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

Day 17 Of The WSOP: No Way To Go But Back

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One of the interesting things about poker and something you don't always hear a lot about is backing. I've gotten to see a lot of the ins and outs of backing deals over the years and one thing I've learned is that people who typically do it aren't that smart about it.

There are a multitude of reasons, the primary one being that people who usually need backing don't have any money for a reason. There are of course exceptions to this rule, some people don't like to risk their bankroll on tournaments and a backer is willing to take some risk to put this player into the tournament. For the most part though the typical player that is seeking backing is doing so because they've been failing miserably in poker, or have a major leak in their bankroll like playing craps (think T.J. Cloutier) or sports gambling, drugs, and women (or all of the above).

Another main problem with backing is that it often involves friendship and these arrangements can strain those friendships. There is one well known professional poker player I know who has won millions in tournament poker. This guy is a nice guy and he goes out of his way to help out his friends including staking them in tournament after tournament despite their doing absolutely nothing in the numerous tournaments he has backed them in. If he's not careful, he will end up being the one needing backing.

A couple years ago, I wrote a feature story for a magazine on the perils of backing. One particular story of interest was that of the attractive female poker player using her seductive, alluring, and misleading ways to get men to buy her into poker tournaments. I've recently heard and seen an influx of these vixens playing in tournaments. I've watched the women and seen them smiling prettily at the cameras but each time doing next to nothing in the actual tournament. But human nature, especially with men, will often have them thinking with the wrong head and they'll leak off their bankroll on the off chance this “hottie” will get with them if they buy them into tournaments. Hate to tell you guys but most of the time this young lass is just using you.

While we're on the subject of backing, let's talk about over rated players who haven't done much of anything lately yet continue to get media coverage. I'm as guilty of this as the next person because it's easy to cover the familiar faces, the names that are known... but when you think about it, there are much more deserving faces that warrant coverage. What has Antonio Esfandiari done lately? Outside of his 8th place cash for 220K in April of 2008 at the EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final, Antonio hasn't had a cash for over 40K since June of 2005. That's four years with one significant cash; yet he continues to get noticeable coverage and even has his own magazine article. Granted, Antonio is a charming guy and is fun to watch but his poker playing has left something to be desired of late. I wonder how he is even still playing all these events? I bet he has a backer... a broke one at that. I could name at least 20 other examples, but he's one that sticks out in my head.

That's it for today... I'll be back at it tomorrow with the latest and greatest from the WSOP. Until then...

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