Get It Quietly

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

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Most people who haven't already gone home are doing so today, but I'm still here till Thursday. Don't ask me why. I had a reason when I booked it, but it's long gone now. I've just come off five nights in Caesar's where my $2000 bill was reduced by half thanks to waving my ME ticket around. I am obliged to give Harrah's credit for this, I stayed in the Rio (all suites) for $1000 a week and I had a terrific suite in Caesars for another $200 a night, all on the poker rate.

Not just that, but on the whole trip Harrah's have gone up somewhat in my estimation, raising themselves from the depths of "scummiest poker operators on the planet". That postion is now reserved for the CEO Poker Tour. It's easy to sit at home and read about bad rulings, players acting up and nothing being done about it, various organisational problems, and so on. But you have to realise that these are the worst cases. Anything bad that happens is all over the internet within hours nowadays. Meanwhile, up to 3000 players a day have been playing poker without any major problems. Like me. I didn't personally experience anything bad at all, and on the one occasion when the floor had to make a judgement call, they got it absolutely right, by stopping play at 2am on Day One of the shootout.

The one situation that Harrah's really have to answer for is the tent. They really should have used the ballroom, which is right next door, and stuck the crappy Expo somewhere else (I'm sure we could all suggest somewhere). It's not really fair to blame them for the new cards (as ridiculous as they were), the structures or the payouts, because these were all approved (and in some cases even suggested) by the players advisory committee. The satellite system was a bit clunky but people soon forget how in previous years you had to sit there for 15 minutes counting money and having forms filled in after you had all sat down. 6%-9% rake isn't that excessive (see CEO Poker Tour again) and if it's anyone's business I tipped an extra 1.5% or so on my winnings. The very worst thing that happened all summer IMO was the play being stopped on the bubble because Hellmuth was short stacked, and that was surely down to ESPN. I don't know how much the chip leaders complained, if at all. Maybe you just have to expect this kind of thing in televised events, it's not the first time.

And of course the games were just the softest you could ever imagine for the buyin. If you swerve the Saturday $1500 madhouses and tear into the 5pm limit events instead, then I think anyone with a good grasp of the particular game(s) would have a really good chance of cashing and/or FTing. That would be my advice to anyone considering playing next year. Learn the limit games. If you can beat $3-6 online in whichever game it is, and you have a basic common sense understanding of playing to win in tournaments, then you have good EV in these tournaments, take it from me.

A lot of people have said that the Bellagio or the Venetian would do a better job, but would they really ? I've always found the Bellagio cardroom a bit odd. Yesterday I stood at the podium for five minutes just wanting to ask some general questions about the games, and I was totally ignored. I don't know if this is because of my legendarily poor bar presence or because I wasn't waving a $20 around. Anyway, obv after a while I just took my business elsewhere. There seem to be a lot of problems with the current WPT event, draconian cell phone rulings and what have you. Meanwhile the Venetian have just hosted this CEO Tour fiasco, and while they ran their deep stack tournaments well, there's a big difference between running two tournaments at once with 500 people in the room compared to six tournaments and 3000 people. I'm not going to go as far as taking my hat off to Harrah's, but it is tipped a little more jauntily than I would have expected.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy - Is all you need your main event entry confirmation to get the poker rate at the harrahs casinos? Or was it the cash you had that helped you get the good rate on the suites.



1:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not at all, it was pretty sweet. All you needed this year for poker rate at the Rio was one ticket for a bracelet event, and that covered you for the duration. I didn't book Caesars till quite late but even so the main event ticket did the trick.


2:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you can beat $3-6 online in whichever game it is, and you have a basic common sense understanding of playing to win in tournaments, then you have good EV in these tournaments"

Do you think this applies to WSOPE HORSE? For a player who can beat a 10-20 maybe?

Congrats for nice result BTW.


10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Aksu. The WSOP-E HORSE is going to be a one-off, and I'm not so confident that this will be soft. I just can't see many local players ponying (haha) up for this. I can't find any satellites for it anywhere, they're all for the ME.

So in this case, it really depends whether you fancy yourself against the travelling US pros. That's not to say it's no value at all mind you.


5:57 PM  
Blogger David Young said...

The I-Poker network, or at least the 'Poker in Europe' skin of it, has satellites for the WSOP-E PLO event.


2:00 AM  

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