Table Talk

Table Talk

Friday, 10 April 2015

With Tony 'Tikay' Kendall.

Chop it up?

Poker players are forever divided on whether payout structures in Tournaments should be flatter, or whether they should give more to the winner.

The better players, the pros, tend to prefer more “up top”, while the recreationals and poker enthusiasts want to see flatter structures where the money is spread more evenly and to more people.

The Aussie Millions Main Event concluded recently, and the winner and runner-up decided to “do business”. As a result we don’t really know who won – I'd go as far as saying there was no real winner. Daft, ‘innit?
Anyone know what percentage of live poker tournaments end in a chop, or “business”? I don’t, but I bet the number would surprise many.

We are not just talking big money events - it’s also the workaday stuff; seven days a week, in the cardrooms around the world. Even the £10 and £20 freezeouts and rebuys.

Back in the day, I used to play these live events every night of the week & made a good few final tables. The vast majority of them ended in “business”.

Nobody can ever prove it one way or another, but I’d wager it is in excess of two thirds of all live MTT’s end in business.

What is the answer? It’s obvious really – flatten the payout structures. Spread the money wider, it keeps more people happy, & they stay in the game longer. One or two (the winners) suffer, whilst the great majority benefit.

So listen up, cardrooms – it's time to listen to your customers, & flatten those payout structures. It's good for the game.

WSOP – ticking those boxes.

We’ve all had time to peruse the 2015 World Series of Poker schedule now, but it’s worth looking at some of the headline events. I think the WSOP organisers have made a real good job of this, fair play to them.
The Colossus

What a way to kickstart the whole shebang - $565 buy-in, & a $5 million guarantee. It has a very playable structure, too, starting at 25-50 with 5,000 starting chips. This is a real WSOP entry level affair for recreational players, who will flock there in their thousands.
Extended Play

It might sound a bit like a 1980s-style vinyl, but it really means 90 minute levels for a $1,500 Buy-in. 7,500 starting chips, too. Oddly, it will have a 15 minute break after every level, (with a 60 minute dinner break after four levels) which will certainly extend the play. Once again, though, this is good for recreational players.

The 50/50

The what?
50/50 is code for “half the field will get paid”.
Good Lord.

Not entirely sure that will be well-received by Team Nosebleed, but the guys who play for fun are going to love this one. Can you even begin to imagine the bubble-play in this?

If we assume it has, say, 2,000 runners, some 1,000 voices will be cheering plenty loud when the bubble bursts. The purists won’t be best pleased, but a lot of cash will be re-circulated, which can’t be terrible, can it?

$10,000 Dealers Choice

The eye-catcher here is how many variants they will play – 19.
I’m not even sure I can list 19 variants, never mind play them well enough to cough up 10 large.

Can you list 19 MTT poker variants? Go on then - & no googling - just write them down. Bet you get stuck at 18.

$10,000 Main Event

There seems to have been a change of heart as to that “$10 milly to the winner” thing. Instead, this year they are guaranteeing that 1,000 players will get paid.

I don't think this is too big a deal either way, but on balance it confirms the trend to help re-circulate the money more widely. We’ll be seeing a lot more of this soon, not just at live events but online too, so we’d best get used to it. Everyone has at last awoken to the reality that the money in tournament poker needs to be spread across more players, more often. So the WSOP gets the Tikay tick. That’ll sure impress them.

WSOP - when, where, & how much?

When? May 27th through until July 14th.
Where? Don’t be silly. Vegas, baby.
How much? Well if you want to play the whole WSOP, you need to bring along around $400,000. Best start a staking thread.

Sort it out

Poker is a big industry these days, & yet we still don’t have a universally agreed rulebook - how can that make sense?

Golf has the R & A Rules, Cricket has the ICC, football is standard the world over, as are tennis, chess… in fact every well-organised recreation has rules which don’t vary (or at least don't vary much) wherever you play.
Poker? Not so much. You'll often struggle to find two rooms which operate to the same set of rules, while each country does things differently. This makes no sense to me at all, and it is little wonder poker is perceived as a shambles by the mainstream sponsors who would love to give us their sponsorship money.

Once we get organised, those big-name sponsors will throw money at us, & that money can be added to the prizepools.

Added money? In poker? Why not? That’s what happens elsewhere - sponsors come along and - in return for advertising - give money to the participants.

Why are Heinz, Ford Motor Co, Carling, Tesco & Ryanair not sponsoring poker tournaments? Because we don’t have agreed structures, rules, or a governing body, & as a result, arguments & disputes arise so often.
Just imagine, ADDED MONEY on top of the prizepools. It’s perfectly ridiculous that poker is spurning this free money, just because we can’t sort ourselves out.

What are we waiting for? All that lovely sponsorship money, just sitting there, looking for a home. And it could be ours.


The riggies

The who?

Riggies – players who think online poker is rigged
How many hands have been dealt on PokerStars? Last time I looked it was well over 100 billion.

Closer to home, Sky Poker, who are mainly UK & ROI facing, are fast approaching 900 million hands.

There are currently hundreds of online poker rooms across the world, add all those hands up, it must come to hundreds of billions.

So you’d think by now that if the game was a bent coup, someone would have found a bit of evidence, right? After all, there are several hundred billion separate pieces of evidence.

OK, there was a bit of a hoohah many years ago, an Absolute shocker to be fair, but rigged software these days? You are having a laugh.

These riggies do poker no favours, none at all. More to the point, they make themselves look proper silly.

If you don’t like the goods, don’t buy them. It's time to get rid of these people. Ban them, ban them all. They will be begging to be allowed back in no time, believe me.


King for a Day

WSOP – I’d have a $200 (that's right, two hundred dollar) event, with a $5 million Guarantee. Could it be done? Of course it could. And then the little guys could all get a shot at the greatest prize in poker – a World Series of Poker bracelet.

Sky Poker UKPC – The third renewal took place last month, & once again was a stunning success. Most of all, it had atmosphere and fun, which we need to see more of. I decree that the UKPC becomes a permanent fixture.
Poker Awards – well let’s be honest, they have their critics, but the British Poker Awards last month was a cracking do and even got picked up by the mainstream media. That has to be good - more of the same, please.

Tags: Tony Kendall, Tikay, WSOP