Friday, June 01, 2007

2007 WSOP, Day 1: Peek-a-Boo

The disputed 'Poker Peek' Cards[When I have the time (and energy), I thought I might here & there post some brief reactions to some of the goings-on during the WSOP -- in addition to the usual fodder. Will see how it goes. Here’s the first.]

Yesterday I listened to Phil Gordon on his podcast, The Poker Edge, address some of the changes in place for the WSOP that starts today. Among the topics he covered, he mentioned with some enthusiasm the new playing cards being used for this year’s series.

Back in March, Harrah’s announced its deal with the U.S. Playing Card Company to use its innovative “Poker Peek” playing cards for this years WSOP. The cards feature a unique design (printed on the much-lauded KEM brand card stock), with the suit and rank appearing at an angle in the corners. According to Gordon, the new cards were chosen “along with the encouragement and feedback from the WSOP Player Advisory [Council]” (on which Gordon serves).

Gordon explained how the cards were designed “so all you have to do to find out what you have is to peel up the very, very corner of the card and you’ll be able to read it without actually . . . looking at the whole card. I think it’s going to be really tremendous . . . . The fact that we are going to be playing with these cards I think should eliminate a lot of the problems that we have seen in the past.”

Well, they were apparently only a few hands into Event No. 1 -- the $5,000 buy-in, World Championship Mixed Hold ’em event -- and the players were already saying “boo” to Poker Peek.

According to the live updates over on PokerNews, several well-known pros complained about the cards being difficult to read, and a couple of players actually requested refunds of their entry fees. Then came a hand involving Michael Binger (third-place finisher in last year’s Main Event) where he won thanks to his opponent misreading a 6 for a 9 -- a particular problem, apparently, with the Poker Peek cards.

It sounds as though Harrah’s intends to respond to players’ complaints swiftly. Tournament Director Jack Effel announced their intention to do so while the players were still in Level 2. Wonder what they’ll do with those 30,000 decks of Poker Peek cards they apparently had ready to go?

Really, Bodog missed the boat here. Should have had an over-under for “number of minutes before first player revolt.”

Go check out PokerNews’ live reporting from the WSOP for the latest.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Gadzooks64 said...

Wow, interesting cards.

Wonder if I'll be able to get a good deal on some slightly and/or never used decks of cards...

6/01/2007 10:10 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

I could use a couple thousand free decks. I'm thinking about becoming a magician...Well, okay, not really, but I'm thinking about studying some card tricks, in preparation for a character I have in my novel.

The decks sounded like a good idea. But judging for the design you have posted, it looks quite awkward to peel over, especially if people are used to the old cards. It's kind of like what happened when the NBA went with that PETA approved basketball that cut everyone's hands.

Good move on Harrah's part that they made swift decision. And the right one, I believe. They should have tested the cards first.

6/02/2007 3:04 AM  
Blogger Cadmunkey said...

Is it just me or am I the only one who cant see how the guy mistook the 6 for a 9? Doesn't the suit symbol point in the same direction of the number on all 4 corners?
When I first saw them I thought they looked kinda cool :-)

6/02/2007 7:13 AM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

'Zooks: ya, instant collectors' items, I guess.

Richard: that NBA analogy is spot on, good way to put it -- nh, sir.

Cadmunkey: run over to this thread on Card Clubs -- http://www.cardclubs.net/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=2300 -- & see the pictures of the cards. The 6 & 9 sitting next to each other is like some kind of optical illusion game.

(Might have to cut-and-paste that link -- I can't seem to get the links live here in the comments.)

6/02/2007 10:22 AM  
Blogger Cadmunkey said...

ok yer, I concede that when its a diamond it could be confusing but any other suit maybe not...
Sounds like they are replacing the cards anyway.

6/02/2007 1:59 PM  
Blogger microlimitdonkey said...

They are interesting cards, there have been some complaints. Gavin Smith said an older person with dodgy eyes may have difficulty reading them.

6/06/2007 8:20 AM  

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