Friday, December 28, 2007

A H.O.R.S.E. With No Name

WSOP chipsWhen that schedule for the 2008 WSOP first appeared a few weeks ago, I was most intrigued by Event No. 8, the World Championship Mixed Event ($10,000 buy-in). That’s the one featuring no less than eight different varieties of poker -- limit Hold ’em, Omaha/8, Razz, Stud, Stud/8, no limit Hold ’em, pot limit Omaha, and 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball. Like most WSOP events this year, Harrah’s has scheduled this one as a three-day event.

WSOP officials have a couple of issues they need to take care of before the cards go in the air for Event No. 8 late in the afternoon of Wednesday, June 4th. One is crucially important, the other less so.

The more pressing issue concerns how Event No. 8 will be structured. I’m referring both to the ordering of the games and the scheduling of blinds, antes, and bring-ins.

As far as the order of the eight games goes, the schedule lists the five “H.O.R.S.E.” games first (in the usual order), followed by NLHE, PLO, and 2-7 Triple Draw. I imagine for simplicity’s sake that will probably be the order used for the tournament. Of course, they could muck around with this, if they wanted. There are four “flop” games (NLHE, LHE, PLO, and O/8), and four non-“flop” games (7CS, 7CS/8, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Lowball). One could imagine a sequence alternating back-and-forth between games with a flop and games without. But, really, any ordering of the games is going to be challenging -- to the players and the dealers.

As far as the blinds, antes, and bring-ins go, organizers will definitely want to avoid spoiling this important event with a lousy, uneven schedule. I imagine the plan will be to have 30-minute levels, with each level change also signalling a game change (as was the case in the H.O.R.S.E. tourneys last year). I recall most players and observers mostly being fine with how the H.O.R.S.E. events were structured. There was some griping about things speeding up a bit too quickly at certain points, but such protests weren’t nearly as frequent or as loud as we saw with some of the other limit events.

However, the addition of no limit and pot limit games to the mix adds a serious challenge to those wanting to make the transitions from level to level less bumpy. I know that in the few events from 2007 that mixed no limit and limit games -- such as Event No. 1 (World Championship Mixed Hold ’em Limit/No Limit) -- many moaned about how the blinds for the limit games rose much too quickly, actually creating situations where the limit games played much “bigger” or “faster” than the no limit games.

2007 WSOP Player of the Year Tom SchneiderI’m not even going to try to tackle this one. I would suggest Harrah’s should probably call on that “advisory committee” of players they have for help in this regard.

I think 2007 WSOP POY Tom Schneider is on that committee this year -- I know he was invited to serve, anyhow. As someone who regularly plays all eight of these games, Schneider would certainly be an excellent person to ask about scheduling the blinds, antes, and bring-ins.

The second, much less pressing issue, of course, is what to call the damn thing. Event No. 8 needs some sort of catchy title, something more memorable and unique than “World Championship Mixed Event.” It would also be nice if it had a name that served to explain the event right away -- e.g., an acronym like “H.O.R.S.E.” that helped show what the event was about without someone having to go through the tedious explanation every time.

Gonna offer my help on this one. I believe that by showcasing a variety of games and demanding such an array of poker knowledge and skill, the World Championship Mixed Event will clearly serve to demonstrate poker in all of its SPLENDOR:
Stud (High)
Pot Limit Omaha
Limit Hold ‘em
Stud Eight-or-Better (High-Low)
No Limit Hold ‘em
Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Lowball
Omaha Eight-or-Better (High-Low)
I know, I know. Sounds like an artificial sweetener. But the word does mean “something grand or magnificent” and is usually associated with ideas of fame and glory -- all desirable connotations here, yes? Pretty easy to remember, too. Look away from the list, think of the word, and see if you can’t rattle off all eight games. Not too hard, is it?

And just think how reporters will make us cringe with talk of the players being put through the “S.P.L.E.N.D.O.R. blender.” Or if a U.S.-born player wins, talk of “American S.P.L.E.N.D.O.R.” Or with headlines about “S.P.L.E.N.D.O.R. in the baize.”

So if someone could pass this here ideer along to WSOP Commish Jeffrey Pollack and/or those in charge of such things, I’d appreciate it.

Of course, they’ll probably only be able to use the name for 2008. Especially if they do consult Schneider, since he’ll probably have ’em throwing Badugi in there for ’09.



Blogger TripJax said...

Once again, top notch poker content man.

Maybe if they drop Stud High and PLO and add Badugi they can go with the acronym...


: )

12/28/2007 11:31 AM  
Blogger Rakewell said...

Excellent. I doubt that anybody will be able to better that. I tried for a bit, but came up only with ones that would be second-best to SPLENDOR. However, my offerings do have the advantage of keeping the same letter assignments as in HORSE. Starting with those, we have

H Hold'em (limit)
O (Omaha)
R (Razz)
S (Stud)
E (Stud Eight or better)

Now we have to add three games. No limit hold'em could plausibly be represented by N or H (I'm not going to mind repeating letters in the acronym if needed). Pot-limit Omaha could be P or O. Deuce to seven triple-draw lowball could be D, T, or L.

I ran all 12 of the possible resulting combinations through an anagram finder. The best ones I found were:

SHOOT HER (not politically correct)

HERO SHOT (not bad at all, given the egos involved in the game)

and my favorite


12/28/2007 1:02 PM  
Blogger OhCaptain said...

Not sure where to post the comments? Do we cross-comment as well? Just wondering...

Another great post!

I like the spledor idea, but you got to admit that BLENDOR has a nice ring to it.

But the SPLEDOR of the bracelet, that's the thing of legend.

12/28/2007 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what events are you going to play in wsop2008?

take care

12/30/2007 9:27 AM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Thx, guys. "NOT HORSE" sounds like a likely contender for what they're gonna call this one, I'd bet.

Have never played in the WSOP before, time2fly. If I did, the only one I can imagine trying would be the $1,500 PLO freeze-out (Event No. 19). Mebbe I can weasel my way there somehow . . . .

12/31/2007 10:15 AM  

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