Oh, Say, Should You Stand?

National anthem buzz at the WSOP

by , May 29, 2009 | 5:41 pm

Some poker players love to stand for national anthems. Others not so much, depending on how much they’ve got in the pot.

Today marked the first official coronation of a bracelet winner at this year’s WSOP, and the ceremony drew mixed reviews, especially from the heavyweights in the $40,000 No Limit tournament. I got a taste of some of the commentary as I watched the reactions from the players at Andy Black’s table as Jeffery Pollack came on the PA to crown the latest bracelet-winning dealer.

At first, they seemed to tolerate the rather loud intrusion, but once they announced that they will play the national anthem of the winner’s country each day for the rest of the WSOP, the words began to fly faster than the chips. As soon as the Star Spangled Banner started playing, several players at Black’s table began voicing their displeasure with having to hear the various anthems on  a daily basis.

The often outspoken Black became visibly frustrated by the WSOP’s decision to include the patriotic tunes. “This is not happening every bracelet. I would rather piss on the flag and burn it,” said the Irish pro with a laugh.

This prompted an interesting question from tablemate Greg Raymer who commented, “I want someone from some foreign island to win. What happens if a guy wins from Kazakhstan? Are they going to play the Borat theme?”

One interesting thing to note is that the announcers on the PA thanked the players in today’s Event #4 for being patriotic after they stood for the national anthem. Ironically, none of the $40K players at Black’s table batted an eyelash as they all kept playing as though nothing was happening. If there is anything to be learned here, it is that when there is over $1.8 million on the line for first place, don’t expect the game’s elite to sit out a hand in order to show their national pride.


5 Comments to “Oh, Say, Should You Stand? ”


  1. Poker Shrink
    says:

    In the land of the freed and home of the rave, everyone gets to draw their lines wherever they please, unfortunately corporations really like to draw them where none are necessary and they always seem to use odd colored markers with that nasty smell.


  2. Kevin Mathers
    says:

    I like the ceremony idea, although the anthem thing is hokey. However, that’s not as bad as the Senior’s event last year where Oklahoma Johnny’s reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before the tournament starts.


  3. Scott Chaffin
    says:

    If there is anything to be learned here, it is that when there is over $1.8 million on the line for first place, don’t expect the game’s elite to sit out a hand in order to show their national pride.

    Yeah, you could play for 1,800,000 dollars anywhere in the world. Such a shame it’s in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Couldn’t they move all this to Chile or Myanmar and ditch those shitty Americans cluttering up the place? Who are these assholes anyway? Do they think they invented the World Series or something?

    Douchebags.


  4. DanM
    says:

    I look forward to seeing the different responses from different anthems. If I’m a Russian at the WSOP, and one of my comrades is receiving a bracelet, I pause for just a moment regardless of the action and do whatever Russians do when their anthem gets played.


  5. Poker Shrink
    says:

    Be careful what you wish for Dan, we made need to protect Fabrice Soulier because when they play the German national anthem someone is likely to invade France.