Get It Quietly

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

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Face In The Crowd

Am I missing something here or does this say it all about the Main Event, from Pokerpages :

"The chip leader ... has been ousted by none other than Eric Lynch !"

Wow. Really ? The Eric Lynch ? Look, fair play to the guy but none other than Eric Lynch ? If I could credit the people who write these reports with the required level of intelligence, this would be a cunning ploy. Whenever someone takes the chip lead, pretend that they are a well-known player. Most of the audience, myself included, will think, never heard of him, but seeing as he's obviously meant to be well known, he must have won a WPT or something. The cream really does rise to the top doesn't it ?

In a way I wish I had done the following, although in another way I'm glad I didn't, because it would have been sad. Before the event started, if you had written down the 100 most well-known faces off the top of your head. How many of them would be left now ? If we're down to 400 then you would expect about 5. I'm fairly sure that there would in fact be less than 5 at this point. I haven't seen the full list but Negreanu is still in and basically that's it. Skimming through the pokerpages blurf to try to find out if Gryko's still in, you can sense that they are desperate for Negreanu to make it as deep as possible. I may update this when I see a full chip count but it was one thing last year when there was only one recognised player at the final table. It'll be different gear this year if there's only one recognised player in the last 10 tables ! Maybe at that point a few more people might realise the truth of the matter.


Blogger The Camel said...

Your general point is obviously coreect. But Eric Lynch is a fucking good player.

He is "Rizen" on Pokerstars and has won just about every major tournament they offer.

He doesn't play live very often, but he managed third in an early WSOP event.

He would definitely have been in my top 100 most likely winners (he was in Shaniac's 25 to follow

His blog is also worth a glance:

1:56 PM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

Thanks for the info. In that case good luck to him. I'd like to see a good Internet player win it.

As far as I can see the only even semi-major faces left in are Negreanu, Duke, Corkins and Liebert, and none of them have above average chips. We'll see what happens tonight.


6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are missing quite a few names Andy.

David Chui, Humberto Brenes, Jason Strasser, Aaron Bartley, Gary Jones, Markus Golser, Mike Mcclain, Allen Cunningham, Prahlad Friedman, Jeff Lisandro, Chad Layne, Tom McEvoy, Tuna Lund, Casey Kastle, Ted Forrest, Surinder Sunar, Cyndy Violette, Paul Sexton, Susie Isaacs and last and least, Americas answer to Paul Parker, Melissa Hayden.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

This is precisely how the myth of the "tournament faces" has lasted as long as it has.

AFTER THE EVENT (in this case running down the list of the players still left), people say "Ah, Allen Cunningham. Humberto Brenes. Casey Kastle".

Put your hand on your heart and tell me how many of those players would have been in your "100 biggest tournament faces" before the event. I'll give you Ted Forrest. Maybe Cunningham and Brenes although I doubt it.

Frankly if you count Susie Isaacs you could have had half the field. Ladies Event winners and people who have written mediocre poker books probably number 100 on their own.


9:00 PM  
Blogger Rupert said...

5 who would definately be in my top 100 pre-tournament and are still in start of Day 4:

Joe Hachem
Daniel Negreanu
Allen Cunningham
Annie Duke (whilst she probably isn't in the top 100 skill wise, she is definately top 100 for being a name & having a good game to back it up)
Ted Forrest

Cunningham had a huge WSOP last year that put him on the map.

9:12 PM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

OK, I'll give you Joe Hachem as well, obviously. This would all be much clearer if anyone had written down a list before the event, which they didn't :-)

What I'm trying to say is that, while I know this is only one tournament, let's put it this way, the composition of the field at this point doesn't do much to support the claim of many "name" players that they have a 7x, 10x, even 15x overlay at the start of this event.


9:20 PM  
Anonymous peter b said...

You were perhaps a bit over the top with "name 100 players", but your general point is valid.

It reminds me of whenever I post hand histories where the result is known. I can virtually guarantee a plethora of responses on why x is right and why y is wrong.

However, if I just put in the situation so that the outcome is unknown, the silence is deafening. Usually it's only Ribbo who has the confidence to risk making himself look a dick.

If you had asked people to provide you with a list, you just wouldn't have got any responses. However, if, as in Australia, voting was compulsory, I think that I could virtually guarantee that Tuna Lund, Paul Sexton and Susie Isaacs' would have only been on the lists of Tuna Lund, Paul Sexton and Susie Isaacs. At this point, people come up with "but he/ she's a good player!", which misses the point. And Annie Duke has done absolutely nothing in tournaments for ages. Do you just automatically pick people who have their own TV show? Even in that case, I think that I'd probably pick even Phil Gordon above Annie, given her recent performances.

Prahlad Friedman is a good player; he's got a good track record for getting near the final table in big events, but he wouldn't be on many people's lists because not many people like him.

Neither Liebert nor Duke would have been on my list, I know that. Whereas Seidel and Harrington would have been, and where are they? Ivey and Juanda would have been on my list. Where are they? Josh Arieh and Greg Raymer would have been on my list, and where are they? Todd Brunson and Barry Greenstein would have been on my list, and where are they? And so on and so on. Lederer, Brunson senior, Patrick Antonius, Tony Ma, Chau Giang, Matusow (actually a better tournament player than people give him credit for)and illimitless numbers from the UK. Doubtless if whatsername from Gutshot had luck-boxed through the the last 400 again the headlines would have been "Tiffany shows it was no fluke!"

Oh fuck it, my blood presure is going up again.

As you say, Cunningham and Forrest would probably have been the only two of those in the last 400 whom I would have picked to "go far". I'd have picked Gryko as well, of course, if only because I have this down in print in my blog from many moons ago.


11:44 PM  
Blogger Standaman said...

And the winner is some bloke you have never heard of. If the last 2 years are anything to go by it is probably going to be a competent player who has qualified online or tasking a shot at a bigger event.

It probably will not be some rank (and I mean rank) amateur like Tiffany Williamson simply because the event runs for too long for a shove it all-in pre-flop and hope strategy to work.

The media and WSOP would love the winner to be Poker’s undisputed Champion of the World. They are not and with 8000 runner field the best poker of their generation may never win the title. Most Poker players understand this which is why 8000 turn up in the first place because anyone can win.

1:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From current top 10 in chips, 3 have won over $100k in a one tournament before: Bingler, Thorsson and Friedman.

Even thought the names are mostly gone, it's still a good change that the winner will be quite experienced player.


10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Survivor bias - you either get it or you don't.

Sheep on the left, goats on the right please.

The Andy Ward on Wikipedia used to be the drummer in a band called Camel. Small word.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Mr Salter said...

"The Andy Ward on Wikipedia used to be the drummer in a band called Camel. Small word."

Yes, it is a small word, unlike 'illimitless', which may not be a word, but it's big.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you implying that I just dont understand survivor bias? Could you elaborete a bit then?


2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and I missed Chang. So make it 4/10.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...


One problem with the blog format is it's sometimes not clear which comment someone is responding to. It's more likely the comment was referring to comment number 3.

Thanks anyway to whoever mentioned survivor bias, I should have just said that to start with :-)


4:25 PM  
Anonymous peter b said...

Yes "illimitless". Where did I get that one from?

Then again, I always hope to create words that one day will end up in the OED, marked with "first recorded use, pbirks, 20xx".

My latest effort was "predatee", where a company that failed in a takeover attempt was described as having "turned from predator to potential predatee".

"Akkrivitz" (vb, to accumulate") was once made up by a PR person in a TV sitcom, on the grounds that he had used the word accumulate already in the paragraph.

I feel that way sometimes.


7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Peter

On the subject of "making up words," Mrs Commie kept telling me off for using "outwith" I've since looked it up and it doesn't appear to exist anywhere. Tried to find out where I'd picked it up from and discovered it was from work. Bloody corporate speak coming into my everyday language. Pissed me right off!

Professor Richard Dawkins is quite active in "creating new words." I remember "Perinormal" being one of his. He also had "atheists for Jesus" as a slogan but discovered someone else already had it. Creating new words and meanings is something I've always loved.


Commie Boy

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Van Vliet said...


... does get used by Scots a lot

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you

Not so bad then. Although it still seems to be used in a context where "outside" is the normal word to use. If anyone ever spots me typing or saying it, you have permission to give me a slap.


Commie Boy

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to reiterate what everyone else said. Your basic point is correct but I think a lot of people would have picked Cunningham in their top 10 let alone top 100.

He's won four bracelets, was WSOP player of the year last year, already has a bracelet this year and has been a consistent winner in tournaments for a number of years.

12:19 PM  

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