Sunday, May 31, 2009

Poker in Vegas!

I am feeling left out in the cold, literally, because I am not in Las Vegas cashing in on the 2009 World Series of Poker action and it's freezing here. My plan was to go to Vegas for the months of June and July. I know it looks like there is only one tournament when watching the WSOP on TV, but in reality there are over 50 tournaments ranging from $500 to $10,000 to enter every day for two months. This year's WSOP started on Friday. I am not a tournament poker player. I like to play the cash games during the tournaments. Last year I won the most playing people (mostly men) who flew in from all over the country and in some cases the world to play in the WSOP.

Many WSOP players are not really up to calliber. Most of the people entered in the Main Event for $10,000 don't really use their own money. Quite a few people win seats from online sites, like Fulltilt and Poker Stars and come early and play live with their own money or the stipend they won. The professionals have sponsors that not only put them in the Main Event--if not all of the events--they pay them. The year round Vegas grinders usually get someone to stake them in--at least--the Main Event or several smaller tourneys. The people that use their own money to play in the WSOP act like they have money to burn and a couple more grand at the Venetian seems like pennies to them, compared to the $100,000 already spent on tournament entries.

The low level poker grinders who can't get staked in any tournament, play one or many of the satellite games at Rio--where the WSOP is held--for coupons for tournament entry. Last year I saw many guys winning $500 tournament entry coupons at the $50 satellite tables and then selling them for cash so they could play the ring games. Tournament poker playing is much nuttier than live cash games. So, when someone gets knocked out of a 5 day tourney on day 1, the cash games start to look real good. However, that crazy hyper-aggressive play seen on TV is, basically money in the bank for the Vegas grinders who have been waiting for these guys all year. It's such a zoo this time of year. Ooh, I have to figure something out...

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