Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hellmuth Wants To Draw a Line in the Sand

Been continuing to follow the coverage of the 2013 World Series of Poker Europe on various sites, in particular of the Main Event which today played down to 24 players. A little drama at the end of today as Daniel Negreanu was finally ousted in 25th place for a cash worth €21,750. His knockout today means Matthew Ashton stays in front in the 2013 WSOP Player of the Year race as Negreanu needed to finish seventh or better in the ME to pass him.

Negreanu immediately hopped into Event No. 8, the High Roller event for which the buy-in of €25,600 was just a bit higher than his take-away from the ME. He could still pass Ashton in the POY race with a high finish in that one, I believe, as long as Ashton doesn’t do better. And while Ashton has the edge there are some other scenarios still in play, too, as Tim Fiorvanti broke down over on BLUFF today.

Negreanu, of course, got a head start in the 2013 WSOP POY race by winning the WSOP Asia Pacific Main Event back in April where he also final tabled another preliminary event. All of the open-bracelet events in the WSOP APAC, the WSOP in Las Vegas, and WSOP Europe count toward the WSOP Player of the Year race.

Speaking of whether or not certain events “count” when it comes to the WSOP, Phil Hellmuth offered some thoughts a few days ago to Thomas Keeling (a.k.a. “SrslySirius”) about whether or not bracelets won at WSOP APAC should “count” or not. Hellmuth, of course, has an obvious interest in that particular tally given that he leads all with 13 total bracelets, including one in the 2012 WSOP Europe Main Event.

In a video made at WSOP Europe, Keeling put the question to Hellmuth directly about the relative value of the WSOP APAC or WSOP Europe bracelets, and the Poker Brat responds initially by saying “There’s two bracelets that no one can argue with, you know... Daniel’s -- he won the Main Event in Australia -- and mine -- I won the Main Event [in Europe in 2012]. So those should count for sure as bracelets.”

Hellmuth is implying, of course, that it might be debatable whether to count bracelets won in preliminary events in Europe or Australia, so Keeling asks him if he thinks Phil Ivey’s ninth bracelet -- won in Event No. 2 at the 2013 WSOP APAC, a $2,200 buy-in (AUD) mixed event in which 81 players took part and Ivey won only a little over $50K -- doesn’t “count.”

In his response Hellmuth kind of talks himself into saying Ivey’s bracelet counts, although it’s pretty obvious he wants to say otherwise. “I mean it was in a field of 80 players, mixed game, small limit,” he begins, then realizing it "probably sounds like sour grapes because he chasing me for the bracelets," admits with some reluctance that Ivey’s bracelet does count.

But Hellmuth has some other thoughts, too.

“I don’t know if the ones in Australia next year should count or not,” he continues. From there he brings up the idea of a “players council” that would decide whether or not the WSOP APAC bracelets counted or not before 2014 rolls around.

“We have to draw a line in the sand somewhere... where bracelets count and don’t count,” insists Hellmuth, his finger extended as though he’s ready to be the one to do the drawing.

I like Keeling’s BLUFF videos, both these “straight” ones and the funny, “Srsly”-styled ones. In fact, I can’t help but view these more straighforward-seeming interview clips through the not-always-serious SrslySirius “lens” now and then, such as in this one when Keeling enthusiastically says “that’s a good idea” to Hellmuth as he gets him to elaborate about his idea for some sort of WSOP Bracelet-Line-Drawing Players Council.

Because, well, it’s a terrible idea, and for obvious reasons. Negreanu says as much in another Keeling video from today. And as for “drawing a line in the sand” about which tournaments award WSOP bracelets and which don’t, well, the WSOP already does that.

Sure, there might be some issues with how many bracelets are being awarded as well as when and where the WSOP is staging its events in which bracelets are the prize. But having the guy with the most be involved with deciding which ones “count” or not would be like letting the chip leader change the rules of the game.

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