[Discussion] World Series of Poker

shrug We’ll have to agree to disagree. I don’t really want to argue about it, and I’m annoyed by your condescension.

Although I can’t comment on whether or not tournaments are “kiddie poker”, I can’t say that I would consider it a bad thing. If you’re playing for fun, winning is fun right? If you’re playing for money, well you’re doing that too, so what’s the problem?

I admit it’s mostly irrational. I hate tournaments, but I’m really really good at them, so I grudgingly force myself to play them sometimes. They usually piss me off - whee, I wasted 5 hours and got nothing - but even if I do well, unless I actually win I still get pissed off (I’m almost always the best player left when we get to a final table, but because I have a stack of 8 BB, it’s a preflop push fest and my skill is mostly negated). And even when I do win, there’s not much of a sense of accomplishment - whee, I got lucky on a few races.

So if I’m having a bad month at cash games, but then I make it up with a tournament win, I get irritated and it’s almost shameful - this is probably a bad analogy but it’s like I made up for losing at chess all month by winning a checkers tournament, and my goal is to be a chess master.

Thank you.

So yeah, apparently Phil Ivey won bracelet number six. And upwards of 12 million dollars in side bets.


Me: 'Bout damn time that guy hits number six! If he applied himself more in tournaments this would easily be his seventh or eighth.

EDIT: The event was Deuce-to-Seven Draw for the record.

He owns a decent chunk of full tilt poker and when he does play, it’s usually a $500-1000 NL game. So playing a $10k event like him would be like me playing a $50-100 tournament - not worth enough to really bother to pay attention to until you were really deep. So I guess he needed the side action to make it interesting.

I wonder what sort of odds he was layed and what the stipulations were.

One of the interesting things about the article about Ivey’s side bets was that it appears that there is a whole derivative gambling scene devoted to the players. Not only betting odds for a player to win a tournament, but also the players themselves betting on POY standings, tournament wins, etc. I find it interesting that there seems to be more money in those derivative bets than the tournaments themselves.

The fact that the bracelets and the side bets seem to mean more than the money tells me that there is a lot of ego in professional poker players. Maybe it’s the nature of poker, where luck makes it very difficult to determine skill levels in the short term, or that they have enough money its not even a worry, but I find the apparent need for recognition to be fascinating.

So speaking of Phil Ivey, he’s now won his seventh bracelet.

He’s won Events eight and 25.

Like I was saying earlier, 'bout damn time he gets his head in the game. He’s one of the few players that’s won three bracelets in one year and then somehow goes on to only win two more in a number of years afterwards?

Now this year on the other hand, he’s got some compeition with Lundgren/etc to actually apply himself and look what’s he’s accomplished.

I’m a total Ivey fanboy and will not at all be surprised if he wins #8 this year.

So yeah, speaking of people winning three bracelets in one year, Jeff Lisandro just did it!

There seems to be a heap of names missing or near-missing from the WSOP this year.

Tom Dwan, Gus Hansen, Patrick Antonius, Joe Hachem… why didn’t Phil Hellmuth play in the 50k HORSE?

Tom Dwan isn’t really interested in tournaments. At the stakes he plays, they’re probably not worth his time. Similarly Phil Ivey probably wouldn’t have bothered with them without the huge side bets. Plus I doubt he likes them much - they minimize his skill set.

Patrick Antonius is probably in a similar boat, but I don’t know his history with tournaments.

Phil Hellmuth probably didn’t play because he knows he’s not a winner at those games against those players. He has a very specialized skill set that only really applies to NLH tournaments - I don’t think anyone thinks much of him in any cash game or any non-hold em tournaments.

To Hellmuth’s credit, he has a ton of cashes and final tables in nonNLH tournaments. He just can’t seem to ever win a nonNLH event.

But still, a five game mixed tourney I’d never see him doing well in.

$40k is a lot to shell out for a game that’s not your strength, especially when a buy in that big and a mixed game event generally attracts only expert players. He’s not a long term winner in that tournament by a long shot.

And just looking at a cash table doesn’t tell you the whole story - you’d have to see the number of entries before making a guess as to his success.

IMO, Phil Hellmuth would not skip the 50K horse event, unless he had a conflict.

Two main reasons:

(1) His ego would not allow him to admit that he could not win the event.
(2) Arguably, he is the biggest name in the game, at least in the top 5. His sponsors wants him to play and I’m sure they would cover most if not all of the entry fee.

Who knows, he may had a personal conflict this weekend. Poker players do lead real lives. There could have been a wedding that his wife made him attend

Maybe. I think part of the ego is an act. If he sits down at a $100/200 no limit game, the waiting list to join that game will be around the street corner. You have to know what that means.

Look at the field of the remaining event. It’s brutal. Phil Hellmuth would probably not be within the top 80% of favorites in that list.

He’s a fairly shrewd guy that puts up a big act, I think. He knows his strengths and he may know when he’s outclassed.

Edit: Incidentally, I know ESPN loves to have poker celebrities make their final tables. What idiots they are not to cover this event. Not only is it unique and novel (amongst the boring old all nlh all the time coverage) but you’re practically guaranteed to get a star-studded FT lineup.

Yeah, ESPN screwed the pooch on this one. There probably would have been more entrants if they covered it also.

No ESPN coverage? Will it be on TV later?

No, they reduced their coverage this year and it’s going to be all NLH.

OK, I think it penetrated my skull: ESPN is covering, but nothing that isn’t NLH, including the 50K HORSE.

Which is a damn shame, because that event requires mad poker skillz.

I have no idea who ESPN’s poker audience is, but they don’t seem to care about “mad poker skillz” - based on what events they cover and how they edit it, ESPN’s target audience apparently knows little about poker, wants to hear “he bet a million dollars!” and see endless AK vs JJ races, dramatically pausing between each card dealt.

It’s weird because it seems like the target audience of almost every poker show doesn’t actually have a real interest in poker. I don’t get it.