best all Around.” I folded…So there it is poker players…..Harrah’s is guaranteeing a $100,000 Best all Around.

4) My fourth goal was to present the player with a competitive schedule. I added $700 tournaments, I added short handed tournaments, I added a Nightly Turbo. I tried to include any and all buy-in levels on a daily basis to ensure that all players will have a tournament that they can enjoy and afford. I also raised the buy-in of the Championship Event to $7,500. It will be aired by Bluff on a tape delay. (The black Box will not be present, Spectators will have access)

5) My fifth goal was to give the players the BEST STRUCTURE possible. I decided to give all tournaments $10,000 in chips to start with. I also added many levels and slowed the tournament down to a crawl in the middle and late stages of the tournament. So, not only do the players start with more chips they also have added levels. Many players think that if you just double the chips in a tournament, that this makes it a great tournament. What happens when you add chips to the tournament is that it takes longer to bust the players out. Therefore, when the blinds catch up to the amount of chips in play, There are too many players left in the tournament. Therefore, the tournament then becomes a shoot-out because no player has enough chips to have skill play a part. To combat this, I have added many levels to the later rounds, giving the players ample time to play bad and bust themselves out. Each tournament will last approximately 20 -24 hours to complete (approximately 27 players will return on day 2) . These are 2 Long days of play. This is what you have asked for.

To wrap up this letter, I would like to thank Robert McGovern, Sherri Pucci, and Harrah’s for allowing me to be the Circuit Tournament Director at the Grand. I would also like to thank them for allowing me to set up, direct and promote this tournament as I saw fit. If we have problems at this tournament there is only one person to blame, that is ME. They stood by EVERY decision that I made. I hope each player will enjoy their experience at this Circuit Event. If there is anything that I can do to make this tournament better, PLEASE tell me, I WILL LISTEN.


Jimmy Sommerfeld

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  1. Looks like Jimmy has a good staff assembled, choosing you was a good start. Do you happen to know who is on the staff at the WPO at the Goldstrike?

  2. Hope many players did you have today?

  3. Results for all of the events from this tournament can be found at Results WSOP Circuit Event - Grand Casino Tunica