Cookies on the PokerWorks Website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the PokerWorks website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time.

Continue using cookies

Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2009 | The Works

Day 3 Of The WSOP: The Media And Poker Players

Share this
One of the things I've learned as a member of the media at the World Series of Poker for the last three years is that there is a fine line that often exists in the relationships between poker players and those who write about poker. Many are friends, but there are also those who keep their distance from the media and others who treat the media with respect but also with guarded caution. You would for example probably not see Phil Ivey hanging out with the media in press row. It's understandable because media members are not always portraying poker players in a positive light. Drama sells after all, and when there is something sensational going down, it's going to get written about.

I mention all of this because today I saw two instances of that relationship clearly being tested. The first happened after a well known professional player won a big pot. His picture was taken by a photographer and the player got up out of his seat and asked him if he would delete the photo and come back 30 minutes later. Apparently, the pro had forgotten his poker site logo and would get in trouble with his sponsor if they saw a photo of him without it. As is usually the case with these requests, the photographer obliged.

The second incident happened
a little while later. Two young and very attractive females were skipping (well ok maybe I'm making up the skipping part) lightly through the 40K tournament area when one of the girls saw a younger, well known professional and asked him for a kiss. The pro obliged and the two locked lips for what had to be five seconds or more. Doyle Brunson was at the the table and said to the kid, “Son, you never draw, you just discard.” 

To which the kid responded, “I'm just trying to live up to your name Doyle.”

Another media of the member started to jot this interaction down and the young pro turned in his seat. “Please don't report that,” he said.

I'm guessing the young pro had a girlfriend and didn't want her finding out about the kiss. Again the media member obliged. I guess in a way, I am as well since I'm leaving their names out.

That's the other part of the relationship. You don't want to be the media member who is known as being a tattle tale because then your relationship with the professionals is tainted and when you come around the tables, they'll shut up. A big part of a media person's job is having good relationships with players and getting them to talk about what is going on at the tables, their lives, and poker in general. If they think you are the type of media member they can't trust, that door is closed.

Today, the Limit Omaha 8 event got underway. This is a strange event for me because outside of the Seniors Event it easily has the highest concentration of older poker players at the WSOP. Unlike the Seniors Event, there is a heavy mix of younger players who have cut their teeth on Omaha 8 tournaments on the internet. It's an interesting dynamic watching the usually tight, controlled patience of the older crowd tangling against the hyper aggressive tendencies of the kids.

Something new they are doing this year is awarding bracelets to event winners in the early afternoon and playing the winner's national anthem. One of the French reporters joked that he was going to get sick of hearing the US anthem because typically US players win about ¾ of the events. An interesting observation... during the US national anthem, the limit Omaha 8 players for the most part stood and removed their hats. The 40K players? Didn't bat an eyelash.

Poker and gambling can lead to financial difficulties, even for the most talented and skilled of players. People often joke about Eskimo Clark always walking around looking for a buy in, but the last couple years I've noticed in the bigger buy in events that T.J. Cloutier is on the sidelines. He's not necessarily asking for money, but he's not playing and that makes me wonder if he's gotten into some financial difficulty, especially with his propensity for playing craps.

I noticed one of my ESPN producer friends walking around the 40K area. There weren't any cameras around so I asked him why he was here. He told me he was sizing up who was left in the field... obviously hoping the few remaining big names would survive to enhance their ratings. Moneymaker was of particular interest, and we both agreed it would be a great thing if he could somehow make it to the end. Unfortunately, shortly before the bubble Moneymaker would lose a key race to Tony G. and then be eliminated when he ran into kings when he held pocket tens.

Of course, he could always have the entertaining antics of Andy Black, who was walking around the tournament floor bouncing a tennis ball in between hands. If there had been a dog around to play fetch, I'm sure Andy would have been doing so.

Tomorrow they will play down to the final 9 in the 40K event, as well as the Omaha 8 event, and the “stimulus” tournament, also known as the 1K ridicudonkfest will get underway. The place will be packed, and I'll be shoving my way through the tables to bring the latest and greatest. Until then...

News Flash

The IRS Scores Big at 2015 WSOP ME Final Table

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

Read more

Quick Room Review

Bonus Room review

Subscribe to the Nightly Turbo

Be the first to know all the latest poker news, tournament results, gossip and learn all about the best online poker deals straight from your inbox.

RSS Feed