Surviving Day One of the World Series of Poker Main Event Championship is a really big deal.
Consider the alternative, which is being busted.
No matter where you stand in chips at the moment, once you’ve made it past the first day, anything is possible. Yes — anything. Statistics tend to show that the chip counts at the end of the first day don’t really matter that much. For instance, the end of Day One chip leaders only cash about half the time.
So, if you are one of the fortunate two-thirds of the field who ultimately survive the first 12-hour playing session, that’s ample reason to celebrate. No, you haven’t won anything yet. However, the WSOP is something to enjoy as much as to anticipate. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying this special moment and toasting a moment of success, even if it’s fleeting.
Last night, at the end of the first day’s action at around 1 am, my friend and fellow writer Garry Gates stopped me as I was walking past his table. The entire tournament room was bagging up their chips for the night. Gates has survived each of the opening days he has played the Main Event. Accordingly, he started a tradition, which goes as follows.
The 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event Championship began today. For me, this is a special time.
Ten years ago when I was working at Binion’s Horseshoe, there was a critical junction on the WSOP timeline. We were given the cover story for Card Player magazine, which at the time was pretty much the voice of poker. I was told to “handle it.”
Binion’s Horseshoe’s steady decline and eventual demise has been written about in some depth here. However, that cover story provided a rare opportunity to re-brand ourselves and regain the high ground over everyone else.
Back then, an exciting new attraction called the World Poker Tour was kicking our ass. Sure, we had a far superior product, largely due to our prestige and tradition. But we weren’t marketing it right. I decided then and there that — for all the things the WPT was doing better than us — the one thing they couldn’t touch was the gold bracelet.
Who could have imagined this? Many years ago, gold bracelets weren’t thought of as they are today. Many of the players who won them, including quite a few poker legends, lost them over the years or simply gave them away. Quite a few gold bracelets ended up in pawn shops.
It seemed to me that the gold bracelet was that one item that simply couldn’t be equaled by any other poker competitor, no matter how hard they tried. As creative as our rivals were in trumpeting their own symbols of accomplishment, nothing quite matched the WSOP gold bracelet, nor would anything ever equal it so long as I was in charge of the publicity surrounding our event.
Indestructible Team WSOP — comprised of WSOP.com editor-in-chief Jessica Welman and yours truly — were massively conned into participating in a rigged trivia contest “won” by Bluff Media.
The Bluff Media team, including the famous Kevmath along with back up quarterback Paul Oresteen, barely outpointed Team WSOP. They wanted to make it look close. Team QuadJacks (Marco Valerio and Tobias Block) and Team Ivey (Jonathan Tamayo and Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler) were also part of the conspiracy. Probably shills for Bluff Media. We all know Lance Bradley secretly runs everything in poker.
The “contest” (yeah, right) included a bunch of bullshit questions thrown at the opposing teams, while Kevmath-Oresteen likely had the luxury of inside information. After all, nobody remembers Phil Gordon finished third in the Main Event one year. What kind of lunatic would remember that!
We are filing an official protest. I urge everyone to NOT watch the video above.
I’m also calling for a mass boycott of Bluff Media.
Oh, wait. One boycott at a time.
I had the opportunity to appear on QuadJacks yesterday, and was interviewed by the marvel with a microphone, Marco Valerio.
We’ve done this a number of times in the past. However, this interview focused largely on my call for a boycott of the Venetian Poker Room, between the dates of July 22-26.
The video is posted both at YouTube and QuadJacks.com.
Let me be perfectly blunt.
If you tell bad beat stories, you’re a loser.
End of discussion.
Yes, I’m talking to you. No exceptions.
When you tell me about how your powerhouse poker hand was cracked, you transform yourself instantly from someone I probably like into a total bore. You’re a loser. Now get away from me.
I’ve never told a bad beat story to anyone. Ever (see footnote). Accordingly, I have no tolerance whatsoever for such trivial nonsense. Sure, I’ll listen sometimes if the bore is a really close friend, usually faking sympathy while daydreaming about something else. I don’t like to see my friends sad. But the bottom line is — I don’t care.