Thursday, December 11, 2008


Rebuy!Saw that article a couple of days ago over on Card Player reporting that the World Series of Poker is considering discontinuing rebuy events next year. Bad news!

According to Harrah’s Sports and Entertainment Director of Communications Seth Palansky, the vibe from some players is to get rid of the rebuy events. “There is the growing concern that a pro can buy a bracelet in a rebuy event,” says Palansky.

A quick glance at last year’s schedule shows there were five rebuy events (out of the 55): two no-limit hold’em events (both $1,000 buy-ins), two pot-limit Omaha events (one $1,500, one $5,000), and one no-limit 2-7 lowball ($2,500).

Surprisingly, Daniel Negreanu -- who once famously rebought something like 48 times in a WSOP event back in 2006 -- is quoted in the article saying he is in favor of eliminating the rebuy events. “I am 100 percent against rebuy tournaments at the WSOP,” says Negreanu, adding “They are fine for other venues, but not for a bracelet.” The Card Player article also points back to a 2002 opinion piece by Mike Sexton in which he advocates getting rid of rebuy events at the World Series, saying that “not all players have an equal chance to win” in such tourneys.

I covered at least a couple of the rebuy tourneys at the WSOP this summer while helping with the live blogging over at PokerNews. I know I reported on both of the pot-limit Omaha events. Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond won one of them (the $5,000 one, Event No. 28), and Layne Flack won the other (the $1,500, Event No. 34).

I remember both were a lot of fun to follow, especially during the rebuy period when folks were gambling it up big time. I don’t know whether Galfond rebought in his tourney. (A good interview with Galfond, by the way, on the 12/3/08 episode of Cash Plays -- the last one Bart Hanson is doing for PokerRoad, I believe.) I do remember Flack rebought numerous times in his. We reported he’d rebought 20 times, meaning he had to make the top 15 of that one just to break even.

Day 1 of the $5,000 event stands out in my memory, particularly that Table 15 which at one point had Phil Hellmuth, Robert Williamson III, Erick Lindgren, Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Daniel Alaei, and Alex Kravchenko. Oh, and before the rebuy period had ended, Phil Ivey was moved to that table, too. For the post reporting Ivey had been moved over to Table 15 -- with his 100,000 chips (about three times the average at that point) -- I titled it “The End of the World As We Know It.”

Like I say, I’m a little surprised to hear Negreanu speaking out against the rebuy events. He was, as you might imagine, pretty liberal with the rebuys there in Event No. 28. Here was a fun post of mine documenting Negreanu’s approach during the rebuy period:
We Need More Chips on Table 15!

Robert Williamson III was sitting around 10,000, and was more than glad to get all those chips in preflop with AhAsJs6s. Daniel Negreanu was also happy to gamble with RW3. He had four cards, too: 3cKd6d8h.

When the board brought two kings and no aces, Negreanu was up to 49,000 and Williamson was rebuying.
In the Card Player piece, Palansky is quoted saying “There’s as good a chance that there won’t be rebuys as there is that there will be.” I, for one, would be sorry to see the rebuy events eliminated, as they tend to attract big name pros (with deep pockets) and thus create a lot of interest for us fans (and reporters).

And I have to agree with Flack who in the article dismisses the idea that one can “buy a bracelet” as “bullsh--.” Rebuy tourneys aren’t any different from any of those other $10,000 and higher buy-in events which only a small percentage of the players can afford. Why have those events and not the rebuy ones?

I say keep a few rebuy events in there. Players still have to win the sucker, after all. And they definitely add some needed spice amid the seemingly infinite number of $1,500 NLHE donkaments that pepper the schedule.

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Blogger Dr. Pauly said...

The real reason is that floor staff was caught stealing rebuy money. Harrahs is trying to scrape that mess under the rug and came up with that lame and bogus excuse about eliminating rebuy events so pros can't buy a bracelet.

12/11/2008 12:41 PM  
Blogger AllanDuke said...

I hate rebuys. Its a combination from not knowing the proper strategy for a rebuy game, and not having the bankroll to compete with those who, like Negreanu, who can rebuy an infinite amount of times.

I dont care if the WSOP stops rebuy games. I doubt I'll ever play in a high stakes rebuy game.

12/11/2008 3:30 PM  
Blogger Greylocks said...

For players who like rebuy events, there's this thing called a cash game where you can rebuy all you want.

12/11/2008 9:08 PM  
Blogger Kevin Mathers said...


Do you mean above and beyond the 2.7% per rebuy/addon that was taken out for the tournament staff? I think it's hilarious how Daniel's the one leading the charge, thinking about the "little guy" with this decision. Like Lee Watkinson said in his CP blog: "News flash for Danny...It dosent have to cost $25k to play a $1k rebuy event."

12/11/2008 9:43 PM  

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