Get It Quietly

Football, bollocks and a bit of poker if you're lucky.

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Saturday, January 10, 2004

The Poker Gazillion

Apparently Ladbrokes have now "clarified" the Poker Million structure. There won't be any "best runners up" making the semi finals because this would "encourage collusion". Hmmm. Could it in fact be that some bright spark in marketing thought that "best runners up" would be a good idea until three months later someone who actually knows something about poker tournaments pointed out that it is impossible to define a "best" runner up ? Plus the revised semi-final structure looks wide open to collusion to me, but what do I care.

I have though finally figured out what really bugs me about this competition. It's not open. Most poker tournaments are totally democratic. Is there any other sport in the world where you can turn up for the showpiece event, the World Cup, the Olympics and the Masters rolled into one, plonk your money down and play ? None that counts I reckon ! And that's the great thing about it. The World Series is open. The first Poker Million (which John Duthie won in such style) was open. The WPT is open - anyone who rolls up to a WPT event with $5K or $10K as required is in. Of course you have to make the last 6 to get your mush on TV in each of those but that's fair enough.

Even the previous Poker "Million" (how do they get away with that ?) was kind of open, at least until the 36 seats were snapped up. This isn't. Don't start off about satellites on the Internet either. I played in one of these for a laugh. Just because it would be so funny to qualify :-). But I didn't. No surprise there because there was 1 seat for each 100 runners. Not 10 (as is the norm, more or less) but 100. So nuts to it. Don't forget that the prime beneficiary of this competition is Ladbrokes, by a mile. Coming up a strong second is Barry Hearn, and in the far distance bringing up the rear, poker players. I'm not going to say I hope it dies on its arse audience wise, because in the end that wouldn't be good for poker. But it doesn't matter that much one way or the other, and I honestly, independently believe that it is very likely to do just that.


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