Posts Tagged ‘tourney-direction’

You Make the Call

Correcting an overchipped table after the start of play

by , Jun 23, 2008 | 9:53 am

There haven’t been too many difficult floor decisions this year. There was supposedly a confusing situation during the heads-up tourney where two players took the wrong seats after the break and played out a few hands before the mistake was realized … but other than that, the most difficult theoretical situation was handled rather quickly and decisively without much alteration to tournament purity:

The event was one of last week’s big-field $1,500 NLHs … and the problem began with a single table in which every player started with an extra 1k in chips. Conclude what you will about donkament ethics and how the “prisoner’s dilemma” applies to poker … but no one said a word, and cards went in the air with every player at one table given a 33 percent starting-stack advantage.

It was supposedly about 20 minutes into play when a dealer recognized the problem. Floor supervisor Jimmy Sommerfield made the quick decision to rectify things by removing 1,000 chips from each player’s stack. Sounds simple enough, and in this situation it really was — very few chips had moved around, and not many decisions affected by falsified stack sizes. And besides, every one of them at the table was technically a dishonest bastard, so what are they gonna say?

But what if a few more hands had passed, and one of the players had only 900 chips remaining?


(Way) Outside the WSOP (Day 15 Evening Update)

by , Jun 13, 2008 | 7:55 pm

What’s happening tonight at the WSOP as I read a post that makes you want to take AP’s side for once:


Running Strange

by , May 31, 2008 | 2:56 pm

Tom busted out on his first hand of today’s $1,500 NLH event. Here’s how it went down … Donkey Bomber shows up and is looking for his seat. A floor guy directs him to his table — only he sends him in the wrong direction, and when he finally makes it to his seat, turns out he was just a table away when he asked for directions. Oops.

So he arrives having missed the first hand … no biggie, right? Takes his seat and the first two cards he sees are both queens. So he raises … Bill Edler re-raises (to about 1,500 — virtual half-stacks) and Hevad Khan calls. So Tom concludes that there’s no way Hevad has aces or kings — he woulda just shoved — and Edler was just letting Tom know who’s gonna be boss at the table … so Tom goes all-in.

Edler calls (with pocket 5s) and Khan calls (with AK). Edler would end up flopping a 5, and Hevad also paired one of his big-boys … so just like that, Tom is out. But wait, there’s more …

A floor guy had come over to the table to let players know that some of them were in the wrong seats … including Edler and Khan. Hevad woulda had the pocket 5s, and Edler woulda been in the ded big-blind’s stack … something like that. But in general, everything woulda been different.

Kinda funny/ironic … especially since dealers are being extra-cautious about checking IDs.

Bad Play of the Day

by , May 30, 2008 | 10:43 pm

A player in a hand against Kathy Liebert made a royal flush on the turn … he claims he didn’t realize it, which seems believable when he was last to act and checked on the river.

The player was issued a warning, because at the WSOP it’s against the rules to check the nuts when you’re last to act on the river.

(This rule is new to me … makes sense-ish. But am curious what happens if, say, I have the nuts, am first to act, bet, the next guy raises, and I just call. Will see if I can find out the answer to this in the next half hour month.)

Beyond the Conference Table

by , May 1, 2008 | 2:48 pm

Here’s the audio of the hour-long media conference call today.

WSOP Media Call 5/1/2008

I didn’t think about pressing my mute button for much of it, so apologies for the heavy breathing/typing/petting. Audio hindsight says I shoulda been giving running commentary. Fortunately Wicked Chops live-blogged it for a witty-but-real take as the teleconf action went down. And CC has a very thorough recap of everything discussed, point-by-point, voice-by-voice.

Craig runs with an interesting hedline, too — deciding added money to the prize pool was the real big news here. It’s an interesting thought — because while you can break down the numbers however, establishing a process for injecting additional funds into the prize pool has gotta be a good thing to start.

No Alternates for the WSOP

by , | 11:11 am

That’s the first real news I’ve heard so far on the WSOP conference call.

More room between tables than ever before, too.

UPDATE: No Pay-Per-View online … but some bracelet events might be broadcast on ESPN-360, whatever that is.

Start/Stop the B-tching!

by , | 12:43 am

I wrote this post right after the 2007 WSOP, but I hadn’t pressed publish yet. With all the talk about structural changes and travel plans for the upcoming WSOP, now seem’s a good time for us to think about our (poker players’) behavior for the upcoming WSOP:

I have a request for all poker players. Anyone that wants to complain at the WSOP 2008, please STAY HOME! I don’t care how much dead money you bring to the tables, I don’t want to hear the yakking when I’m taking a leak.

At the 2007 WSOP, bitching was the theme. Here are just a few of the complaints that I heard.

• Harrah’s is making too much money. Have you seen how much juice they are taking out?
• The food is horrible
• The dealers are making too many mistakes
• It’s cold
• It’s hot
• The lines are too long
• The structures are too fast, too slow, too medium
• The walk is too long to the tournament area
• There are too many tournaments
• The cocktail service is bad.

Is that enough or should I keep going?


Set Your Tivos
WSOP expected to announce details on delayed final table tomorrow

by , Apr 30, 2008 | 10:05 pm

There’s a media conference call tomorrow with WSOP honchos Jeffrey Pollack and Jack Effel. According to the invite:

WHAT: A preview of the 39th Annual World Series of Poker, presented by Milwaukee’s Best Light to discuss what is new for 2008.

Hmm, I wonder what new stuff the WSOP commish and man charged with making sure the tournaments maintain their poker purity might want to tell us about.

The email came with one of those red exclamation points attached to it, so they obviously think it’s important. More hints:

BACKGROUND: Continuing the trailblazing efforts that have made the WSOP the richest and most prestigious poker tournament in the world, WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack will preview the 39th Annual World Series of Poker, presented by Milwaukee’s Best Light. The 2008 event begins on May 30th at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This is the first statement I remember receiving from the WSOP that didn’t mention the end date. So no promises, but I just have a feeling we’ll have some new and official details on a delayed main event final table in about 13.5 hours. And it’s probably a good bet that elections and poker will be the big winners during TV’s November sweeps.

Trailblazing, indeed.

On-the-Fly Rule Change at WPT Championship
“Show One Show Both” Is Now “Show One, OK, Cool, Fair Enough”

by , Apr 22, 2008 | 2:40 pm

I loved being a tournament director — training dealers was particularly fun at the Lodge, and I can think of no truer example of getting to be a benevolent dictator. You have some basic big rules to follow, and then lots of little rules that you can interpret in any number of arguable ways … but the ultimate determination is left to a supreme court of one — and there are no appeals, unless, of course, you decide to change your mind.

Bellagio tourney director Jack McLelland introduced a little democracy to the WPT today — responding to some complaints on Daniel Negreanu’s blog* — by putting his show-one-show-both rule to a vote among the remaining players, who overwhelmingly supported this seemingly sensible mid-tourney change. The short-stack lobby, however, was unsuccessful in persuading the Bellagio’s Dear Tourney Leader to lower the blinds.

From the WPT Live Updates:

Rule Change!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008 12:15 PM PDT

Before the start of play, Daniel Negreanu and Jack McClelland stood up on the stage next to the featured table to make an announcement.

McClelland talked about Negreanu’s blog, stating that Negreanu’s complaints about the show one card, show both rule may be valid, and that he would like to put it to a vote.

So he asked the room if they would be opposed to a rule change. The response was overwhelming to say the least. Nearly every person in the room voted to change the rule.

McClelland responded with, “In the words of Steve Lipscomb, “Ahh…. F#%K it,”” and just like that the rule was changed.

Players are still not allowed to flash a card in the middle of the hand, however. The rule only allows you to flash a card after the hand is over.

After McClelland gave himself a 20-minute penalty [for language], he did warn the players that he has been training the dealers for three years to turn both cards over, and that they should be patient with them as they learn the new rule all over again.

*NOTE: Still looking for a direct link to the post McClelland was referring to. If anyone has it, please pass along. Thanks.

RE: Big Changes to the WSOP Main Event Final Table

by , Apr 5, 2008 | 9:02 am

Have done a little semi-investigative drinking digging, and here are a few more quasi-confirmed “facts” regarding a major potential schedule change mid-main event:

  • No decision is final yet, but on the big pro-con list, the left side of the board has it all but locked up.
  • Television ratings are the driving force behind this idea.
  • It was essential, however, that the integrity of the game be protected and blind structures unaltered, no matter what ESPN says.
  • “Plausibly live” is the buzzphrase for what they’re trying to create. (Pokerati applauds the linguistic choice, btw, and would like to suggest “presumably non-rigged” as well.)
  • The final table will be played over two days — from the final 9 to 2, and then heads-up the next day. Very Sangy.
  • Timing will be carefully coordinated so most people will be watching to see who will win, not how one wins (the Olympics broadcast model)
  • All final tableists will be paid 9th place money in July and will have their return trips to Vegas comped.

Big Changes to the WSOP Main Event Final Table
“You’re on break for 90 days,” officials to say?

by , Apr 4, 2008 | 4:27 pm

In what could well be the biggest change to the main event since playing outside on Fremont Street with a sheet of heavy plastic to hold down the flop … the WSOP reportedly has serious intention of playing the 2008 $10k NLH Championship down to a final table in July, then reconvening three months later as these nine new millionaires play down to a winner. The intent being lots of build-up to a near-live final table on ESPN.

This unconfirmed decision came with careful consideration from what I can tell — many months of discussion, multitable input, and committeeizing. Harrah’s/WSOP authorities were well aware of potential grumbling as they sorted through the logistical details. More TK on this, you can be sure. Reliable sources tell Pokerati that one hold-up was what to do if someone dies or becomes incapacitated/incarcerated in the off-tourney interim … and though this, too, isn’t confirmed, I think they decided to go with blinding off the stack instead of letting poker players designate a substitute in their wills.

Scoop props: Wicked Chops

Re: Dan at his “reflective” best

by , Mar 3, 2008 | 12:08 pm

Well shoot, got scooped by my own peeps. I was-gonna surreptitiously pimp my own pimping by talking about the actual substance of the article by Gary Wise, and his suggestions for improving the selection process in the National Heads-Up Poker Championship, which could be an even bigger deal for NBC if they want it to be:

  • Pick some of the players through pre-established criteria: WSOP champion, WSOP Champion one year removed, HORSE Champion, WSOP heads-up champion, WPT World Champion, WPT Player of the Year, Card Player Player of the Year, Bluff Magazine Player of the Year, European Poker Awards Player of the Year, EPT Grand Finale Champion, NHUPC Champion, NHUPC Champion one year removed. That should do it. Make these criteria available to the public.
  • Continue to allow sponsors to fill some slots, but do so by having them submit a list of representatives with the understanding that the producers get to choose from that list. The producers could hand select, appoint a committee of poker people from across the industry or…
  • Pick some of the players through fan vote: Want an old-schooler who reminds us of days of yore? Hey fans, come to our Web site and participate in the “rounders” vote for one of T.J. Cloutier, Billy Baxter, Jay Heimowitz or Berry Johnston. Pick two players from our “Big Game” election, two from our “online stars” election and one from our “divas of poker” election. At least this way, you’re getting representatives of each archetype the people actually want to see.
  • Get rid of some of the personalities who haven’t done anything in years. Guys like Ferguson, Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth and Doyle Brunson will give you an entertaining broadcast anyway.

It’s a Tommy Tuesday! Crap, Tom is Out
Spoiler Alert

by , Jan 22, 2008 | 5:09 pm

Well shoot … I was hoping we could spend our day watching Tom Schneider take down the $7,500 main event at the WSOP-circuit in Tunica. But while checking my facts, finding some links, and watching the Bluff-mag video coverage at … I discovered that Tom has been eliminated — 8th place … paying $39k. Congrats, Tom! Seriously, we know you’re bummed … but remember, you did almost as well as people expected of you!

Here’s the hand that knocked him out, from PokerListings:

Tom Schneider is out eighth after a stellar play by Ryan Young checking a straight twice. The action was a battle of the blinds as Young limped from the small blind and Schneider checked his option.

The flop came [cards]10s 4h 9c[/cards] and both players checked. The [cards]Jd[/cards] hit on the turn and Young checked, as did Schneider. It turned out the river was a great card for Young as the [cards]9d[/cards] fell and he checked again. Schneider made it $40k and Young came over the top, putting Tom all-in for his tournament life. He made the call felting [cards]Kd 9s[/cards] for the rivered trips, but was done in by Young’s slyly played [cards]Qs 8c[/cards] for the turned straight.

Schneider cashes $38,928.

Ouch, while typing, I just saw Tom’s elimination. That had to hurt.

You can watch the rest of the semi-live action on internet video here, as six-and-a-half players are still competing for the $428k first prize (on a 1-hour delay).

Or click below to see the semi-ironic post I was working on before Tom got eliminated:


Poker (Biz) by the Numbers: U.S. Poker Championship

by , Oct 6, 2007 | 5:49 am

For those who are curious, here’s how the USPC has changed over the years, in terms of the size of the main event field, and thereby payouts:

(Top 2 finishers in parentheses)

2002 — 72 players* (John Hennigan beats Erik Seidel)
2003 — 99 players (Toto Leonidas beats Erik Seidel)
2004 — 177 players (John Aglialoro beats Joe Cassidy)
2005 — 226 players (James “Capo” Caporuscio beats Ralph Pecorale)
2006 — 261 players (Alex Jacob beats Jordan Morgan)
2007 — 164 players (Winner TBD / Not Gavin Smith)

Not sure what all this says about the level of competition or the poker world in general, but the numbers are telling of something. This tourney did lose its TV contract this year, which certainly alters the field. But what becomes of it from here remains to be seen.

Click here to see the top-heavy payout structure.

And/or click here to dig into the history of this boldly named event. (Pre- and post-poker boom.) Do you think it’s possible that “struggling” tourneys like this one might change their payout structures to make them more appealing? Because while the 1st Place prize is plenty hefty, pros know how hard it is to actually win one of these things … and I gotta think if they knew a final table provided a bigger ROI it might be easier to put it on their schedule. Just a thought …

* Buy-in in 2002 was $7,500. Raised to $10,000 thereafter.

WSOP Leftovers: Color Blinds

by , Oct 2, 2007 | 11:36 pm

Have been enjoying the new episodes of the WSOP on ESPN. Brings back the memories … and while tourney officials this year were extra careful about coloring up chips when they got into the big money in the main event, they didn’t make it easy on themselves. When selecting colors for chip denominations, they apparently did so with an old box of Crayolas, choosing off-orange (5k), flesh (25k), and semi-pale pink (50k) to all be on the table at the same time:


Tourney Director’s Tip: For the sake of players, dealers, floor staff, and chip counters … limit the total number of chip colors in play at any one time to four (4), and make sure they come from at least three (3) different regions of the rainbow.