Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Most Popular Table In Online Poker

Be part of the crowdThere is something strange going on over at Full Tilt Poker.

The strangeness is happening over on one of the sites’ high-stakes no-limit hold’em tables.

It looks like just another table, on the surface. The table in question is a $25/$50 heads up table -- called “pokernubz” -- and sits there among several other high-stakes NLHE tables, waiting for players to take their seats and start playing each other for the big money.

But here, check this out:

That’s right. 241 players are waiting to take a seat at Table pokernubz. WTF?

This is actually one of those “private” tables one sometimes finds over on Full Tilt Poker. There’s one such table down at the low limits where I usually hang out, a $25 max. pot-limit Omaha table called “SmBoatDrinks” where there is always a seat reserved for the player after whom the table is named. I wrote Full Tilt support once to ask about the table, and they explained to me that SmBoatDrinks had “purchased” his own table through the Iron Man Challenge promotion.

I looked into it. Looks as though one needs to accumulate 750 medals to be able to go into the “Iron Man Challenge Store” and get the private table created. The Iron Man Challenge is not unlike other programs (like Stars’ VIP program) that are designed to reward high volume play. Looks like the minimum amount of time it would take to accumulate the needed medals is six months. Don’t ask me how many hands one would have to play to get there -- I’ve never played enough to bother too much with the Iron Man stuff.

In any event, the player “pokernubz” was able to create for himself such a table some time during the spring. However, pokernubz apparently chose to make a table at a much higher limit that the one he currently plays. He can be found on the site from time to time, but sticks to $1/$2 NLHE. It appears he created the table with an idea that one day down the road he might be ready to play at the higher limit.

The long waiting list began to develop shortly after the table was created. This thread over on Two Plus Two that began in May provides some background on how the list became so large. The thread started with someone asking why the waiting list was so long (it had climbed over 50 names at that time). Then it appears 2+2ers soon decided en masse to join in the fun, artificially ballooning the number of players waiting to over two hundred. (Indeed, the picture appearing above of the marathon runners comes from the thread, a visual comment from one of the posters.)

pokernubz' tableFull Tilt Pro Eric Liu was sitting at the table earlier today, but he has just left. (He was there when I took the screen shot of the lobby page, which is why the name of the table appears in red.) Huck Seed was on the list at some point early on, but he either made to the table and left or removed his name. Craig Marquis is there now in 164th, hoping perhaps to get a crack at pokernubz before he plays the WSOP Main Event final table in November. Another player who has made a WSOP ME final table, Lee Watkinson, is also on the list right now in 176th.

There’s another thread over on the Hendon Mob forum as well discussing the list, with the original poster also asking why the waiting list was so long. Within a few responses, one poster said when he checked in on the list he put his name on it as well. “Not really sure why,” he added. He “just wanted to be part of the crowd.” Someone follows up saying “there’s your answer” to the original question. Indeed, the phenomenon resembles one of those virus-like “memes” in which the content becomes less and less significant and the act of being “part of the crowd” takes over.

Meanwhile, the world waits to see if pokernubz ever sits down at his own table. Perhaps one day his bankroll and skill level will have increased to the point where he is ready to play.

And when that day comes, he knows he’ll have a game.

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Anonymous gtycoon said...

Very strange we poker players are, aren't we?

8/07/2008 9:45 PM  
Blogger SmBoatDrinks said...


At least I play @ my table. Of course that was part of the deal after winning the MBJ WDOP TOC. More details here:

I wish I had that many Iron Man Medals, but I probly wouln't spend them on my table. I like it, but probly not that much!

8/08/2008 2:48 PM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Haha, very cool SmBoatDrinks. Have played at yr table several times -- maybe I'll see you there -- or at Saturdays with Pauly.

(By the way, y'all -- watch out for SmBoatDrinks. I know he's won the Saturdays w/Pauly at least once.)

8/08/2008 3:02 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

I'm not sure exactly of the calculation, but it's somewhere in the neighborhood of if you play 25 days per month of 200+ raked ($20)hands, you'd have enough Ironman medals for your own personalized table after about 10 months. Possibly less time if you play really heavily because you can get bonus medals in a day if you clear 500 or 1000 raked hands. So it's not as out of reach for the heavy hobby player as, say, Supernova Elite or getting a Porsche on Stars.

8/11/2008 9:49 AM  
Blogger Erwin Blonk said...

There's already a table with my name, Erwin, $100/$200 pot limit Omaha, so much for the Iron Man challenge.
It'll be a long time before I can sit at it.
(*whispers* it's my destiny)

8/12/2008 6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can get your own table in less than 6 months, it really all depends on how much you play.

I've already redeemed 4 or 5 tokens through the ironman and could have had my own table if I choose too. Its just not really worth it, I'd rather sit where the action is, not pray that people sit with me and play terribly.

1/03/2009 12:08 AM  

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