Friday, July 06, 2012

2012 WSOP, Day 40: Cheering Is Allowed And Encouraged

The Event No. 57 final tableOnce again pressed for time and unable to scribble too much today. Continued with Event No. 59 last night, the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em event which I’ll be helping cover until it ends on Sunday. That means I’ll be joining the Main Event after it begins tomorrow when the first of the three scheduled Day 1s will kick off.

Last night during a break I did happen to wander over to the Pavilion to watch a little of Event No. 57 final table, the $10,000 short-handed NLHE event that had that super-rowdy British rail supporting Christopher Brammer until he was bounced in fifth place.

I saw the crowd gathered on the Pavilion stage, the biggest I’ve seen since I’ve been here. And yes they were loud, which added to the excitement of that final table, although might’ve been a bit distracting to some of the players, not to mention those playing elsewhere at the many other tables in the cavernous Pavilion.

The booze was flowing, the (sometimes hilariously profane) chants were plentiful, and the overall mood suggested the crowd was watching a wrestling match, not a few dudes playing cards.

Got home early enough last night to tune in a little to the live stream as well -- before Brammer busted -- and hear the commentary there. I also followed some of the talk on Twitter about crowds and cheering at final tables in poker, with some speaking in favor of it while others objected.

Poker is a game that interestingly mixes intellect and emotion. It certainly requires concentration, something much easier to achieve in a quiet setting. But it also produces lots of emotion, too, both for players and those watching (especially if they have a rooting interest).

I probably lean toward thinking the players making it to the end of an event deserve some space to think and perform their best. That said, I always prefer covering final tables when there are supporters present who are lending some extra added excitement to the proceedings, justly marking the occasion as significant.

“Cheering is allowed and encouraged” is a line often said by the tourney director “Red Bull” Robbie Thompson, usually when a final table crowd has become overly sedate. (He also always adds that heckling is out of bounds.)

Cheering should most certainly be encouraged, I think, although there’s probably a line in there somewhere beyond which the rail shouldn’t cross. What do you think?

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Blogger Eddie said...

They should probably create some sort of "golf" rule, where the fans have to be quiet when told to do so.

The golf fans are quiet when golfers are taking their shots, it would be fair that fans do the same when poker hands are in play.

7/06/2012 3:43 PM  
Blogger roadkiller said...

Funny just last night I finally got around to watching the WPT Borgata final table and one player's rail was so obnoxious toward another player that the victimized player walked over to the rail and threatened physical harm on the perpetrators. Had never seen such a thing before. In that case, it sounded like a fan was mockingly chanting a player's name when the action was on him, which amounts to "heckling" and should not be allowed. It appeared the rail was highly intoxicated and that they were thrown out (properly I think). That said, good-natured cheering for a particular player, no matter how loud, typically doesn't bother me.

7/06/2012 3:48 PM  

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