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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Poker Pundit- Jeremy “Chipsteela” Menard- Getting SCOOPed

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A blog of sorts, a story to be told, the true depth of poker is about to unfold:

So PokerStars spring tournament series craftily named SCOOP is in full swing. So far I have played about 8 events in total and have managed to pull off a sick min cash in one event, the $55 6-max. That’s right, 4 hours of play for a grand total of $62, a profit of $8! There are a lot of things that PokerStars did well when designing this tournament series, including having 3 different levels of buy-ins for the low, medium, and high stakes players, but I would say there are way more things that they could have improved on when planning it out.
 
The geniuses at PokerStars decided about a year ago that their payout structures were just too top heavy, which is usually a good thing, so they decided to pay a much larger percentage of the field then what other sites do. This does function to keep the donkeys in play, because they will min cash every once in awhile and be able to keep paying the rake which Stars loves, and also keeps more fish in the game for the regulars to prey on. However, it also makes it so when you do have a big score you don’t make as much as you normally would, because a good percent of the money is being given away to people who haven’t even made the final table. Look on any online poker forum and you will see countless posts and petitions griping about this ridiculous payout structure that pays nearly 20% of the field, and demanding a change.

So far Stars has shown no signs of listening to their loyal players, and SCOOP proved this with some abysmal payouts. Add this to the fact that some of the SCOOP series’ high stakes buy-ins are close to the yearly income of some Americans, and you have plenty of regulars who don’t have the money on the site to afford to play all these tourneys without some kind of a backer. Well played Stars.
 
I personally have stayed away from many of the high stakes events, due to the enormous buy-ins and the fields with very few weak spots. This is due to the fact that Stars doesn’t feel the need to run anywhere close to enough satellites to these tournaments, and also since there are the other levels of buy-ins many players will just opt to play a lower level instead of risking that money to try and satellite into a higher event. I actually did manage to win a seat into the 5k 6-max event, sick brag I know, but instead of playing I decided to unregister and keep the money since my Stars funds have been running low as of late. If you had any idea how bad I’ve been running on the site lately you would completely understand… I guess I didn’t realize at the time that the funds would be given to me in $W, a useless form of currency that can only be used as buy-ins for Stars special events such as SCOOP tourneys and EPTs. Sigh. There’s still a few more SCOOP events I plan on playing though so maybe it will be semi-useful.

If SCOOP wasn’t taking enough of my bankroll, this time of the year brings along something that definitely will, taxes. Now I like to think I’m a responsible player because I actually declare my winnings, well close to them, and now it’s time to pay the price. I have been fortunate enough to find a CPA that plays poker, and knows how to look for every deduction that comes along with the poker playing lifestyle but that doesn’t mean that I won’t be paying out the ass regardless. Something about the thought of giving enough money to buy a decent car to the government all at one time kinda makes me throw up in my mouth a little. I know there are plenty of players out there that just don’t declare their winnings, after all the government doesn’t really have any proof or records of online winnings, at least I like to think that’s the case. However, I don’t really like living knowing that at any time the IRS could come knocking at my door demanding answers so I just pay the Man. I hear they’re not the nicest people to deal with anyways.
 
That’s pretty much it for now. I plan on playing the low and medium stakes 1-rebuy, 1-add-on events tomorrow in SCOOP, as well as the main events on Sunday. Look for me to finish big in one of these, after all the bad run has to end sometime and I feel like I’m just so due. If not look for me passed out drunk in an alley somewhere. Regardless, I’m sure I’ll have plenty for you guys in the next installment

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