Professional Coaching at the WSOP (and the insane long break..)

This was published 28-05-2009

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.

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