Friday, October 26, 2012

Betting on the October Nine

Been poking through the Media Guide for the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event final table.

Still having trouble referring to the “Octo-Nine,” which sounds a little too much like an ointment or some kind of amino acid. Actually in the guide the final group is referred to as the “October Nine,” which is better, although kind of makes it sound like they are collectively on trial.

Which I guess they are.

Play resumes in Vegas on Monday afternoon. Like last year, we’ll be able to see it all on a 15-minute delay on ESPN2, with hole cards of involved players being shown after the hand is complete. (It will also be streamed online at and for those lucky ones with access to ESPN3.) They’ll play down from nine players to three on Monday, then return on Tuesday to finish it up.

Don’t really have a rooting interest, not that I usually do. I’ll definitely be watching, though, as there’s a kind of inherent drama associated with any WSOP ME final table that I can’t help but enjoy. And I like the “almost live” format, too, which ultimately does a pretty good job of helping complete the transformation of tournament poker into a sporting event. Almost.

The Media Guide includes all of the usual information about the players, the schedule, the history of the WSOP, and more. There’s also a page listing “Player To Win the Final Table” odds being offered at the Rio Race and Sportsbook. As was the case for all of the preliminary events this summer, one can bet on final table players and thus kind of play along. Here are the odds being offered:

Terrible, eh? I remember occasionally peeking at the odds for players at some of the final tables I covered during the summer, and every time I did I had the same reaction. They were consistently awful, and not once was I tempted to bet even in cases where after having covered an event for a couple of days I might have believed I had a little extra knowledge of players and their chances of winning.

For example, take the chip leader, Jesse Sylvia, for whom one wins a paltry 3/2 return. Glancing at some of the online sites’ odds, none have less than 3/1 (i.e., twice the return) for a Sylvia win. Not that 3/1 is so great, either.

Sylvia has the lead, sure, but are his chances of winning the tournament better than 1 in 3? With a chip stack of 43,875,000, he has a little over 22% of the chips in play. What would you say would be a reasonable estimate of Sylvia’s chances of winning?

See the stacks for everyone listed above. They’ll start back in the middle of Level 34 (blinds 150,000/300,000, ante 40,000). Setting aside the lousy odds for doing so, who among these nine would you bet on to win?

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Blogger dD said...

in my mind, bookies odds have always been sub-par hence my disdain for using such establishments. Anyone know a poor bookie ??
Who will win ? sorry, dont recognise any of 'em (lol) but reckon one of them with a double digit stack is in with a shout.

10/27/2012 10:50 AM  

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