Random Thoughts: 2013 WSOP Edition
It's time for another edition of Random Thoughts, our poker commentary articles where each paragraph may have little or nothing to do with the ones following and preceding it.
Canadians are mashing the 2013 WSOP. They have now won nine bracelets in just 26 days of play. It was fairly inevitable that Canadians (and Brits, for that matter) would take over the game of poker. They pay no taxes on gambling winnings and therefore have an easier time nurturing a bankroll. Moreover, Canadian players have not endured an overreaching government taking away their access to the online poker games at PokerStars. Adjusted for population it might be tough to argue against Canada being the biggest poker force in the world. Clearly, 2013 is their year at the WSOP; it will be interesting to see if a Canadian will take down the Main Event.
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Poker pro Shane Schleger seeded a debate on Twitter last week about the contraction of $1,500 buy-in events of random poker formats at the WSOP. Schleger notes that the $1,500 2-7 no-limit event, which he says is the essence of the WSOP, is absent from this year's schedule. Schleger's stance, and we agree with him, is that WSOP officials should be adding $1,500 buy-in events of random poker formats such as Badugi and others, not deleting them from the schedule. Here's to the 2014 WSOP being less of a monoculture of no-limit hold'em events.
One thing the WSOP has gotten right, with the help of Guy Laliberte's "One Drop" charity, is the addition of a super high-roller event. This year's $111,111 buy-in event, which begins this Wednesday, is expected to draw over 100 entrants. Last year's $1 million buy-in event, which drew 48 players, was probably unsustainable for the long-run. It's nice to see that WSOP and One Drop were able to come together to produce another compelling event for poker fans.
The CEO of Las Vegas Sands, whose properties include Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas, Sheldon Adelson, last week had an op-ed published in Forbes condemning online gaming. Adelson called the drive for regulating online gaming a "societal train-wreck waiting to happen". Adelson added that the threat of online gaming to society is a "toxin which good people ought to resist". These are obviously the bickerings of a greedy, senile old man whose company is behind in the 8-ball on capitalizing on online gaming. In his nearly 80 years alive, Adelson has amassed billions in gaming and yet remains a child unaware of his own glaring hypocrisies. Our recommendation is to erase Las Vegas Sands properties from your list of places to visit on your next trip to Vegas or Macau so as not to contribute to Adelson's relevancy in gaming.
Finally this week, ten days ago on dinner break at the WSOP, poker pro Kevin "Phwap" Boudreau suffered a brain hemorrhage from a congential abnormality. Kevin is currently fighting for his life in a coma in the ICU at Valley Hospital in Las Vegas. Kevin has touched a lot of people in the poker world with his infectious smile. His friends note how difficult it is to be in a bad mood while he is around. Kevin's family is accepting donations to help with expenses relating to his recovery and transport back to his home in Colorado. Our thoughts are with Kevin and his family in hopes of a wonderful recovery.