Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Reunion with Blackjack

Was looking over this PokerStars Caribbean Adventure schedule coming up in January. I’ll be back at the Atlantis again this time after having gotten there a year ago, and am looking forward not just to getting back together with lots of colleagues and friends -- the PCA really is like a yearly reunion in that respect -- but also to checking out some of the more intriguing side events on the schedule as always happens at the PCA and on the EPT.

There are over 100 numbered events crammed into less than two weeks (a total that includes about a dozen satellites). One non-numbered event has caught my eye, a $500 buy-in single-day blackjack event with a $100,000 guarantee.

I have a blackjack playing friend who I’ve been telling about this one. He’s a skillful player, I know, and I’ve been saying to him I imagine he’d do well in this event given the fact that it’ll probably attract a number of poker players who may not be as well versed as he is on standard blackjack strategy.

Of course, the cost would be a lot more than five hundy for him were he to take a shot. Whether he plays it or not, I’m going to be curious to see who does take part and what kind of turnout they get.

The whole idea of inserting a blackjack event in the middle of a poker festival makes me think of where poker was some 15-20 years ago -- that is to say, before the “boom” and the effort exerted by many online sites to try to distinguish poker from other casino games. The result was a whole generation of new poker players for whom the thought of mixing their beloved poker with, say, blackjack was made to seem a kind of anathema.

Before that mass education occurred, poker and blackjack overlapped a lot more readily in the minds of many. It still does, actually, in particular among those who only casually play one or the other or who don’t play at all. I remember writing something here a few years ago about that common “mistake” people make asking poker players about “counting cards,” a kind of evidence, I suppose, that for a number of people the games aren’t that distinct from one another.

As I say, it’s an unnumbered event and thus I suppose not officially considered part of the PCA schedule. Still, should be interesting to see players doing something different with their two-card starting hands in this reunion of sorts between blackjack and poker.

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