Wednesday, November 6, 2013

More WSOP Thoughts

Well, it’s over, and like I said, the Michigan kid won (Ryan Riess is from there, a graduate of Michigan State University…oh well, can’t be perfect).  I thought he played very well, and his worthy opponent, Jay Farber, played OK, but did not have the depth to change his game.  He was aggressive, stayed aggressive, and that was his undoing as Riess kinda waited him out and let Farber bet on his no-so-great cards.

I made reference yesterday to a line from David “The Maven” Chicotsky’s column in PokerPlayer called Different Styles of Play in Tournaments.  Too bad Mr. Farber did not read that column.  I thought he did a nice job early in disguising his bluffs, and even when we came up short in that $58 million hand when Riess had pocket jacks, he fought back well.  But he couldn’t change his game sufficiently to pull completely even, and he pressed too much, too hard, and lost to superior holdings.  An entertaining evening, nonetheless.

Two thoughts – one related to last night’s action, and one to WSOP in general.

1.     I haven’t heard much clamor this year for a “shot clock” during tournament play.  That is, a clock that would limit the amount of time a player had to think about his action before being automatically folded – you know, like on EVERY online game.   Riess was the only one that seemed to tank much, a couple of times hitting the five-minute mark, but for the most part play moved along at a nice clip.  Interestingly, almost every time Riess took a long time to think about his actions, whatever he chose to do turned out to be the wrong thing.  So maybe don’t think so hard about it?  Hard to argue with his play overall, though.

2.     If you went to the WSOP website ( you no doubt saw that they have an online game that folks can play, and, if you’ve been following the news, you know that their real-money site in Nevada (Caesar’s Entertainment, the folks who now own the World Series of Poker) is up and running.  If you lived in Nevada, you have been seeing their TV ads, encouraging players to make deposits and “play for real.” In fact, while in Vegas last month, I saw posters and ads INSIDE the Caesar’s Entertainment casinos encouraging online play.  I can’t help but wonder two things:

1)    Will the return of real-money poker to Nevada, New Jersey, and soon…Delaware (plus whatever state gets its collective shit together and legalizes online poker) build interest in the WSOP?  Ever since Black Friday live action tournaments like WSOP have seen declining  numbers of entrants, although not as drastic as many predicted.

2)    How long before the an online tournament grows in prize money to rival the WSOP (I know there are many such mega-events on PokerStars and FullTilt, but I mean the MAIN EVENT).

3)    OK, three things…will an online event ever capture the attention of “poker fans” like ESPN’s coverage of the WSOP?

I know I’ll never play in it, but it fun to watch (and dream about) the World Series of Poker as it is.  What do you think?

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