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Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

Random musings from the 2008 World Poker Open plus Event #9, $500+50 Stud High results

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It was the smallest field yet of the 2008 World Poker Open and only the final 8 were going to get paid. Not only was it the smallest field, but it was the quickest final table yet as Yuebin Guo steamrolled the table from beginning to end and it was over in less than two hours. Here are the results from Event #9:

1st: Yuebin Guo $13,793
2nd: Stewart Carpenter $7,663
3rd: John Womack $4,981
4th: Bret Hooper $3,448
5th: Art Young $2,682
6th: Peter Friano $2,299
7th: Torrey Reily $1,916
8th: Franklin Shoemaker $1,533

The first week of the WPO has been interesting for me. Anyone who thinks that poker is dying, merely needs to walk into the Goldstrike to find out that is not the case. The fields continue to be impressive but if I were going to say that anything is dying in poker... it is limit events, especially those that are not hold'em. Few people now ever attempt anything outside of Hold'Em and it's a shame because the other games can be as much fun and more challenging to play than Hold'Em. Blame television and reporters like me who think limit events are not that entertaining to watch. Unfortunately, they aren't... but that doesn't mean they aren't a profitable and enjoyable game to play.

Why do people feel the need to act like idiots after winning a big pot? I've lost track of the number of times that people have gone nuts and caused some ridiculous ruckus. Is it exciting to win a hand? Absolutely. Is there reason to be happy? Of course. But to run around and scream like a little girl at a Hannah Montana concert is a bit much. Why does this happen? Again I think the media carries some of the responsibility for this because they sensationalize... and seek out... players who do this. Look back to any ESPN World Series of Poker coverage and you'll see them highlighting some obnoxious, over the top, player. Think Hevad Khan from the 2007 World Series of Poker. Hevad's a great player but he definitely, and if you get to know him, he's actually a great guy as well, received more attention than anyone else who made the final table because of his antics.

You also have the people who feel the need to be arrogant and/or are demeaning to other players. They are the resident expert at the table. Everything they do is brilliant and whatever everyone else does is donkey play. You see almost one of these at every table. The reason? You got it - the media.

Players like Phil Hellmuth have made a living off of establishing “brat” like images. Hellmuth could not even play poker and live off of his endorsements and other business ventures that he's been able to become involved with. Success leads to other people replicating it and people think the only way they can get on television is by either being over celebratory idiots or arrogant buttheads. What a great world we live in eh?

I'm not saying the media doesn't highlight some of the quieter, non-abrasive poker personalities like Phil Ivey or Allen Cunningham and I know they feel they have a responsibility to entertain and theatrics are definitely more entertaining. The problem I think, however, is that it detracts from the game and takes credit away from the greatness a player might have. Given the choice of a Hevad Khan or an Allen Cunningham, the media is going to choose Hevad Khan every time.

This summer I had the chance to become friends with a group of professional players in Vegas. Many of these players are part of what I call the “party circuit.” They play hard (and more times than not... not so well) and party harder. It's hard not to like the group because they are fun people to be with, but having “been there, done that” so to speak I know it's not a lifestyle I wanted to return to. It didn't mean I couldn't go out and have a good time every now and then, but I had no desire to do it every night.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because one member of that group came to Tunica for the week to play in some tournaments and was having some success. We started having a conversation about some of the hands he had played and I offered some alternatives that he could have used. He said to me “you know, I've talked more about poker with you in one hour than I have in the last year with any of my friends.”

I found that interesting... a group of professional poker players who spend hours upon hours with one another and they don't use the greatest advantage they have... learning from each other. I've always been part of study groups in poker because I think having friends to learn with, and from, can only make you a better player. I understand that poker can be a grind and can be difficult to talk about ... especially when times are tough... but having different perspectives and figuring out what is working and not working, and why, can lead to continued success.

News Flash

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The IRS managed to snag 34.13 percent from the payouts of the 2015 November Nine, totaling $8,467,091.

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