BLOG – Poker awards and online versus live play

BLOG – Poker awards and online versus live play

Monday, 20 September 2010

The British Poker Awards went down before the WSOPE with a plethora of poker pros provided prizes per poker game. I love that alliteration. Anyway, I have absolutely no problem with the following awards and results – I probably would have picked 85% of them myself:

Best Cash Player – Neil Channing
Best Tournament Player – James Akenhead
Best Online Player – Chris Moorman
Best International Player – Phil Ivey
Best Poker League – The Nuts Poker League
Best UK Card Room sponsored by The Poker Channel – Dusk till Dawn
Best Contribution to Poker – Vicky Coren
Best UK Poker Forum – Hendon Mob

Two further categories were voted by a panel of pro players:

Player’s choice: Best newcomer – Sam Trickett
Player’s choice: Best all round player – Richard Ashby

The thing I do have issue with is that you can’t really quantify poker greatness in the same way that you can another sport. Money won is an obvious mistake to make when ranking players because it puts Jamie Gold above ElkY for tournaments when the former StarCraft pro is clearly the better poker player.

Add in the fact that there is a distinct difference between cash play and tournament play; online and live play and you have the problem. Neil Channing is the best cash player, sure – in a live environment. However, Ben Grundy online crushes the PLO ring games for millions so should he not be recognized for that?

But of course, that’s PLO – so we need a Best Cash Game Player award; Best Online Cash Game Player Award; Best Online PLO Cash Game Player… you see where I’m going? These awards reflect the cream of the crop, no doubt. That said, there needs to be variety to acknowledge that one man’s Stud Hi/Lo is another man’s No Limit Hold ‘em.

Speaking of online versus live I recently pwned a home game at my friend’s house in which a miscount (500s and 100s look similar) meant that we began with over 35,000 and 25/50 blinds. No complaints but it did take four hours for a four-person SnG to play out.

I got super lucky – obviously, Kd-Qd vs A-A in the final 200BB deep hand on a K25KK board – but I was also bang on it. I love live play when you are with people that don’t need to be reminded to act in turn or how much a minimum raise is. It gives you so much more time to think, as well. You can really run through the hand when faced with a big decision – such as a bet into your 66 on a K-4-7-K-2 board – and make the correct play – in this case a raise; he folded JJ and I took it down.

In one hand my friend bet the pot on the river and I insta-called on the 9-2-7-Q-K board. He looked sheepish and asked “can you beat jack high?”
“Barely,” I replied, turning over T-2 for the win.

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