Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Yang Had Childs Covered (Despite What ESPN Says)

ESPN made a mistake last nightWatched ESPN’s edited version of the final table last night (am still working my way through the unedited, pay-per-view broadcast).

All in all found the show pretty damn anticlimactic. The fireworks early on were interesting enough, though I much preferred watching them without knowing the hole cards and in their proper context. Those dueling prayers on Lee Watkinson’s bustout hand (from Yang’s wife and Watkinson’s girlfriend) did provide for an awkward moment. The second, final hour was pretty miserable poker TV, really, with the edits making everything from four-handed on down seem like a turbo SNG.

Worst of all, ESPN made what I’d consider a fairly significant mistake in the way they presented one of the most important hands of the final table, Hand No. 9.

I wrote a lengthy post about this hand a few weeks ago, so I won’t go through all of the particulars again. That was the one where Lee Childs laid down his pocket queens to Jerry Yang’s all-in flop bet. We saw once and for all last night that Yang indeed had jacks -- and heard Norman Chad add his usual after-the-fact censure of a losing player’s decision-making.

Whether you agree with Childs’ decision to lay the hand down or not, there was one meaningful detail about the hand that ESPN simply got wrong. In my post about the hand, I mentioned how Yang had won the previous hand, thus taking his stack up to 13.8 million or so. It may have been closer to 14 million, actually. Whatever it was, for the first time since play began, Yang had Childs covered, as Childs only had 13.3 million in chips. Click here to see PokerNews’ reporting of the hand in question in which B.J. Nemeth specifically notes how Yang had Childs covered.

During the broadcast last night, we are not told exactly how many chips either player has when the hand begins. Then Yang pushes on the flop, we see one of those “To Call: 7.78 mil” graphics, suggesting that Childs would have something behind were he to call. Then Lon McEachern says, quite clearly, “this would be for almost all of Lee Childs’s chips.”

But he is wrong. Childs would not have had any chips left if he called. In other words, calling meant -- definitively -- that Childs would be putting his tourney life on the line.

Maybe this is a bit nitty of me to think significant. But facts are facts, and ESPN definitely misrepresented ’em here. And while the decision by Childs to lay down his queens might well have been a bad one, ESPN made it look even worse in the way they presented the hand last night.



Anonymous Betfair Poker Player said...

This mistake should not have been made at such an important tournament. However, I expect it will breeze past the producers.

I feel that the more you know about a subject the more you will find weaknesses in any type of TV programme. The shows are made for the masses not the keen eyed viewer.

It's a shame but that how it is.

10/12/2007 4:30 AM  

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