That’s right, I’m talking about the WSOP main event. It started today. About an hour ago actually. So if you’re in Vegas, and are a bit hung over and trying to get there…you should get there quick..Late registration is closing over the weekend!!
There are more than 1,100 players trying for the top prize at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino this year (In the first day last year there were 1,297 registered players). Pros,Amateurs, Celebrities (I’m looking at you Jennifer Tilly) anyone who has won a ticket online or just had the cash sitting under their mattress is there and the blinds have already started counting down. Will it be a “moneymaker” year or more of a Raymer year? It looks like Pro’s are at the top of the betting line to win the main event this year, with the co-favorites being Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Gus Hansen, and Tom Dwan. Each is listed at +12000, and as a close second are Andrew Black, Juha Helppi, Ivan Demidov, John Juanda, Barry Greenstein, and Allen Cunningham at +17000 (according to betED). But hey, anything can happen in poker right!
Last year’s winner, Peter Eastgate, took home $9.15 million after topping a field of 6,844 players — including eight others who had a four month break before the final table in November. Raphael Zimmerman, a 27-year-old poker player from Oneonta, N.Y., was the first player eliminated from last years tournament when his aggressive play on a straight draw ran into three queens after the first three community cards were dealt. Zimmerman hit his straight on the turn, but his opponent hit a full house on the river to end Zimmerman’s tournament. “Next year, I’m going to be last out,” said Zimmerman, who said he regularly plays cash games with $50 and $100 blinds. “For a minute, I thought I was going to win anyway.”
I guess we’ll see soon if Zimmerman’s prediction will come true.
Who do you think is going to win this year?
Every year Bluff Magazine puts out a list of top “amateur” players to watch. It’s a great list with some fantastic talent, but that’s not really what this post is about. What i noticed about the list is the fact that it’s all WSOP Rookies, or to put it another way, they’re all 21. Young players with very little live experience is becoming the new norm for WSOP final tables. They are starting when they’re 18, honing and really translating their online skills to live games.
Players who start playing online at 18 years old are able to make the mistakes all newbies make, but do it in a way that is very minimal risk to them. By the time they’re 21 and able to play in major live tourneys in the states, they have had 3 years to correct those mistakes and are already well past the nerves of most first time players.
The other advantage to playing online early is all of the tournament entry’s possible to be won. A lot of these players are able to not only win entry into tourneys in the Caribbean or Monte Carlo (or Canada), but they’re able to cash. These tournaments have as wide a variance as any tourney in the states, and gives these players a real look at what live poker is all about (not to mention some nice paydays).
Translating their Skills to a live Game
I don’t care what anyone says, online poker and live poker are 2 different monsters. Translating your skills from sitting in front of a computer to sitting across from someone at a major tourney is a huge challenge. Even the most veteran online player has bad habits that need correcting and new skills that need to be learned before becoming a really successful live player. But i think this discussion is something for a different post.
Overall i think that starting young, online is the way to go. It really gives you the ability to, at 21 years old, walk in and sit across the table from any of the big names, and realize that everyone is playing the same game…and you know it as well as they do.
“I’m just preparing for the live poker grind. Six weeks of live poker is a shit ton, so I think getting in the right mindset and trying not to burnout,” – Harder
Last year, when the final table was reached, there was a break for several months. Professional players offered up their skills to help the amateurs on the table work on their game. My question is this: Is that a complete game changer? Is it fair?
I know that breaks are part of the game, but when you start talking months, that gives time to improve greatly. And, i realize that luck is not the deciding factor in a poker game, but when you’re talking tournament poker luck does have a roll. And so, if your read on someone is that they are a marginal player, and got lucky in their coin tosses…you could get felted in the first round of the final table by following your read.
Admittedly, after a few months, game play can change. But if i was one of the pros sitting at that table, and knew that one of the amateurs was having lessons from chan, negranu, or any of the other pros (who, incidentally didn’t make it), i’d be pretty pissed off. It’s like going the first 10 rounds of a boxing match, then taking a month off, training really hard and coming back to finish the fight. it’s crazy.
So what is this rant about? The long break or the fact that people are exploiting that break? Both really.
But ultimately, the only people being short changed are the fans. All the pros and amateurs are on the same level playing field. If the pro’s at the table are so enclined they can take advantage of the break as well, and hire their professional friends to help them sharpen their poker skills. But the fans are getting an impure look at a deep stack tournament. Just when it really counts, they take a break…a really long break..and change the whole game.
Just a heads-up that this weekend is the final chance to qualify in one of the online satellites to the 2009 WSOP at Sky Poker. You can qualify for both the $1500 WSOP events and the $10,000 Main Event through satellites starting as low as £1.45.
Here are the details of what is included in the WSOP packages:
• Flights for 2
• 14 nights hotel stay in Vegas
• Plus a cash prize that will buy you a seat into the world’s biggest and best poker tournament – the WSOP 2009 Main Event!
$1500 Event Package
• Paid entry into the 1500 USD NLH tournament, which runs over 3 days from the 29th to 1st July 2009, in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
• Flights for two people
• Hotel accommodation for 14 nights
This is probably the softest competition and easiest way to get to Vegas this summer for the World Series of Poker, so don’t miss out. Sky is known for their awful players that just want to get on TV, so if you have a little patience in this tournament you should be able to satellite your way in with relative ease. Also, I am sure there will probably be an overlay on these also, so if you can get in without spending much, why not!
If you don’t already have a Sky Poker account, sign-up today and get our special 500 Sky Points Free + Up to £500.00 FREE bonus. It is probably one of the best bonuses on the Internet as you can deposit as little as £10 and get up to £500 FREE.
The 2008 WSOP is getting very close and if you haven’t already qualified yet, why not give it a shot for FREE. PokerStars is currently running several freerolls every few hours where you can qualify without spending anything. Between April 13 and June 28, they’re giving away $1,000,000 worth of World Series packages. That’s 80 free seats in total.
Each freeroll winner will also get:
- Entry to the 2008 Main Event worth $10,000
- Accommodation at the Palms, Las Vegas
- $2,500 for expenses
The promotion is called the WSOP* Million Dollar Giveaway. To get your free chance at the big game, download the pokerstars software (using Marketing Code: BRB50). Enter the freeroll of your choice in the tournament lobby by clicking ‘Tourney’ and ‘Freeroll’ or, alternatively, under the ‘Events’ tab and then ‘WSOP’ and ‘All’.