Like most of the poker world, I still have those last few hours of the World Series of Poker Main Event circling around in my noggin’. As is probably true for most, as the other stories of that finale fade a bit the one that will stick with us for the next short while -- and probably for longer than that -- was Daniel Negreanu coming oh-so-close to making it to the November Nine and thus to be front-and-center amid all of the hubbub he’d surely help build between now and then.
I’m seeing a few folks trying to go against the grain a bit with sorta-kinda provocative posts about how it didn’t matter so much “for poker” (as they say) for Negreanu to come up short. Or even that it is better somehow that he didn’t.
While I’m in agreement that poker won’t be overly negatively affected by his not being able to do the mainstream media rounds as one still in the hunt for the long-paused ME, I’m not really convinced by those who want to suggest it wouldn’t have been a net positive overall for that to have happened.
The NFL does fine regardless who makes it to the Super Bowl. So, too, does the NBA seem to make out all right regardless which teams get to the later rounds of its playoffs, although the MLB and NHL are perhaps affected somewhat when smaller-market teams compete for their respective championships. And I suppose golf and tennis tends to “need” (speaking in relative terms) recognizable names on the leaderboard to sustain interest and keep television ratings high.
Poker is different, though, functioning like a sport (especially when it comes to the WSOP Main Event) but also existing in many other ways that have different meanings for different people -- as a pastime, a hobby, a semi-serious recreation, a potential career, an actual career, or even just as something fun to watch like a drama series or (more similarly) a reality show.
I’ll be watching in November for sure, as usual, although I think a lot who might have if Negreanu was there probably won’t.
Anyhow, turning all that off now as I ready for Peru. It’ll be my fourth time there, I believe, and my mouth is already watering at the thought of the great eats that await. More to come.