Friday, May 30, 2014

Trying to Find a Final Table

Still doesn’t feel like the World Series of Poker has really gotten going as yet. I don’t say that because I’m not there -- it’s the rhythm of these early events, I think, that seems somehow out of whack.

Event No. 1, the $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em event, was supposed to be a two-day affair, but they stopped the event shy of a finish with the final two players coming back yesterday to finish their heads-up battle.

Meanwhile, Event No. 2 is a “mixed-max” event, meaning there’s no final table per se since the tourney concludes with heads-up matches. And Event No. 3, the $1,000 pot-limit Omaha event, rushed down to the final nine yesterday and then continued on, stopping with six players left to continue on today’s scheduled final day of play. (Pic above from PokerNews from the start of things in that one today.)

In other words, it’ll be Saturday before there’s an actual “final table.” In fact, I guess given how the schedule is being maintained it may be even longer until there is an event in which they specifically play down to a final nine (or six or whatever the format is) and thereby have a final day of play devoted to an “official” final table.

I know in some ways it’s probably better to stick to playing a set number of levels and ensuring against inordinately long nights, but I’m in that camp that misses being able to count on “final table days” in WSOP events.

Sure, they’re good for family members and friends wanting to rail players, but they also help create excitement among the rest of us following the action as fans. Also a little better for the poker news cycle, I’d say, as morning stories about the action to come can focus on upcoming final tables, with player profiles and such (not that that is such a huge issue).

I guess I’ve been conditioned a little by poker television, where “the final table” is often presented as the sole focus of an event with the long lead-up to that point often omitted almost entirely from the narrative.

We’ll see how it goes from here, final-table-wise. In any case, follow them updates of all the events on PokerNews, which continue along regardless of where the action starts or stops.

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