Tuesday, June 09, 2009

2009 WSOP, Day 13: The Dollar Ain’t What It Used to Be

The Dollar Ain’t What It Used to BeWas a good day off yesterday. Did not go to the Rio. Mostly just hung out at the home-away-from-home, doing some reading and writing. In the evening I went for dinner with the Poker Grump and Cardgrrl at the Grand Lux Café at the Venetian where we had a delicious meal and enjoyable conversation. Many topics arose, including the Grump’s upcoming shot at a WSOP event this Thursday.

Quick little anecdote about my trip over to the Venetian...

If yr gonna come to Vegas, you need to be ready to do a lot of tipping. And if yr short-stacked like me, you want one-dollar bills for that purpose, as five is too much for you to drop each time.

As I was leaving for dinner, I realized I didn’t have any singles and so went over to ask the fellow manning the hotel desk if he could change a five spot for me. As he was counting out the bills, I was uncrumpling my fiver to hand to him. Grabbed both ends, gave a little tug, and damned if the sucker didn’t tear right in half!

He handed me the bills and I sheepishly held out the two pieces to him. No problem. He had some scotch tape right there at the desk and quickly made the needed repair. As he did, I started to slip the ones in my wallet when I noticed one of them was damaged -- it was only about two-thirds what it should have been.

I laughingly handed the bill back to him for another. “Wow, the dollar sure isn’t as strong as it used to be,” I said as he fished out a fresh one for me. He wordlessly nodded. Not quite sure my little quip landed.

I drove over to the Venetian and as I was walking from the parking deck inside I noticed on the ground three one-dollar bills in the middle of the walkway. I looked around. No one in sight. So I scooped ’em up. I wondered how many people had passed by without even bothering to bend over and pick up the ones.

“An orphaned pot,” the Grump would say later when I related the story.

Cardgrrl asked me during dinner for my thoughts regarding turnouts thus far at the WSOP, and I realized I didn’t have much of a feel for how things were going in that area. I knew some tourneys, like that $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em “Stimulus Special,” had attracted the maximum (or more), but didn’t really know whether any larger trends had emerged as yet.

Comparing WSOP entrants, 2008 and 2009Exactly one-third of the 57 bracelet events have gotten underway by now, so I thought it would be semi-interesting to compare field sizes from 2008 and 2009 thus far.

Of the 19 events that have started, four are technically “new” events insofar as there was not an equivalent game/buy-in last year. Of the remaining 15 events, nine attracted fewer entrants, and six attracted more.

Some of what you see here is a bit skewed. For example, I’m comparing Event No. 7 to the first $1,500 NLHE event last year, which was at the start of the schedule last year. Obviously many of those who would’ve played in that one opted instead for the “Stimulus Special” this year. That column listing “projections” comes from the WSOP Staff Resource Guide -- they nailed some of the projections with uncanny accuracy, while others were off more than a little.

Not really enough here yet from which to draw conclusions, so I’ll keep tallying this as we go. I think overall, though, it is starting to shape up as many expected -- namely, not a lot of growth or decline, but a year in which the WSOP essentially holds steady.

Which I think, given all of the current economic woes, would be a definite triumph. As we poker players know, sometimes walking away even is a victory in and of itself.

I go back to the Rio today to help cover the second day of Event No. 19, the $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed event. Follow along over on PokerNews’ live reporting page.

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Blogger Kevin Mathers said...

Worth noting is the first $1,500 NL event last year had two day 1's. But it's a bit surprising to see the fields fall off last weekend with a slight recovery in Monday's event.

6/09/2009 4:15 PM  

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