Thursday, October 27, 2005

Kid Poker Not Happy

As TBR told you, the 2006 WSOP schedule was released this week. Daniel Negreanu isn't too happy about it. Here are his thoughts from his blog at Full Contact Poker.

"After the complaints the floor people received this year, I was all but certain the World Series of Poker would bring back the mixed game event and make sure to protect the integrity of the event by maintaining a wide variety of games. Screwed! That's how I felt when I saw the schedule. The World Series of Poker is an inappropriate title for this mockery. The World Series of Hold'em, sure, but how dare they call this the World Series of Poker when they've eliminated most of the other tournaments in favor of even more hold'em events.It's not about the poker anymore, it's all about the bottom line apparently. Not only was there no mixed game event,, but get this, there is precisely ONE stud hi-lo event with a... I can't take it... with a.... with a.... $1000 buy in! My goodness, how shameful!Not to mention the fact that if you want to play in the $3000 Omaha H/L event, it happens to run two hours after the $3000 limit hold'em event. The tournaments that used to get their own day, multiple days in fact, are reduced to being "after thoughts."I can't tell you how upset I am with the mockery that has become of the schedule. No longer is the WSOP about the poker, about protecting the integrity of the game, or about giving the players what they want. Nope, it's all about the bottom line. *Sigh* It just infuriates me and I know I'm not alone. The best players in the world play in the biggest mixed games in the world:Hold'emStudOmaha H/LStud H/LRazz2-7 Triple DrawLimit OmahaPot Limit OmahaNo Limit Hold'em2-7 NL Single DrawThese are the games that the world's best enjoy playing, but the WSOP has decided that these players know nothing about what poker is all about. Poker is Hold'em to them, and nothing more.Poker is dying. Not hold'em of course, but poker as we once knew it is becoming extinct because the people in control aren't interested in helping poker flourish, they have a bottom line to think about that takes precedence over all else. I have no idea who is at fault so I won’t place blame. I’d sure like to know, though, who- who exactly is making these decisions? I don't even know what else to say. I am so disappointed and I don't know what else to do other then to vent my frustrations. I love poker, and "non-poker playing" suits are killing the game I love."


TBR said...

While I agree with KP's sentiment that it would be nice to have some of the other poker games more prominently represented, I sort of disagree with the idea that this is not giving the "players" what they want. If the "players" are the best 100 in the world, who have played every WSOP for the past 8 years, maybe, but if "players" means the players the RIO expects to attract to the event, I believe they are probably suiting them en mass.

Tagg said...

I'm not sure that it's killing poker. However, it is certainly diminishing the significance of the WSOP. The Main Event will remain the pinnacle for poker players, but that is less because of the prestige and more because of the size of the prize. I'm pretty sure that we're less than 3 years away from title sponsorships to each event, making the WSOP look more like college football bowl season. Someday you will be able to win the Poulan Weed Eater $2,000 NLHE event.

The redundancy of the various events dilutes the value of a bracelet to an almost ridiculous level. Of the 44 events, 23 are NLHE, with varying stakes. How many times do we need to declare a champion of $1,500 NLHE? Is the winner of event 2 any better than events 40, 41, 42, 43 or 44? At least when they're all over, can the each of the "champions" legwrestle for the undisputed title?

While appealing to the masses is important for the growth of poker as an overall sport/job/hobby, I'm not sure that the WSOP should sacrifice its prestige by declaring so many duplicate champions each year and ignoring other (less) popular games. Presuming that money is the motivation (sponsorship, tv deals etc), there are other ways to better publicize the game, but that's for another topic.

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