Thursday, March 19, 2009

posted by James - 3:01 PM

Everybody knows that they just got rid of the rebuy tournaments for the 2009 WSOP... I'm not that happy about that, but it's not the end of the world. I do pretty good in rebuy tournaments online. It's not like the WSOP was the only place to find a rebuy tournament, but I was hoping that maybe someday I would participate in a WSOP rebuy tournament with a bracelet on the line. I hardly think it would be far from the optimal event for me to enter, unless someone else was staking me.

I do think it was kind of hypocritical of the proponents to eliminating rebuys from the WSOP, mainly Daniel Negreanu. It hasn't changed my opinion of him as a player or my respect for him, but I think his motives are dubious at best. He's often called an ambassador of poker, and for the most part he performs this function admirably... however, his attitude has shifted to someone who is very protective of his "spot".

He released his book (which is an amazing read, especially his and David Williams' chapter... both should be required) and found out how many people enjoyed the way he played poker and implemented some if not all of his strategies into their play. Now, this hasn't stopped him from being wildly successful over the last year... winning his home country's B.C. Open and his second $2k Limit Hold 'Em WSOP bracelet (fourth bracelet overall). I'm sure he also made quite a lot of money off the book itself, which is why I found it very curious when I read a blog on his website lashing out at everyone using his concepts, claiming he was done writing books, writing columns and "teaching". *http://www.fullcontactpoker.com/poker-journal.php?subaction=showfull&id=1230241291&archive=&start_from=&ucat=&*

It left a really bad taste in my mouth to read that. He then followed with spearheading the movement to get rid of rebuy events in the upcoming WSOP to "protect the sanctity of a WSOP bracelet" (not a direct quote, but that's pretty much it). It's not because people don't enjoy the events... if they didn't, there wouldn't be so many players putting so much money into them. There's no way anyone should consider it "buying a bracelet".

Daniel gets a lot of pub for his antics in WSOP rebuy events, however he's never won one. In fact, he's only made one final table, with one other cash. It's possible this is the main motive for his desire to eliminate these events. If that's the case... he's only cashed in the main event once... yes, just once. Does he want to get rid of that, too? The winner of the Main Event is usually reviled a amateur, donk-ish luckbox as it is.

Oh wow... this got off topic really quickly. I'm supposed to be asking our resident Ace, Mark Radoja, a question. It's really easy to tear things down/take things away. How about what we could add to the WSOP? What ideas could help grow poker, not only during our Mecca, our pinnacle... our WORLD SERIES, but also online and in casinos on our continent and all over the world.

I'd like to see the WSOP capitalize on the popularity of Sit and Gos. There's so much for websites and casinos to take advantage of when it comes to SNGs. Availability, immediacy, getting a pretty good cut out of every single one that gets played. They don't require any more overhead than you already have... every casino offering poker (or any table game for that matter) could announce they were starting a SNG right now and see what happens. At best, a game gets started, the house gets their cut and 2-3 players go home happy, and the rest at least got a game in... at worst, you kept the players in the casino for a while longer buying food, drinks, dumping money into worthless slot machines or pai gow tables (you real poker players... please don't be that guy).

SNGs are a skill and a mastery all their own, just like any other form of poker. Some institution should crown a definitive SNG world champion in 2009, but in a live setting. Now, I know what you're saying... there's already a Shootout World Championship at the WSOP, and that's kinda like a bunch of SNGs strung together... but it's not the same. Once you're out of a shoot out, you're done. When you're out of a SNG, you go get in another one. A SNG World Championship would have to capture that environment.

I don't play them often, but the Matrix SNG format offered at Full Tilt is something they could bring to a casino setting. It would probably take quite a bit of manpower and an attentive staff, but that's why the WSOP isn't hosted in my basement. We already assume that about tournaments with $1,500-40,000 buy ins.

Players would play in a set number of one-table tournaments and would gain points depending on where they finished in each tournament and how many players they knocked out (this would be optional). Each tournament would have a small cash prize to the winner, maybe down through 3rd place. This is important to keep every player as interested in possible during the later SNGs, even if they didn't have a chance at finishing near the top of the overall points leaderboards. There would be a large cash pool divided among the top 10% of the leaders, with a bracelet also awarded to first place. They could also spread the event over multiple days quite easy. For a large buy-in event, they could have the top 10 (or 9 or 6 depending on the type of SNG) come back on a separate day and play a one-table SNG for large cash pay outs to the top three and a bracelet to the winner.

SNGs are great for poker. I hope their popularity never fades, and the frustrating moments where you're chasing after the next open seat in a juicy SNG full of fish and just miss out... never goes anywhere. The availability of a poker tournament at any hour of the day, no matter where I am, has not only increased my enjoyment of poker, but made me much better along the way. I think it could do the same for my casino play as well... if I could get my local casinos to go along with it. Maybe a WSOP event along these lines would help that come together.

Other ideas: A heads up stud or Pot Limit Omaha event.

I wrote way, way more than I thought I would... looking over it, I'm still ok with that... and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.