Get It Quietly

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

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Coals To Newcastle

Latest in the long line of shit that you could not make up. Not if you tried for 1000 years :

Cardrunners Sponsors WSOP Satellite Room

Nothing to do with Cardrunners, just check out the last two paragraphs. For once, words fail me.

Friday, May 09, 2008

It's OK, I'm Not That Angry

Some people seem to be over-reacting to the negative feedback the WSOP ME change has attracted. Olivert on 2+2 :

"I am talking about Super Bowl-style security precautions, i.e. snipers on the roof above entrances; metal detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs at entrances to screen every spectator, player, and media member; solid barriers in the parking lots to prevent truck bombs from approaching the building, helicopters and/or fighter jets patrolling the building from above to prevent kamikaze pilots and 9/11-style suicide hijackers from crashing planes into the building deliberately, etc. The security threat has gone up substantially from previous years in my opinion. There are too many people who are upset with the WSOP organization for moving the WSOP Main Event final table to November."

Dude, it's OK. I'm not that upset. And in fact, I'm not, really. I'm still not playing it, but that's as much because I don't consider the WSOP ME to be the be-all and end-all must play event of the year. I never have done. Maybe it was in 1993, but there's a 10K event every week now. I didn't find it to be great value last year (although it's possible I just had a bad table draw) and it is the single highest variance tournament you can possibly play by a factor of about 10. Variance is the break even to losing player's friend, but it's the pro's worst enemy.

So it doesn't take much for me to skip it, and this is enough. I do think this decision has been made with absolutely no regard for players outside the US. The benefits, nebulous as they are, all centre around US TV, US companies and the US market. The downsides are all significantly worse for players outside the US. For example, how many days before the final will Harrah's put you up in a hotel for ? Enough to eliminate the effects of jet-lag ?

Very few people have properly assessed the huge stress this is going to put on final table players for those 4 months (exceptions are Sheets and Temp Hutter on 2+2). Players should be compensated directly for this. It's not enough to say "Oh well you'll be able to pimp yourself out for a much better deal". For a start, suppose you can't, because you qualified online or you already have an exclusive agreement in place. In any case, I think that people inside the poker world are grossly over-estimating the amount of media interest there will be in this.

Oh well, as I say, it's enough for me to pass, and put in a solid month of prelims instead. Maybe if I do the lot I can spend what I have left on some dynamite and blow it all up, lol.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Party Poker World Poker Open IV Conclusion

More spoilers, obv. After 6 days of pacing up and down at home, I played the semi-final on Thursday. This went pretty well, again I won't spoil it too much by talking about hands but after losing a chunk early on by flopping second best (try not to do that in this format lol), I worked it back to my starting stack, doubled up in a completely standard way, and then played well for about an hour and at one point had a very strong position. Unfortunately it didn't quite break for me from there and I ended up carrying 190K into the final, which was slightly less than average.

Yesterday I didn't feel as focused in the final and I think my play suffered a little bit. I flopped second best again, not having learned the lesson from the day before, and ended up 4th after going out on a standard blind v blind coup. Still, I copped $30K for that, and a few more in swappage, which was all in all not bad for a week's work and the experience might prove very important at some point down the line. Or it might not, but at least having copped a bit it was still worthwhile. Thanks to Beiju and everyone involved, I never realised how many people it took to run one of these ! And very well done to the winner Marty Smyth, who was very affable and played extremely well. It'll be interesting to see how it looks, I think I should come across well at the table but in the interviews who knows, I jabbered a lot of nonsense and it depends what they decide to use. I know I mentioned yoga and £10 stud tournaments so I might look a bit odd :-)

In an age where the word irony is so mis-used, I did think it was the genuine article when, after less than a week of sweating over $40K in equity, I was so distracted by the WSOP announcement on Thursday morning that it actually helped me to switch off thinking about the semi. God alone knows the stress people will be under waiting for 4 months to play for a share of $20 million plus. I'm not actually going to go on a rant about this now (sorry Richard). Something might come up on Poker Verdict because Hugo caught me on the phone when I was waiting to play yesterday, and I vented off a lot of nervous energy giving it the full gun on what I think of it all. Hopefully it will come across well, as I said to Jesse in an interview all my best work is motiviated by rage.

Anyway, now I've calmed down, I'm not playing it, problem solved. What really mugs me off in these spots is how the people who stand to benefit can never come out and say "Well, this is good for me and bad for you. Every man for himself, that's capitalism baby." Instead they have to try to convince you that it's good for you too, often using the most retarded, selective and specious arguments known to man. Well, you failed. This crosses the line and I'm not paying $600 to be treated like this. You can do what you like.