Random Thoughts: Professionalism Edition
It's time for another edition of Random Thoughts featuring brief commentary about a variety of subjects in the poker world. Let's begin...
After spending the better part of the past year among the American "poker refugees" in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, one observation that has stuck with me is how sloppy the culture is among "professional" online poker players. This is understandable, especially in a tropical beach city like Playa del Carmen, since most online poker pros are guys in their 20s who got into the game in part because of the casual lifestyle. But this culture comes with a price. It's hard not to think about how much more money could be won if players approached the game with more of a professional work habit. This would mean: less going out, fewer sessions played while hungover, more collaborative strategy discussion and more profit-sharing to create a team, work-like atmosphere.
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Another way in which poker could stand to grow more professional is by the dress code of players in high-stakes, televised tournaments. Imagine a table full of poker pros all dressed like businessmen. That might actually make more businessmen want to play! Additionally, this aura of professionalism might enable advertisers and TV producers (not to mention legislators!) to take the game more seriously. For more thoughts along these lines, check out this blog post by Party Poker spokesman and poker hall-of-famer Mike Sexton.
Changing the subject, friend of PokerTips Jon Aguiar finds himself in a unique situation at the time this article was written: his heads-up match with Brandon Cantu to determine the winner of the WSOP-Europe $10,000 'Mix-Max' event is on pause. Due to an apparently terrific tournament structure, the two were unable to complete their heads-up match prior to the start of the WSOP-E Main Event. As such, play has been paused in their battle for a bracelet for potentially up to five days, or however long it takes each man to bust out of the Main Event. When play does resume, good luck to Mr. Aguiar!
PokerStars announced last week its plan to relaunch Full Tilt Poker in the first week of November. At this time, the site's non-US customers who are owed a combined $184 million will be repaid. Kudos to the professional organization that is PokerStars for bailing out the doofuses behind Full Tilt Poker.
Speaking of doofuses, Senator Harry Reid is running into some opposition from his junior Senator from Nevada Dean Heller over the promotion of a bill to legalize online poker at the federal level. Nevada's large casino corporations are counting on Reid to pass legislation enabling them to enter the online poker market. Reid, a Democrat, tasked Heller with rallying support from his fellow Republicans for the bill. Rather than comply, Heller has instead snubbed Reid saying the bill should first clear the House of Representatives before political capital is spent rallying support from Senators. However, Heller has not completely thrown Reid under the bus. He recently said that he still expects both sides to come together to get the bill passed.
From micro-stakes to millionaire: last Sunday, a Russian player by the name of 'maratik' won the WCOOP Main Event at PokerStars for more than $1 million. 'maratik' earned his seat in the tournament through a frequent player point freeroll. He accumulated the requisite FPPs to play that freeroll from grinding more than 27,000 sit-'n'-goes with an average buy-in of $1.50.
It appears the big winner of the newly-regulated Spanish online poker market is - surprise! - PokerStars. According to PokerScout.com, the 7-day average real-money player pool for games at PokerStars.es is 1,400. In a distant second is 888Poker.es with an average of 400 players. PartyPoker and iPoker are both considerably smaller than that.