There’s a reason Pauly dubbed Amy Calistri as “the Nancy Drew of poker.” Amy has the uncanny knack for getting to the bottom of any story, as she just did with the Case of the Shitty Ladies’ Event Payouts. Says Amy:
“I realized that the structure has a break in payouts for fields larger than 1000 players. For example, 27 players (or three tables of nine) get paid for fields between 200-299, 36 players (or four tables of nine) get paid for fields between 300-399, and so it goes in 100 player increments. So if you played in a field of 300 players, 36 players got paid or 12% of the field. If your field was 399 players, 36 players got paid or just over 9% of the field. But the 100 player increments stop at 1000 and increase to 500 player increments. If you played in a field of 1000-1499, 99 players (or eleven tables of nine got paid. If you played in a field of 1000 players, 99 got paid or 9.9% of the field. But if you played in a field of 1499, 99 got paid or just 6.6% of the field.”
So there you have it. Good to know Harrah’s isn’t just screwing over women (and old people, as the seniors event drew over 1,800), they’re screwing over everyone. Which still doesn’t make it right. But at least they’re equal opportunity screwers.
The media should have a day off tomorrow. At least that was the plan. But a fourth Day 1 was just added to the Main Event schedule, despite the fact that almost 2,700 fewer players are expected to enter this year than there were in 2006. So why the fourth day one if we’re looking at about a 6,000-person field?
That would be the $1 million disaster called the Poker Tent. Harrah’s finally wised up and realized that the PR hit would probably be far too severe if they stuck people who had paid TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS inside the Poker Tent Sauna Wind Tunnel Death Trap Freezer Sweat Lodge on a 120-degree day.
We’re looking at a little over 6,000 players in the Main Event this year, down from 2006′s high water mark of 8,773. It’s certainly more than I thought would show up. The really telling numbers, which we won’t know for several days, are the percentages of online qualifiers who actually showed up and played rather than pocketing the $10K. I think that number will shake out at around 20-25%. There are certainly fewer Poker Stars jackets and Full Tilt T-shirts in the field this year. The European sites seem to be faring well, though with good representation from places like Ladbrokes and Betfair.
So far, the Main Event has been a little disappointing. There is nowhere near the carnival atmosphere that there was in 2006. People aren’t wearing costumes or stupid hats. A monkey didn’t try to enter. Fewer celebrities played and the aisles between the tables are just a little less crowded, with fewer than 1,700 starters on each Day 1 so far. Even the Expo sucks. I never liked the Expo to begin with, but at least the sheer spectacle of it last year was worth writing about. This year, the most interesting thing in the room was a short-lived “dunk the stripper” booth. They took it down after the girls complained about photographers snapping away during some “wardrobe malfunctions.”
There weren’t too many good pre-Main Event parties either this year. No Full Tilt bash at Pure, no Bodog debauchery at Tao. Just the Bluff Magazine shin-dig at some strip joint that I didn’t go to. Pauly did get invited to Phil Gordon’s BBQ, but we had Widespread Panic tickets for that night. I’m still on tilt. Yet another failed Phil meeting.
My inner feminist weeps at this shit, but I do realize this is poker. The market is young men, most of whom are lonely, horny, and anti-social. So there are going to be stippers employed to entice them to gamble. I was so much madder about this kind of stuff a year ago. I would have spit out 3,000 words on slutty young women in tight white tanks parading around hocking their wares and how it creates an inhospitable environment for women who do want to get involved in poker. Now I just know it’s par for the course. That as long as the boom continues, it will never, ever change. And that the type of woman that is going to be attracted to playing poker and could be successful at it is the type of woman who can forget about the strippers and the sexism and just recognize it all as marketing tactics.
7 hours before I get up and head to the Rio for the fourth Day 1. Followed by two Day 2s. I think it should finally be Day 3 by like, next week or something.