From the Desk of John

You have 6 months to buy into a poker tournament, you wait til the uber last minute, get denied, and it’s someone else’s fault?? 

Late arrivals have nothing to whine about.  I personally found it ridiculous that any player would complain about the fact that they showed up late for the last day one of the Main Event and were denied access due to the event being sold out.  Any of these players had the opportunity to register for any of the other day ones, and had ample time and opportunity to do so.

So, let’s say you want to fly from my hometown here in Carlsbad to Las Vegas.  United is the only airline that flies from Cbad to Vegas, and there are four flights a day.  You need to be in Las Vegas that night for a big meeting. You procrastinate because you heard all the earlier flights only had ten people on them.  You show up at the airport with 20 minutes to spare for the last flight, and you are turned away because the flight is sold out.  Do you immediately tell the airline its their fault, and demand to see the president of the airline to discuss your options??
The gall of poker players sometimes simply amazes me.  You waited til the last minute, and you got shut out.  Just like you would on the above mentioned flight, or a sporting event, concert, movie, or any other publicly available event.  Why should poker be any different?
Now, if any Harrah’s officials led the players to believe they would be accommodated, and then they weren’t, or if certain players were accommodated while others weren’t – that is not ok either.  So, if the players complained about those situations, and said complaints had validity, then the players have a legit beef.  But to expect Commissioner Pollack or anyone else at Harrah’s apologize for the fact that you chose to wait until the last minute to register for poker’s biggest event is a joke.
I heard quotes from the hallway like ‘they should kill the cash games’, or ‘no one should be denied access to the tournament’.  How about ‘I wish I would have played on Friday, or Saturday, or Sunday, or showed up earlier Monday, or…..’.

You snoozed on your day one?  See you next year. 

Sideshow Rules

I understand the WSOP is a spectacle.  I also understand that spectacles make for good television.  But, the now annual spectacle that is the Phil Hellmuth entrance into the Amazon Room for day one of the Main Event needs to be brought under control in my opinion.  I was sitting at (probably) the closest adjacent table to the Hellmuth’s table when he made his grand entrance.  Not only did the rail behind us surge into the player’s backs due to the crowd, but the dealer at our table made not one, but back to back misdeals as he was trying to keep one eye on the spectacle.  Were both the misdeals for sure because of the spectacle?  Maybe not.  In the grand scheme, are a couple misdeals in a ten day poker tournament a big deal?  Of course not. 

But, in 2006 or 2007 (I don’t remember which), the WSOP smartly created rules so the spectacle did not take over the fact that this is the biggest and most prestigious poker tournament in the world.  Remember the chimp that was going to play in the Main Event to promote some product or website?  Remember the guy that showed up in a deep sea divers get up?  A welding mask?  So why is Hellmuth entering the room with 50 costumed followers ok?  If they want to have the spectacle, have it outside the tournament room.  Once any player (even one named Phil) enters the tournament room, let’s get down to business.