Get It Quietly

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

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Friday, November 14, 2008

What About The Rest ? Oh, They'll Have To Wait [1]

I whinged enough about the 4-month delay in the WSOP Final Table when it was announced ; I might as well have a look at how it has played out. I am slightly more receptive to the idea than I was before, it seems that there was no apparent collusion, no one got Tonya Harding-ed and the consensus is that the one player who openly received coaching was still fucking awful by the time the final was played out (if not worse). But I still think it's mostly "a bad thing", and I'm sure that it would do nothing at all for my benefit in the (unlikely) event that I made the final.

However, it might do a bit more for others. There are quite a lot of rumours floating around 2+2 concerning how little of their own action some of the players actually had. The best one, "best" in the sense of being very sad IMO if it's true, concerned the short stack going in, Kelly Kim. OK this is pure gossip but a post claimed that Kim was only playing for 20% of himself, and had already lost his slice of the $900K (after tax, see below) being a degen in the intervening 4 months. And that's why he played like a super weak tight Luton £10 rebuy egg, sitting on his 3 big blinds, praying for someone else to bust (which they did in the end). If he didn't move up a place then he'd come out of the whole thing with nothing.

There were other mutterings about players being in make-up, owing money and generally also only having a small percentage of themselves. Then you have the tax situation. Now, if you're only playing for 20% of yourself, you only have to pay tax on that 20%, not the whole lot. Not even the IRS are that big a bunch of cunts. However, the winner Peter Eastgate is trying to claim a completely unanticipated windfall from the 4 month delay. By moving to London in the interim, he hopes to avoid his Danish tax bill (73%) and instead be liable for the somewhat less punitive UK rate (0%). This seems so blatantly offside that I'll be surprised if he gets away with it, and as I've said in the thread, if this should cause our own tax situation to change for the worse he can get hit by a flaming grease bus, as they also say on 2+2.

Still, after all that, you can see why a $10K patch here or there might make a lot more difference than you would think from naively looking at the payouts of $900K guaranteed plus anything up to $3 million equity going in. But it really wouldn't to me. Demidov stated in another 2+2 thread that he basically made no extra $ from sponsorship in the interim period. Marquis who, as he says, ought to be much more marketable in the US, only made "a little bit". It was clear enough to me at the start that the "extra sponsorship" angle ESPN and Harrah's were punting was a complete afterthought to their own motives for introducing the delay ; I hope that this is clear to everyone now, although there are still people blithely saying "I think it's good because of the extra sponsorship", as if Ylon Schwartz is on the back of the Rice Krispies box.

[1] The title refers to a possibly apocryphal but definitely awesome quote that is attributed to Thor Hansen. After scoring a $1 million win in Vegas, he was asked what he would do with the money. "Pay a few debts" says Hansen airily. "What about the rest ?" asks the interviewer, to which Hansen of course replies "Oh, they'll have to wait".

Update : Oh wait, it was all the players' fault. I thought it probably would be.


Blogger Sciolist said...

I find the tax dodge thing amusingly devious. You can't blame him for trying afterall. He won $9.5m? That's $2.57m after tax!

Let's say he has a 10% chance of succeeding - that's $693k expectation. There's no way his legal bill will be that big

4:26 PM  
Blogger the chimney sweep said...

the quote from thor hansen is not apocryphal - it's from a documentary called No Limit: A Search for the American Dream on the Poker Tournament Trail.

as you can imagine, it's not a very good doc - hansen's quote is the best thing in

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"a super weak tight Luton £10 rebuy egg"

LMAO. I've heard some superb insults in my time, but this one had me in stitches.

1:08 AM  

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