Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Whine Regarding the Nine

The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling. - Ambrose Bierce

Many poker insiders, bloggers, and so forth are lamenting the fact that the November Nine (i.e. final table of the 2008 Main Event) are not well known entities or established pros within the industry. Back in 2003, no one had ever heard of Chris Moneymaker.
However, the poker world would never be the same again after the previously unknown Moneymaker won. No big name has won it since and yet, it just keeps growing and growing. Guys like Greg Raymer and Joe Hachem that are now household names were unknown before winning the Main Event. It will be the same this year, one or more of these nine will go from unknown to well known when the tournament is over. So what is all the whining about? The World Series of Poker creates new “brand name” pros every year that will continue to grow the pantheon of poker legends well into the future. That is a good thing and keeps the pool of marketable pros from becoming stagnant. The WSOP is such a “brand name" now that it will never again matter if a pro wins it or not. The thing that has become the Main Event will live on and on. In fact, I think it encourages more amateurs and would-be semi-pros to play BECAUSE an amateur seems to win every year. Nothing could be worse than for all the amateurs to begin to think that only a real pro could win the thing. Why do we need or want some well known poker pro to win? If they are already well known, the only folks that really benefit are the WSOP and ESPN. It doesn’t make the prize pool any bigger, it doesn’t net the dealers any bigger tip, it doesn’t change the volume of entrants, sure more people might watch it on television but I think they will watch anyway. I love the “democratization” of the whole thing and that an “everyman” or “regular guy” will probably win. C’mon, does anyone really want to see someone like Hellmuth or Matusow win the Main Event? I sure don’t. I don’t even want any of the supposedly well known “internet pros” to win it. I definitely don’t want to see someone that is already a millionaire win it. I would much rather see Iggy or the Poker Philospher or some other blogger win the tournament. There is already a superabundance of the “rich get richer” phenomena in this country. Let’s watch a non-rich guy/non-pro win the thing and celebrate his success along with him all the while thinking… year…that guy could be someone I know or, even better yet, me.


Klopzi said...

I'm only worried that we'll have another Jerry Yang.

We need someone to promote how easy it is to make money playing poker.

Poker's new ambassador must preach the virtues of a game that will bring you riches and women and anything else your heart desires.

We need someone to pull of ill-advised (but successful) bluffs at the final table, coupled with a large number of awful Hero calls on the river.

Finally, the winner can't be a dick like Jamie Gold or a saint like Jerry Yang. A regular guy who makes it big and is willing to show everyone how to do it!

Hachem and Raymer were good for the game but Moneymaker was better for the industry.

And correct me if I'm wrong but the current chip leader of the final nine is planning on going the "saint" route and donating his winnings or something? Good for the charity I suppose but terrible for poker.

Pud's Poker said...

I see why Harrah etc have delayed the final table but unless you're a poker fan would you really tune in to watch it anyway?

I can see the positives and negatives of doing this but IMO I thin it is a bad idea and takes some of the magic of the WSOP away