Friday, January 13, 2012

Plots and Percentages

The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event final table, streaming on a delay at pokerstars.tvAm slipping into spectator mode today.

Have currently dialed up the streaming coverage of the final table of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event final table on pokerstars.tv. Will probably look in on the coverage there tomorrow as well when they show the finale of the High Roller, the $25,500 buy-in event that ended up drawing a huge field of 148.

Am remembering how last year the PCA kind of inaugurated the whole “almost live” programming that by year’s end became something of the norm thanks to its employment at both the World Series of Poker Main Event (online and on television) and a few World Poker Tour final tables (online).

Last year the PCA managed to grab several hours of air time on ESPN2 to show Galen Hall’s come-from-behind Main Event win over Chris Oliver. Was entertaining stuff, and I’m similarly enjoying the start of today’s final table, being shown on a 40-minute delay with commentary by James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton.

And, of course, I’ll remain in spectator mode this weekend as I will surely look in on those NFL playoff games, all four of which are pretty darned intriguing. Was especially locked in when it came to pro football this year, especially during the last few weeks as I battled to win that there pick’em pool run by the good Dr. Pauly. (Discussed that some here.)

For the entire regular season, I was picking games each week. Until December or so, I would confine my study of the week’s games to Sunday mornings. Then, as we approached the end of the year, I couldn’t help but think about the match-ups a day or two earlier, reading some online and trying to gather a little extra info to help me make my picks.

I’m kind of fascinated by the full-time sports bettors who spend countless hours crunching numbers, finding the best spots, and seeking enough of an edge to beat the vig on a consistent basis. And I’ve always been kind of a numbers-geek, instinctively intrigued by sports’ seemingly endless statistics. But I don’t think I could ever become that immersed in the numbers side of things. Besides, I like the stories -- the plots and characters -- sports can produce too much.

I’ve thought about this before, and probably written about it, too -- I believe it is that combination of stories and puzzles, of literature and logic, that has made poker such a fun, gratifying pursuit for me.

Tim TebowSpeaking of sports producing interesting plots and characters, I took a shot at talking about the whole Tim Tebow phenomenon over on Betfair poker today, specifically considering how he’s begun to attract interest of non-football folks and comparing that phenomenon to poker’s ongoing struggle to capture the attention of those outside its niche audience of hardcore fans. Here’s that article, if you’re curious.

While you do that, I’m going to go retake my seat among the niche audience of hardcore fans watching the PCA final table this afternoon.

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