Wednesday, June 20, 2007

2007 WSOP, Day 20: Reading Recommendations

Reading RecommendationsAfter a few days off, I’m back on the WSOP beat tonight. We’ve returned to the heavy schedule with five different tournaments going on today. Only one bracelet will be awarded, in Event No. 30, the $2,500 Short-handed NL Hold ’em event. I’m probably most interested in following the Heads-Up tourney (Event No. 31), for which 64 players come back to play today.

Instead of babbling on myself here, I thought I would instead point you to some good reads written by others on the subject of this year’s WSOP.

First check out Change100’s account of her experience playing in Event No. 17, the World Championship Ladies Event ($1,000 No Limit Hold ’em). Besides vividly describing hands and some of the situations she faced in the tourney, Change100 makes a great read on Harrah’s somewhat primitive stance regarding women and poker. In particular, she has some things to say about Harrah’s bizarre decision to award the champion of the event a spot on a friggin’ “extreme makeover” reality TV show.

Also, if you haven’t been reading Tao of Poker, you’re only getting half the WSOP story. Dr. Pauly’s daily posts provide a terrific commentary on the goings-on at the Rio. All of the posts are good, but let me particularly recommend the one from Day 16 (June 16th), which begins with a reflection on his own role as a reporter: “Covering the WSOP is like climbing Mt. Everest. Most inexperienced climbers spend too much energy reaching the summit that they forget to realize they have to climb down. That’s when most of the accidents occur, when you are tired and making poor decisions that often end up costing you your life.” He could be talking about some of the players as well there. His Day 18 (June 18th) reflection on the phenomenon that is Hellmuth is good stuff, too. Go check it out.

I mentioned a few posts back the story of Mitch Maxey, the poker fan who got a chance of a lifetime to hang out with several of his idols at the WSOP. Here’s Amy Calistri’s thoughful take on Maxey’s story and what it might say about poker, generally speaking.

Our buddy Falstaff has joined the PokerNews team, and has an article up today recounting Katja Thater’s victory in the $1,500 Razz event (Event No. 19). Thater is the first woman to win an open event at this year's WSOP.

Though not exactly WSOP-related, I did enjoy Ante Up! co-host Chris Cosenza’s account of a dream he recently had involving Dan Harrington, Todd Brunson, and a Karaoke machine.

Finally, if you’ve been reading my last couple of posts about the fast final tables at this year’s WSOP, you might go read Spaceman’s comment on the subject. He points out that the shorter final tables haven’t necessarily meant that we’re seeing less “play” than we would want at the end of an important tournament.

Incidentally, Spaceman’s comment reminds me that when I was running through those numbers yesterday, I looked a little more deeply into the $5,000 No Limit Hold ’em events from 2006 and 2007. That one took over eight hours in 2006 (culminating in a heads-up battle between Phil Hellmuth and eventual winner Jeff Cabanillas), but was over in less than three hours in 2007 (just 48 hands). I was curious about that one, and so went through and checked out the blinds and stack sizes for the respective final tables, expecting to find a severe discrepancy in the average “M” for the players between the two years. Instead, I found out that the average “M” for players at the start of the 2006 final table something like 8.2, whereas the average “M” for players at the start of the 2007 final table was around 8.8. No kidding!

Of course, the players in 2007 did experience the shorter levels (60 minutes as opposed to 90 minutes) -- and the blinds did get jacked up there pretty quickly. But still, if you think about it, when the final table began they had at least the same amount of maneuverability as the players did last year.

And if you still want something to read, go check out PokerNews’ live reporting for all the latest.

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